Careers for People Who Like to Work With Their Hands

Career options for people who like to work with their hands can be found in personal care, the social sciences, construction and transportation. Some jobs in these fields are explored further here.

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Career Options for People Who Like to Work With Their Hands

A number of occupations offer opportunities for people to work with their hands. Working with their hands can involve everything from administering emergency medical care to collecting evidence and installing plumbing or electrical wiring. It can also involve operating equipment.

Job Title Median Salary* (2016) Growth* (2014-2024)
Firefighters $48,030 5%
Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters $51,450 12%
Forensic Science Technicians $56,750 27%
Physical Therapy Assistants and Aides $45,290 40%
Electricians $52,720 14%
Bus Drivers $31,920 6%
Fitness Trainers and Instructors $38,160 8%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for People Who Like to Work With Their Hands

Firefighters

To become a firefighter, it's necessary to demonstrate physical fitness and competence by passing a series of tests, completing academy training and earning emergency medical technician certification. Firefighters respond to emergency situations; they may drive fire trucks, use equipment to extinguish fires and provide emergency medical care to people who are injured. All of these tasks require them to work with their hands.

Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters

Plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters work with their hands regularly. They install or repair pipes in buildings. They may also perform tests to determine the source of a problem if something isn't working properly. They can opt to take training at a technical school, though it's common for these professionals to learn their trade by completing an apprenticeship. They must also be licensed in most states.

Forensic Science Technicians

A bachelor's degree is the prerequisite for a career as a forensic science technician. These professionals may go to crime scenes to collect evidence; they may also work in labs where they process evidence. They have many opportunities to work with their hands, since some of their regular tasks involve photographing evidence, recording their observations and performing lab tests. For example, a ballistics expert may need to fire a gun to determine if it was used in the commission of a crime.

Physical Therapy Assistants and Aides

Physical therapy assistants and aides work under the supervision of physical therapists to provide care for patients. Aides, who learn through on-the-job training, may make appointments, clean treatment rooms and help patients move from one place to another. These tasks involve working with their hands. Assistants, who are required to have an associate's degree, use their hands when they work directly with patients to help them complete treatment exercises or teach them how to use equipment.

Electricians

Electricians can learn their trade through an apprenticeship before earning their electrician's license. They have plenty of opportunities to work with their hands because they are involved in installing or repairing electrical systems and electrical wiring. They may put wiring into a new building that's under construction, or they may inspect the wiring system in an older home and determine if there are issues that need to be repaired.

Bus Drivers

Bus drivers work with their hands to operate buses. They may pick up and drop off school children or transport commuters in a city. In addition to using their hands to operate their vehicle, they may need to help passengers who are elderly or disabled, inspect their vehicle and clean it. They need a commercial driver's license and may also have to pass some physical exams to qualify to work in this field.

Fitness Trainers and Instructors

Fitness trainers and instructors do not necessarily need postsecondary education, although certification is commonly required, and an associate's or bachelor's degree may increase job prospects. Fitness trainers and instructors can work with people one on one or may work with a group of people. Their goal is to help their clients improve their physical health by teaching and leading them in exercises. Fitness trainers and instructors work with their hands when performing exercises and adjusting clients' positioning to demonstrate proper technique.

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