15 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require Sitting at a Desk

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As a staffing agency that covers all industries, we hear from a plethora of people with different backgrounds. Amongst this bevy of callers are plenty of job seekers with interesting parameters — they simply do not want to sit behind a desk. And, in a society marred by the ever-dropping rates of attention spans, it makes complete sense. Not everyone is built with a docile mind. Not everyone is prepared to place the only physical constraint of labor upon their minds, leaving everything but the eyes and fingers static. If someone doesn’t want to sit still all day, they shouldn’t be expelled from the possibility of high-paying jobs.

Luckily, we don’t live in a virtual world where physical labor is overlooked and chortled at (yet, at least). Therefore, there is still a wide, wide array of high-paying jobs that require constant movement. In fact, some of the highest-paying jobs in the country involve the need for constant movement and physical labor, if only a bit.

If you are nauseated by the idea of sitting behind a desk all day, we completely understand. Some people not only desire, but need the constant stimuli of movement. We, as a bipedal species, are supposed to move! Therefore, we have broken down some great jobs that don’t require sitting in a cubicle all day.

Our Parameters

Before we begin, we must explain where we are heading with this list. Lucky for those with antsy feet, there are plenty of high-paying jobs that require movement. If we were to sit and ponder upon them all, we’d be here all day. From surgeons to movie stars, many jobs require movement in some facet. Mostly, the only ones that don’t are straight computer-based (like mine).

Henceforth, we put together a list of unique and often forgotten jobs that fit the constant-movement category.

Furthermore, noting a list of jobs that requires years upon years of experience or college education would be, in its own right, pointless. Sure, one can always find the opportunity to grow or switch career paths with the pull of a mental lever, tempting the train tracks of fate, but it’s easier said than done. Much easier said than done.

While some of the jobs below will require higher education and experience, the majority won’t. Though gaining access to high-paying jobs will always require the expertise of experience, not all of them require countless years of college classrooms (just another form of sitting at a desk, after all). Therefore, this list is all unique, and some jobs don’t require degrees.

Enough babbling. If you don’t want to work behind a desk, you certainly don’t want to read behind one. We’re wasting your time. Let us begin.


Let’s start with one of the higher jobs on the list. Get it?


Though commercial pilots technically sit in a cockpit all day, they aren’t desk workers like other careers. Though, if you consider a cockpit a pilot’s desk, then I suppose they spend a lot of time behind it. Regardless, the work takes an ample amount of movement, alertness, and motor skill function that those desk jobs simply don’t.

Commercial pilots often spend their time flying cargo or civilians to a multitude of destinations. While it doesn’t necessarily involve a fixed schedule, some pilots have a fixed route in which they fly (especially ones involving cargo). Furthermore, copilots, flight controllers, flight attendants, and copilots all follow similar schedules and desk-less work routines.

As long as you don’t have a fear of heights, you can go through the process of becoming a certified pilot.

Experience Required

Most commercial pilot positions call for a Bachelor’s degree, but no specific field is necessary. Otherwise, a pilot’s license and an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. Overall, it takes over 1500 hours of flight to become a certified pilot. This can take as low as 2 years if done on an expedited track.

According to ATP, it takes around $97,000 to become a pilot without prior experience. It’s pricey, sure, but so is college. Fortunately, pilot needs will only continue to grow. The projected job growth through 2026 is around 3%.

Average Salary According to Glassdoor: $84,962 a year.


The miracle of childbirth is a miraculous thing. How can a species last for so long, overcoming all the unbearable odds that both time and humanity have strapped upon ourselves? How do we continue to create such beautiful and angelic offspring? It’s truly a wonderful thing. But, unfortunately, childbirth isn’t as easy as deciding to give birth (right, mothers?). It’s a difficult process that takes a plethora of knowledge from both nurses and doctors. Luckily, the midwife is on board.

Ultimately, a midwife acts as a direct nurse for the mother. They work with the expecting parents before the birth to make sure everything is safe and in place, they deliver the child, and they are the go-to for aftercare for both the mother and newborn. They are childbirth specialists, and they are paid as such.

As you’ll notice, pretty much any medical role will involve standing and moving. You are constantly up working with patients, especially in the delivery room. Therefore, there is not much desk time for midwives.

Experience Required

Like all medical-based jobs, becoming a midwife takes time and effort. First, they must complete a graduate-level education in nurse-midwifery that is approved by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). Then, they must pass the  National Council Licensure Examination to become certified. Then, the need to work as a registered nurse to gain experience in the field.

