18 High-Paying Non-Desk Jobs

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By Debra Auerbach, CareerBuilder writer

When you think about the average job, you probably picture a worker at a desk typing away at a computer all day. But if the idea of spending 40-plus hours a week in a cubicle doesn't sound like your idea of a perfect work environment, don't fret. There are careers across a variety of industries that have you up on your feet, going from one location to the next, and meeting new people every day.

And we already know that these types of jobs may provide real mental and physical benefits-workers in non-desk jobs are two times less likely to complain about their work environment and significantly less likely to report being overweight.

A new CareerBuilder/Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. study shows that these jobs don't just offer great environments and a slimmer waistline-they can offer bigger paychecks.Where the high-paying non-desk jobs are
While 90 percent of the 20 highest paying non-desk jobs are in health care and most require a doctoral or professional degree, many of the fast-growing non-desk jobs don't require a four-year degree and several provide a career path that leads to the middle class.

"The U.S. workforce has gradually shifted to office-based work due to the rise of the professional services economy and productivity gains associated with information technology," says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. "But some of the healthiest areas of job growth year-after-year are in middle-skill occupations that don't require workers to sit in front of computer monitors and phones for 40-hours a week."

Some of the best paying non-desk jobs, no four-year degree required
The analysis found that there are 170 non-desk jobs that pay $15 per hour or more on average, don't require a four-year degree for a typical entry-level position, and have grown 6 percent from 2010-2014.

Here are the top-paying non-desk occupations in various categories:

Median hourly earnings 2010-2014 job growth
Health care occupations
1. Dental hygienist $34.19 9%
2. Diagnostic medical sonographer $31.93 15%
3. Occupational therapy assistant $26.57 14%
Construction and extraction occupations
4. Elevator installer and repairer $37.81 6%
5. Boilermaker $27.74 6%
6. Rotary drill operator, oil and gas $24.79 47%
Installation and maintenance occupations
7. Electrical power-line installer and repairer $30.85 7%
8. Avionics technician* $26.92 6%
9. Signal and track switch repairer $26.75 11%
Architecture and engineering occupations
10. Mechanical engineering technician $25.19 10%
11. Industrial engineering technician $25.01 6%
12. Electro-mechanical technician $24.68 8%
Green energy occupations
13. Wind turbine service technician $23.79 21%
14. Solar photovoltaic installer $19.04 22%
Miscellaneous non-desk occupations
15. Locksmith $18.25 10%
16. Massage therapist $17.27 17%
17. Travel guide $16.26 7%
18. Fitness trainer and aerobics instructor $15.88 8%

*Avionics technicians inspect and repair various aircraft equipment, such as radar, radio and navigation systems.
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