10 Hands-On Jobs That Require Little to No Schooling

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Nov 6, 2018

Nov 6, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

No college degree? No problem! Thanks to the value of on the job training, there are tons of careers that don't need more than a GED.

And, these jobs keep you moving and engaged. You can make a great salary working with your hands.

There's no need to settle for a boring desk job. Or, to go into debt paying for college. You can have a career you love without sacrificing your sanity or cash.

What kinds of tasks do these jobs entail? All sorts. Keep reading to find out 10 hands-on jobs that you don't need formal education for.

1. Carpenter

Do you enjoy woodworking? Building furniture, boats, or houses? If you enjoy working with wood and being outside, you can learn more about carpentry here.

You can build a successful career as a carpenter without a degree.

Most carpenters learn how to do this work through on the job training. You can apprentice for an established carpenter to learn the ropes. This training isn't found in the classroom.

From there, you could continue to work for the company that trained you. Or, you could go out on your own and run a woodworking business. The world of carpentry is your oyster.

2. Production Assistant

There are tons of jobs that go on behind the scenes of movies and commercials. If you're interested in filmmaking, starting as a production assistant is a smart move.

This industry doesn't value degrees as much as hands-on experience and people skills. As a production assistant, you'll be loading and unloading equipment. You might also do coffee runs and help with different departments.

It's a great job to keep you on your toes. Plus, as you move up the ranks into other roles, the money is lucrative.

3. Cook

Cooks are always working with their hands. They're often on their feet, under pressure, and working hard. If this sounds like something you'd enjoy, it's easy to break into this career field.

Many cooks start as food prep workers or dishwashers at restaurants. You can move up to line cook and sous chef from there. The more you learn on the job the better your chances of promotion are.

You must be an easy person to work with to be a successful cook. Work on your communication and people skills to improve your prospects.

4. Housekeeper

Do you enjoy cleaning? Are you great at organization and staying on schedule? Being a housekeeper uses these skills and more.

Luckily, you don't need a post-secondary education to excel.

Most housekeepers start as cleaners and organizers. Eventually, clients may promote you to housekeeper which has a significantly higher salary. Get used to being on your feet and doing something new every day.

5. Mechanic

Some people have a genuine interest in cars and fixing them. Because of this hobby, there isn't much that school teaches that you can't learn on your own.

The best path to becoming a mechanic out of high school is landing an apprenticeship. Work and learn under an established mechanic. This hands-on training is more valuable than classroom lectures.

Plus, if you already love cars this job allows you to get paid for your passion. Win-win!

6. Bricklayer

Bricklayers work with their hands every single day. You work with different materials and learn about various techniques. Kinesthetic learners do well in this type of environment.

Like other trades, bricklayers complete an apprenticeship at the start of their career. Here you'll learn the ropes and work on your skills. Even though you work with your hands, you must also be a motivated and helpful person.

7. Makeup Artist

Few artists get to make a good salary off creating art. But, if you branch into makeup artistry, the options are endless.

Some makeup artists work for beauty companies. Others do wedding makeup or special event makeup. Some even work on movie and TV sets.

To get good at this hands-on career, you have to hustle. Network everywhere you go and display your skills online. Social media is your biggest asset in marketing your services.

8. Restaurant Manager

You can be in charge of running a busy restaurant without much more than a high school diploma. Restaurant managers often start from the bottom and work their way up.

Consider getting a job as a server or cook. Show your skills and commitment to the business. Eventually, you could find yourself running the place.

Managing a restaurant is a taxing job. You're on your feet, talking to customers, and managing staff. The hours can be long and the work stressful, but also very rewarding.

9. Computer Repair Technician

If you're good at building computers, consider being a computer repair technician. You don't need higher education, only great skills, and training. Problem-solving is also a crucial skill to have.

Some technicians work at a repair shop to gain experience. From there you can work for yourself or move up in the company. Both are great options for building a long career.

10. Casino Dealer

Working in a casino is a fun and exciting job. The hustle and bustle of people winning around you is exhilarating. But, it's also intense when you have difficult people sitting at your table.

To be a casino dealer, you need an extensive understanding of the games. You can learn this online and practice with your friends. Also, you need to understand the rules and policies of the casino.

One night, you could be your table's best friend. The next you're the cause of their loss. You always need to be professional and ethical to be successful.

Want More Ideas of Hands-on Jobs?

Desk jobs aren't for everyone. If you prefer working with your hands and learning new things, consider one of the jobs above.

But, there are more jobs that don't need a degree than the ones on this list. For even more ideas of hands-on jobs and how to land them, check out the National Jobs Blog.