It’s certainly a process that takes time and dedication, but it’s not a too-late scenario. Anyone of any age can start their midwife journey. It certainly pays off, especially if you are passionate about the wonders of babies.

Average Salary According to Glassdoor: $106,532 a year.


Overall, any work involving medicine or dentistry will involve constant movement and standing over patients during examinations and procedures. And, though dentists get all the fame, orthodontists have a plethora of fantastic and interesting work under their belt.

From creating and installing braces to applying palatal expanders, the orthodontist works to correct any painful and/or aesthetically different attributes of a patient’s mouth. While similar to a dentist, the orthodontist does have a narrower path of treatment. They do not perform cleanings or fillings but work more with the bone structure of the mouth. Furthermore, they are experts in customer service, leaving patients elated.

Basically, if a patient needs restructuring of their teeth, they need an orthodontist, creating more compelling and widespread work than a usual dentist.

Experience Required

Like all forms of doctors, orthodontics does take a fair amount of work and schooling to get into. Firstly, all orthodontists start with a basic bachelor’s degree. Then, they have to take and pass the Dental Acceptance test given by the American Dental Association. Then, they have to attend dental school for 4 years, followed by an understudy. Finally, they have to take and pass a certified dental license exam.

Overall, it can take 10-to-11 years to become an orthodontist. It’s one of the high-paying, standing jobs that take dedication straight out of high school (or not long after) unless you’ve already dabbled into the field. But, like all doctors, the money is worth it.

Average Salary According to Glassdoor: $224,130 a year.


nurse anesthetist staffing - tier2tek staffing

Finishing up our medical section is one of the highest-paying medical jobs due to its intensity, bar of knowledge, and danger.

Anesthesiologists provide pain relief through anesthesia during, before, and after surgery takes place. This process involves a multitude of factors and cares to make sure the anesthesia is distributed safely. If distributed incorrectly, the administration of anesthesia can be extremely dangerous. Due to the danger, high level of mathematics, and a necessity for the role during all surgeries and procedures, anesthesiologists are paid well.

As noted, all doctors spend most of their time on their feet, anesthesiologists included. You will only find them behind a desk as they prepare for their procedures.

Experience Required

Overall, anesthesiologists take a ton of time in school and training. As such a high-stress and high-level job, they need a high amount of training and certification before becoming practicing doctors. It usually takes around 8 years of schooling, training, residency, and fellowship specialty training to become an official doctor.

But, as we noted, the pay is worth it.

Average Salary According to Glassdoor: $326,346 a year.


Now we get to the part of high-paying jobs that involve being on your feet and a high level of physical labor. Though we often combine blue-collar work with lower salaries, the stigma is far from the truth. Ultimately, trades will always be in demand. High-quality trade production will always be worth a significant amount of profit. Therefore, these gigs fit the high-paying jobs list.

Carpenters will always be in demand and will always make good money. We need carpentry to build structures, houses, furniture, and… Well. Everything else. Therefore, if you become great at the job, you will get paid your worth.

Obviously, carpentry involves working with your hands and standing, throwing the desk job cliche out the window.

Experience Required

Becoming a high-end carpenter may begin with completing a 1-to-2-year apprenticeship, getting a degree, or obtaining a certification through a program like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Certified Lead Carpenter (CLC).

But, the magic of the following jobs is, you don’t really need schooling. A lot of great carpenters learn on the job, giving them the experience to become masters. Then, they build their clientele from experience, the internet, or word of mouth.

Average Salary According to Glassdoor: $51,506 a year.


We’ll let you in on a little secret: becoming a plumber is actually an extremely smart investment, especially if you have a knack or want for hands-on work. Ultimately, plumbers will always be in demand, and due to the specialized nature of their craft, they can charge a significant amount. Therefore, plumbing will always be one of the high-paying jobs in blue-collar work.

Furthermore, plumbing involves a variety of different tasks, all involving labor and movement. You will never be at a desk.

Experience Required

Like carpentry, plumbing experience is usually found through experience. You can easily become a plumbing apprentice and start learning the trade. Or, you can begin formal training through a local trade school. After 2 to 5 years of practice, you can get licensed and become a certified professional.

Though it has an easy barrier of entry, that doesn’t mean it’s easy work. Plumbing requires a significant amount of knowledge on the subject.

Average Salary According to Glassdoor: $57,302 a year.

