Hands-On Careers for Creative Minds

Careers that are both hands-on and creative are available in a wide number of different fields. Individuals who possess both of these skills may want to consider some of these options.

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Hands-On Career Options for Creative Minds

For individuals who enjoy working with their hands and also have a strong sense of creativity, there are several career options they could pursue that would allow them to make use of both skills. We will discuss five different career paths below that may be good options for creative individuals who want to work with their hands.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Ceramic Artist $48,780 (craft and fine artists) 2% (craft and fine artists)
Photographer $34,070 3%
Woodworker $30,180 -1%
Jeweler/Precious Stone and Metal Worker $38,200 -11%
Industrial Designer $67,790 (commercial and industrial designers) 2% (commercial and industrial designers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Information About Hands-On Careers for Creative Minds

Ceramic Artist

A ceramic artist is a type of craft artist who primarily works with clay. They use various tools, like a potter's wheel as well as their hands, to mold and shape clay into decorative items like vases or artistic pieces, as well as more functional objects like plates, mugs, and bowls, before baking the pieces in hot furnaces to harden. This job requires a great deal of hands-on skill as well as creativity to come up with new and unique pieces. To become a ceramic artist, you don't necessarily need a bachelor's degree, though postsecondary education and practice may help you acquire the skills necessary to be successful.


As a photographer, you will be responsible for capturing images of special occasions, like weddings and parties, or help keep a record of events, like a sporting activity or news story. While technical photography skills can be learned, it is still essential for photographers to have creative ability, or a photographer's 'eye' in order to capture compelling photos. Photographers use their cameras and printing equipment as tools and often have to travel to certain locations to capture events, making this a hands-on career. While there are no strict education requirements to become a photographer, taking courses in the subject may help you develop the necessary skills.


As a woodworker, you may work for a large company or on your own creating pieces of furniture, cabinets, and decorative items out of wood. While some woodworkers may be involved in building pre-designed pieces, others are able to be creative in their work by coming up with their own designs, which they then can build using various woodworking equipment, including computer-controlled machinery. To become a woodworker, you only need a high school education, though the job will generally require several years of hands-on training.

Jeweler/Precious Stone and Metal Worker

Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers deal with various types of jewels, gems, stones, and metals to craft jewelry. Some of their duties may include assessing the value of different precious stones and gems in order to see how much they are worth, soldering pieces of gold, silver, and other metals together, and setting stones into pieces of metal to make bracelets, rings, necklaces, and other pieces of jewelry, which requires both hands-on ability as well as creativity. Some individuals with a high school diploma may be able to enter this field and receive on-the-job training, while others may opt to attend a trade school to learn about the specific necessary skills.

Industrial Designer

As an industrial designer, you will work in the world of manufacturing in a variety of fields and will be responsible for designing new types of products such as kitchen appliances, cars, and various electronics. While this career may not seem as traditionally creative as others, industrial designers must possess a strong level of creativity in order to come up with new and interesting designs that will appeal to consumers. This job is also very hands-on, as the industrial designer plays an integral role from initially sketching out the design to creating prototypes and then on to actual production. Industrial designers typically have a bachelor's degree in a field like engineering or industrial design.

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