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Creative Jobs Using Your Hands

Some people are motivated by the opportunity to think up new ideas and concepts and use their creativity to produce things with their hands. This document looks at occupations that involve hands-on work and require creative talents.

Career Options for Creative Jobs that Involve Using Your Hands

Creative jobs involve originality. This is commonly associated with artistry, and there are many jobs in communications, production and design that offer opportunities to incorporate creativity with hands-on work. There are also careers in personal care and education that incorporate creativity and using your hands to complete tasks.

Job Title Median Salary* (2016) Job Growth* (2014-2024)
Craft and Fine Artists $48,780 2%
Woodworkers $30,180 -1%
Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers $38,200 -11%
Fashion Designers $65,170 3%
Photographers $34,070 3%
Hairdressers and Hairstylists $24,260 (for all hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists) 10% (for all hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists)
Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performing $60,970 14%
Sound Engineering Technicians $53,680 8%
Postsecondary Art Teachers $68,650 (for all postsecondary art, drama, and music teachers) 11% (for all postsecondary art, drama, and music teachers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Creative Jobs that Involve Using Your Hands

Craft and Fine Artists

Craft and fine artists include those who produce artistic paintings or sculptures. They use their artistic talents in their field of specialization, and may work with pottery, fabrics, wood or other substances to produce their art. Although they don't have to have formal training, earning a bachelor's degree can improve their work options. Their work involves using their hands to produce their art.

Woodworkers

Woodworkers use their woodworking skills to make structures from wood. This is a physical job that involves moving wood and using power tools to secure wood as they're building. Woodworkers can learn their trade by completing on-the-job training or a vocational training program. Some of the things they make may include musical instruments, tables or chairs.

Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers

With a high school diploma, jewelers and precious stone and metal workers can learn this craft through on-the-job training. They work with their hands to produce jewelry; their work may also involve inspecting precious stones or jewelry to determine their value, and they may also use their hands to repair existing pieces of jewelry.

Fashion Designers

Fashion designers produce sketches or illustrations by hand or with computer programs. This is one of the first steps involved in developing a new design. They may want to touch different fabrics to determine which is the right choice for the design they're working on, and then develop a physical representation of their design. They may work on designing things like pants, shoes or belts, or specialize in designing other fashion items. A bachelor's degree is required to work in this field.

Photographers

Photographers do not necessarily need to have any formal training, although some employers may prefer or require a bachelor's degree. They use their hands to set up and operate photographic equipment so that they can produce a desired photograph. They may take portraits of people or animals, or they may photograph newsworthy events or significant locations.

Hairdressers and Hairstylist

Hairdressers and hairstylists must complete a postsecondary program and earn a license. They use their hands to cut or style hair. This is a very creative, practical occupation, because people regularly need haircuts but they often want their hair to look a very specific way. Hairstylists may also work with bridal parties, school graduates or those attending special events to produce an elaborate look using attachments, flowers or other accessories.

Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performing

Makeup artists use their talents to apply makeup to people who are going to perform in a theater or film production. They need to understand how different types of makeup will look under specific lighting conditions in order to produce the desired effect. Although postsecondary training is not necessarily required, some do complete a postsecondary program before entering this field.

Sound Engineering Technicians

Sound engineering technicians may earn a certificate, diploma or associate's degree to prepare for this career. They work with computer programs and audio equipment to record sounds and then they adjust it or combine it with other audio material. They may also align the audio to a visual image. This involves a lot of hands-on work as they adjust and operate equipment. Whenever a song is played on the radio, the work of a sound engineering technician has helped make that recording.

Postsecondary Art Teachers

Postsecondary art teachers train the art teachers and artists of tomorrow. They may use their hands in their work to demonstrate techniques related to the art forms they're teaching, and they can use their creative talents to develop original lesson plans and find ways to encourage their students to fully explore their own talents and demonstrate their skills in their work. They typically need to have a doctoral degree in their field, although some schools may hire those with a master's degree.


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