Four Non-Office Jobs That Can Keep You Away From the Desk

office worker

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A career at a desk job can be a fate worse than death if you like to move around and be in an ever-changing work environment. While it may seem as though the majority of jobs force you to stay in the confines of an office all day, there are plenty of ways to make a living that are not desk jobs. The following six jobs let you minimize or eliminate the amount of time that you spend sitting in an office.

HVAC Mechanics

Female HVAC Technician Working
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) mechanics are concerned with air quality and thermal control in buildings. Job duties may include installing, repairing, and maintaining HVAC systems, and testing system components to figure out which parts are necessary. They may work indoors or outdoors, and often have different job sites daily. Many HVAC mechanics have postsecondary education at a community college or they complete certification programs at technical or trade schools. A refrigeration technology program can last as little as six months.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports1 that the 2012 median salary for HVAC mechanics and installers in the U.S. was $43,640, which is well above the average median salary of $34,750 for all jobs. The number of HVAC jobs is expected to grow by 21 percent between 2012 and 2022, while average U.S. job growth is projected to be 11 percent over that time period.

Solar Panel Installers

solar technician training
Solar panel installers, or solar photovoltaic installers, plan and install solar panel systems. They must hook up the system to the power grid, make sure to follow building codes, and use weather sealing to protect their work. They often work in the construction industry, and spend their days on rooftops, in attics, and in other outdoor settings. Solar panel installers may complete electro-mechanical technology programs to become qualified for their jobs.

The mean salary for solar photovoltaic installers was $37,900 in 2012. According to the BLS2, job growth for solar panel installers is expected to increase by 24 percent from 2012 to 2022. This rapid growth is due to decreasing costs of solar panels and shingles. Growth will still be impressive if government incentives for energy-efficient home improvements continue to entice consumers to install solar photovoltaic panels.

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Electrician Student Training
Electricians design, install, and maintain electrical systems such as wiring, lighting, and control systems. They may also teach other workers how to maintain their systems. Electricians are rarely seated at the desk, and they may do their work and indoors or outdoors in homes, worksites, and construction sites. A technical school program in electrical technology is a common route for those who want to be electricians.

The BLS reports3 that the mean salary for electricians in 2012 was $49,840. The rate of job growth is projected to be 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, with increased demand resulting from new building construction and the need to maintain older electrical systems in other buildings. Electricians may also take advantage of advances in renewable energy. The jobs market for electricians tends to improve when the economy is good and construction is booming.


welder working
Welders join metal parts and repair metal items using specialized handheld tools. They use power tools, inspect equipment for the nature of the damage, and figure out how to fix it based on the type of metal and damage. Welders work indoors or outdoors, and are often in factories in the manufacturing industry. Welders may need to work outdoors during storms to fix urgent problems.

The expected jobs growth rate for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers is projected to be 6 percent between 2012 and 2022. The BLS explains4 that the number of jobs will increase during this period because manufacturers in various industries require welders. In addition, welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers can help maintain infrastructure such as highways, buildings, and bridges. Many employers prefer applicants who completed a comprehensive professional welding training program.

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