Construction Manager

Construction and Extraction - Tier2Tek Staffing

Here’s the thing: if managers always make more money than their subordinates, and construction workers make a fair amount of money, then what do construction managers make?

Mulah, baby!

Though we aren’t here to discuss the problems with modernization and the avid expansion of cities, we can discuss the ever-consistent need for construction workers. Basically, there will always be a need for construction. Even when we run out of land, we will need to revamp the buildings we already have.

Much like plumbing, construction management requires specific knowledge, hard work, and commitment. Therefore, it is one of the high-paying jobs in blue-collar culture. Furthermore, it always involves being on your feet and moving around, even if just observing and directing the construction site.

Experience Required

You can penetrate this industry in a variety of ways. A new commonality is managers having a bachelor’s degree in construction science, construction management, architecture, or engineering. Otherwise, you can begin construction directly out of high school. With enough hard work, learning, and outside research, you can begin to move your way up the ladder.

Average Salary According to Glassdoor: $120,063 a year.


Here’s a little-known career that makes a plethora of money.

The lineman technician is both certified and licensed to work on underground and overhead electrical systems. Wonder how those colossal telephone poles and wires are set up? Wonder how a worker gets so high in the air and safely installs electrical systems? That’s the magic of lineman work.

Simply put, the Lineman helps install and maintain service lines, transformers, and meters. This work may involve installing telephone poles, digging underground, and preparing damaged wire. If a storm or accident manages to turn off your home’s power, these are the workers that fix it.

Ultimately, linemen may often find themselves as travelers. Utility companies often call in a multitude of linemen when hurricanes are intense storms that surge through the country. They are the heroes that keep your lights on.

All of this work requires being on your feet, and for the most part, being up in the air (fun).

Experience Required

Like the rest of the blue-collar work, entering the linemen field can come from a multitude of angles. Firstly, you can begin at a trade school for electrical science or construction. You can also jump right on board with a linemen apprenticeship. Sure, degrees always boost your chances of landing a job, but that doesn’t always matter. Linemen look for experience in the field, and you can get that without a formal education.

It is important to note that most linemen jobs will call for a Commercial Drivers’ license, though. So, candidates will have to take the course and complete the test to achieve that first.

Average Salary According to Glassdoor: $63,087 a year.

Elevator Repairer

Elevators or a mystery to most. A complex contraption that can take countless people up countless flights? What a wonder.

At the end of the day, someone has to understand the vast electronics, hydraulics, and electricity knowledge in order to both install and repair elevator systems. And, like all specific and knowledgeable jobs, they are paid handsomely for their effort.

Always on location and always moving around, the elevator repairer is one of the more niche high-paying jobs in the construction (and technically electronics) sector.

Experience Required

Because of the intensity of background knowledge and the safety involved, elevator installation isn’t an easy gig to jump into. You need a 4-year apprenticeship program sponsored by a union, industry association, or individual contractor. After that, you may need to take up a lower-level position to learn the entirety of the ropes. Furthermore, all repairmen must be licensed by the state (35 states currently require it).

Average Salary According to Glassdoor: $61,432 a year.

Head Chef

chef staffing - tier2tek staffing

If you want to avoid the monotony of a desk job, look no further than the food industry. The sector is both fast and stressful, but rewarding in its own right. The professionals in the food industry love the constantly-running nature of the work. If you have the need for speed, think about becoming a cook or other restaurant worker.

Overall, the chef is the head of a restaurant’s (or catering service’s) back of the house. They are the artists of the food industry. They are the leaders of the kitchen and cooking staff. With this responsibility, the chef may be asked to create a menu, consider product costs and administer food tests. As a manager, they may lead and oversee other cooks and kitchen staff.

Furthermore, their primary role is to prepare the food they create, upholding quality and efficiency.

Experience Required

A chef can come from all over. You can obtain a degree at a culinary school or work your way up through a restaurant. While it’s not the most difficult industry to get into, it takes a significantly high learning curve. To become one of the best, you have to train, learn, and perfect your art. If you love it, though, it will be a constantly rewarding experience.

Average Salary According to Glassdoor: $57,289 a year.

Process Engineer

Process engineers get the best of both worlds. They have the knowledge and scientific application of mechanical engineering and the hands-on approach of working directly with equipment. They may have some desk time, sure, but they spend the majority of their day on the floor with machinery.

