Non-Desk Jobs that Pay Well

There are a wide number of jobs that pay very well and don't involve working at a desk or in an office. For people who enjoy being active and seek variety in their workplace environment, they have a number of career paths to choose from.

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Career Options for Non-Desk Jobs that Pay Well

The idea of spending the majority of workdays at a desk or in an office may be a depressing thought for many people. Luckily, there are a large number of non-desk jobs across a variety of different industries that offer pay significantly higher than the national average of $37,040 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). We will look at a sampling of some of those possible career paths below in greater detail:

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer $69,650 26%
Elevator Installer and Repairer $78,890 13%
Airline Pilot $127,820 (for all Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers) 1% (for all Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers)
Occupational Therapist $81,910 27%
Construction Manager $89,300 5%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Non-Desk Jobs that Pay Well

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

As a diagnostic medical sonographer, you will be responsible for creating specialized images of parts of the human body by using diagnostic imaging equipment. There are various types of medical sonographers depending on the type of images they create. For example, abdominal sonographers take images of the abdomen and surrounding area, while gynecologic sonographers focus on the female reproductive system. As a sonographer, you will primarily work in patient rooms in hospitals and physician offices where the equipment is located. In 2016, these professionals made a median salary of $69,650, almost twice as much as the national median. To become a diagnostic medical sonographer, you will need an associate's degree or certificate in the field.

Elevator Installer and Repairer

Elevator installers and repairers work on elevators, escalators, and other various types of lifts. They both install elevators at new construction sites and repair and update malfunctioning or outdated existing elevators. Some of their duties include installing electrical wiring, making sure elevators and lifts are up to code, and keeping a record of maintenance. The vast majority of these workers are employed by the contracting industry and they travel to various work sites. The median salary for installers and repairers in 2016 was $78,890. To become an elevator installer or repairer, you generally will need to complete a 4-year apprenticeship program.

Airline Pilot

Airline pilots work for major airline companies flying large passenger planes to domestic and international locations. They must work with air traffic controllers and communicate with maintenance crews to make sure the plane is in proper working condition and that the weather is safe to fly in. Their work environment is the cockpit of a plane, so they are rarely, if ever, in an office setting, and they work nontraditional hours. The median salary for pilots in 2016 was $127,820 (for all airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers). To become an airline pilot, you will usually begin your career as a commercial pilot after completing a training program and will need a bachelor's degree.

Occupational Therapist (OT)

Occupational therapists work with patients who may have various disabilities or with populations that have lost the ability to perform everyday tasks. They develop treatment plans to help patients learn how to be more independent and manage their various conditions. For example, an occupational therapist may work with a patient who has recently had a stroke to help them relearn how to eat by themselves or take a shower. Usually these professionals work in physicians' offices, hospitals, or may travel to the home of the patient. They made a median salary of $81,910 in 2016. To become an OT, you will need to complete at least a master's degree program in occupational therapy and get a license to practice.

Construction Manager

Construction managers oversee construction projects, often from the initial design and budgeting phase to the building and completion of the project. Some of their duties include collaborating with architects and engineers, supervising construction workers, managing the budget, and figuring out how to comply with building and safety codes. While they may have an office, the majority of their time is spent on a job site. These professionals made a median salary of $89,300 in 2016. To become a construction manager, you will generally need a bachelor's degree in a related field, though some workers who have spent years in the field may eventually advance to a management position.

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