Office jobs may offer stability and comfort, but not everyone is cut out for a desk-bound, sedentary lifestyle. For some, the prospect of an active career that keeps them on their feet and engaged with their work is far more appealing. Luckily, there are plenty of non-office jobs out there that offer just that - and many of them pay well too.
In this day and age, finding a physically engaging and financially rewarding career can be a challenge. However, with the right skills and training, there are many non-office jobs available that offer both. From personal trainers to commercial divers, landscapers to chefs, a variety of professions allow individuals to work outside of the traditional office setting while also earning a competitive salary.
So, for those who are looking for a career that gets them up and moving, here are 9 non-office jobs that are active and pay well (in no particular order).
Construction workers are essential members of the building and construction industry, responsible for the physical construction and maintenance of buildings, roads, bridges, and other structures. Their role involves working with a variety of materials, such as wood, concrete, and steel, to create buildings that are safe, durable, and meet specifications.
The median annual salary for construction workers is $30,000 to $40,000.*
The responsibilities of a construction worker can vary depending on their specific role and the project they are working on. Some everyday tasks include reading blueprints and plans, measuring and cutting materials, assembling and installing structures, operating heavy equipment, and maintaining tools and equipment.
Construction workers also play a critical role in ensuring the job site's safety, both for themselves and their colleagues. They must follow safety regulations, use protective gear, and be mindful of hazards such as live wires, falls, and heavy machinery.
Firefighters are essential first responders responsible for protecting people, property, and the environment from fires and other emergencies. Their role involves:
- Responding to calls for help.
- Assessing the situation.
- Taking appropriate action to put out fires or assist in emergencies.
The median annual salary for firefighters is $40,000 to $60,000.*
The responsibilities of a firefighter include conducting fire inspections, maintaining and testing equipment, and providing public education on fire safety. They must also know about first aid, search and rescue techniques, and hazardous material handling.
Firefighters work in high-pressure situations, often requiring them to risk their lives to save others. They must remain calm under pressure and follow strict protocols to ensure their and their colleagues' safety.
The role of a firefighter is critical to the safety and well-being of the community. They are responsible for protecting people and property from fires and other emergencies, and their bravery and dedication are essential to keeping communities safe.
Electricians are skilled professionals who specialize in installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems in homes, businesses, and other buildings. They work with electrical wiring, lighting fixtures, and other electrical components to ensure they are installed and operating safely and efficiently.
The median annual salary for electricians is $60,000 to $80,000.*
The responsibilities of an electrician include reading blueprints and technical diagrams to understand electrical systems, testing circuits to ensure they are working correctly, and installing new electrical components. They must also troubleshoot electrical issues, diagnose problems, and perform repairs as necessary.
Electricians must follow strict safety guidelines to protect themselves and others from electrical hazards. They must be knowledgeable about electrical codes and regulations to comply with all safety standards.
The role of an electrician is critical to the safe and reliable operation of electrical systems. They play a vital role in keeping homes, businesses, and other structures functioning correctly, and their skills and expertise are essential to the well-being of society.
Solar technicians are skilled professionals who specialize in the installation, maintenance, and repair of solar energy systems. Their role involves working with a variety of solar technologies to provide renewable energy solutions to homes and businesses.
The median annual wage for solar photovoltaic (PV) installers, which includes solar technicians, is approximately $40,000 to $60,000.*
The responsibilities of a solar technician include:
- Assessing the energy needs of a property.
- Designing and installing solar energy systems.
- Performing regular maintenance and repairs.
Solar technicians must be skilled in a variety of solar technologies, including photovoltaic panels, inverters, and batteries. They must be able to operate a variety of tools and equipment, including drills, saws, and wire strippers.
They must also be knowledgeable about local regulations and safety standards to ensure that their work meets all requirements.
Welders are skilled professionals who specialize in the fabrication and joining of metal parts using various welding techniques. Their role involves working with a variety of metals, including steel, aluminum, and copper, to create a wide range of products such as machinery, buildings, and bridges.
The median annual salary for welders is $40,000 to $60,000.*
The responsibilities of a welder include:
- Reading blueprints and technical diagrams to understand welding requirements.
- Selecting the appropriate welding techniques and materials.
- Performing quality inspections on finished products.
They must also know welding safety regulations and procedures to ensure they work in a safe environment.
Welders must be skilled in various welding techniques, including MIG, TIG, and stick welding. They must also be able to operate welding equipment, including welding machines and plasma cutters, and must be able to perform essential maintenance on their equipment.
Medical Assistants are trained professionals who work in healthcare settings to provide support services to physicians and other healthcare professionals. TThe role of a medical assistant is critical to the effective functioning of healthcare facilities. They play a vital role in ensuring that patients receive high-quality care, and their skills and expertise are essential to the delivery of healthcare services.
The median annual wage for medical assistants is approximately $30,000 to $40,000.*
The responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Taking patient vital signs.
- Recording medical histories.
- Assisting with medical exams and procedures.
- Preparing and administering medications.
- Scheduling appointments.
- Processing insurance claims.
- Maintaining medical records.
Medical assistants must be knowledgeable about medical terminology, anatomy, and pharmacology. They must also have strong communication and interpersonal skills to interact with patients and healthcare professionals.
Truck drivers are professionals who specialize in transporting goods and materials using large trucks and trailers. Their role involves:
- Driving long distances.
- Adhering to strict delivery schedules.
- Ensuring safe and efficient cargo delivery.
The median annual salary for truck drivers is $35,000 to $45,000.*
The responsibilities of truck drivers include:
- Inspecting their vehicles before and after each trip.
- Ensuring that their cargo is secured correctly and balanced.
- Adhering to all traffic laws and regulations.
They must also be knowledgeable about their vehicle's maintenance and repair needs and be able to perform basic maintenance tasks.
Truck drivers must be able to navigate through different weather and traffic conditions and must be able to work long hours on the road. They must also maintain accurate records of their driving time and delivery schedules.
Carpenters are skilled professionals who specialize in constructing and repairing structures made of wood, including buildings, furniture, and cabinetry. Their role involves working with various hand and power tools to cut, shape, and join wood to create finished products.
The median annual salary for carpenters is $40,000 to $60,000.*
The responsibilities of a carpenter include:
- Reading blueprints and technical diagrams to understand construction plans.
- Selecting appropriate materials.
- Performing measurements and calculations to ensure accurate cutting and fitting.
They must also know about building codes and regulations to ensure their work meets all safety standards.
Carpenters must be skilled in various carpentry techniques, including framing, finishing, and cabinetry. They must also be able to operate a variety of hand and power tools, including saws, drills, and planers.
HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) technicians are skilled professionals who specialize in installing, repairing, and maintaining HVAC systems. Their role involves working with a variety of heating and cooling systems to ensure that buildings are comfortable and energy efficient.
The median annual salary for HVAC technicians is $40,000 to $60,000.*
The responsibilities of an HVAC technician include:
- Inspecting and troubleshooting HVAC systems.
- Installing new systems.
- Repairing or replacing damaged components.
They must also know about HVAC regulations and safety standards to ensure their work meets all requirements.
HVAC technicians must be skilled in various HVAC techniques, including refrigeration, electrical wiring, and ductwork. They must also be able to operate a variety of tools, including gauges, thermometers, and voltmeters.
*Annual salary figures are based on 2021 median pay statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.