Henceforth, the process engineer is an expert on the way assembly lines or other production machinery work. They understand both the mechanical intricacies and the overall process of each machine, station, or worker. Therefore, the engineer is able to help adapt and improve your company’s production process. They overlook costs and production statistics and help create and implement new ways to improve your assembly line. Whether upgrading equipment, transforming labor duties or lowering raw material costs, the process engineer helps improve your process.

Experience Required

Because it’s an engineering job, the work requires a degree. Often, the process engineer will have a bachelor’s degree in chemical, manufacturing, or industrial engineering, preferably from an institution that the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredits. They may then be asked to work their way up the corporate ladder, starting with a more hands-on production role.

Average Salary According to Glassdoor: $101,125 a year.

Electrical Repairer

Like elevator repair, the electrical repairer has a vast knowledge of the specific subject, allowing them to make a higher, more-demanding salary. Furthermore, their repairmen role calls for them to be on-site and hands-on for the majority of their workday. There’s no desk in sight for electricians.

An electrical technician is both certified and licensed to work on structural and building-based electrical systems. This work can stretch a plethora of tasks, from installing new wires to ensuring pipes comply with electrical codes. The electrician is a knowledgeable and experienced technician that understands every aspect of running electricity safely through client homes or buildings.

Experience Required

As noted, engineering-based roles usually require a college degree (or a large sum of experience). The electrical technician often requires an electrical engineering degree from an accredited university or college, and 2,000 hours of experience as a registered electrical apprentice.

Average Salary According to Glassdoor: $55,000 a year.


Intrigued by the psychical nature of the planet we live on? Fascinated by the earth’s composition, structure, and ongoing developments? Want to put that knowledge of geographic terms into cold-hard cash?

Geoscientists study the earth we live on. They are usually on-site, analyzing the information left in the substance itself. Therefore, while they may have a bit of in-office work, they are usually away from the desk.

Ultimately, they can work on 2 different sides of the coin. Some are involved in the search for natural resources (like gas), while others work for the preservation of land, helping reclaim and clean land of impurities. Regardless, their work involves field studies, analysis, and other research.

Experience Required

Due to the nature of being a science, jobs often involve a degree and experience in the field (through apprenticeships, lower-ranking work, or internships). Candidates need a bachelor’s degree in geoscience or a related field, such as physical science or natural resources. Geoscience programs include courses in mineralogy, geology, and other sciences, along with subjects such as mathematics and engineering.

Average Salary According to Glassdoor: $85,891 a year.


biochemist staffing - tier2tek

And just like Geo work, there are also scientists that study water and the way natural water systems work. Hydrologists work in the same way as geoscientists, conducting on-site studies, analysis, and other research. As we mentioned, they don’t spend a lot of time at the desk. Though, they may work in a laboratory from time to time.

From checking for water safety to researching the way water enhances the environment, hydrologists work in both the use and preservation of natural waterways. Like geoscientists, they get paid well for their studies. It’s one of the high-paying jobs that involves being outside. Don’t we all love fresh air?

Experience Required

Just like geoscience, hydrologists are often required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in physical science or a related field, such as natural resources. They may also need experience in the field, whether through internships or lower-ranking work.

Average Salary According to Glassdoor: $90,454 a year.

Yoga Instructor

We’ll end on a fun one. Here is the final, but not least, of the high-paying jobs.

If your desire is to get away from the desk job and get a little physical activity in your life, why not teach exercise for a living? Why not become a yoga instructor?

Overall, a yoga instructor teaches the art of yoga, whether to an entire class through a business curriculum, or privately. And, believe it or not, they get paid pretty well to do it. People love yoga and the need for teachers will always be in high demand.

Plus, you never, ever have to sit at a desk.

Experience Required

There are registered yoga schools that help complete your training. Due to it being a trainer-based career, you need credentials and experience to get paid highly. No one wants to learn from a yoga teacher that doesn’t know their stuff.

Secondly, a CPR and first aid certification is necessary for all yoga teachers.

Ultimately, becoming a yoga teacher requires practice, research, and some schooling. Once you become a master, you can take on the student.

Average Salary According to Glassdoor: $64,908 a year.

Need to Find One of the High-Paying Jobs?

Looking for one of the high-paying jobs we just noted? Or just looking for a way to start your career path?

Tier2Tek Staffing is here for you.

Our experienced recruiters can help you find your dream job. We can also help you with any career or application-related questions you have. Feel free to reach out to us for a free resume consultation.