Discover Career Opportunities

Office to Hands-On: Switch Your Career Seamlessly!

manual labor

We may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. For more information, please see our disclosure policy.

Working in an office isn’t for everyone. You might be able to tolerate it, but you’re thinking that you don’t want to be stuck at a desk for your whole working life. Office work can get you down and you might wonder whether there’s a better alternative that you’ll find more fulfilling. It’s not necessarily about chasing a passion or what job earns you more, but what you feel happier doing. It’s not uncommon to consider whether a manual job might be better for you than an office job. If it’s something you’re thinking about, there could be a few ways to make a change.

Skilled Trade Careers: Carpenters―How to Become a Carpenter and Turn Blueprints into Buildings
$27.50 $19.32

 In Skilled Trade Careers: Carpenters, 3rd through 5th graders read about what it takes to be a carpenter, including what they build, interesting tools they use, safety rules they follow, and training and education needed.

Buy on Buy on
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
06/16/2024 12:26 am GMT


  • Assess Your Interests: Begin by evaluating what type of hands-on work you enjoy. Whether it’s construction, electrical, plumbing, or another field, knowing your interests is crucial.
  • Research Required Skills: Investigate the specific skills needed for your chosen field. This can vary widely among blue-collar professions, from technical knowledge to physical abilities.
  • Obtain Necessary Education: While many blue-collar jobs don’t require a four-year degree, specialized training or certifications are often necessary. Look into trade schools, apprenticeships, and certification programs.
  • Seek Apprenticeships: Many trades offer apprenticeship programs that combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction. This is a valuable way to gain experience while earning an income.
  • Gain Work Experience: Start with entry-level positions or internships to build up practical experience in your field. Hands-on experience is invaluable in blue-collar professions.
  • Develop Soft Skills: Skills like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving are essential in any job, including blue-collar professions. Work on developing these alongside your technical abilities.
  • Stay Physically Fit: Many blue-collar jobs are physically demanding. Maintaining good physical health and fitness can be crucial for success and safety on the job.
  • Understand Safety Protocols: Safety is paramount in blue-collar professions. Familiarize yourself with industry-specific safety standards and practices.
  • Network in Your Field: Connect with professionals already working in your chosen trade. Networking can lead to job opportunities and valuable mentorships.
  • Continuously Learn: Technology and techniques in blue-collar fields evolve. Stay updated with ongoing education and training to enhance your skills and value as a worker.

Decide What You Want to Do

Before you can go any further, you need to think about what it is you want to do. You might already have something in mind. Maybe you have an existing skill or hobby that you enjoy. Or perhaps you’ve read about a career that’s attractive to you for some reason, whether it’s the work, the salary, or something else. Start by researching job opportunities and career outlooks so you can determine which path is right for you. You should look at things like job security and how easy getting a job might be.

Our Pick
The New Job Security, Revised: The 5 Best Strategies for Taking Control of Your Career
$16.00 $14.61
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
06/14/2024 06:37 pm GMT

Find a Training Program

One option you have for switching to a manual career is to find a training program. This will allow you to learn key skills and possibly gain essential certifications. There are different ways you might learn the skills you need, but you’ll need at least some hands-on experience. Look for options like the HVAC technician program from PCI, which will teach you all you need to know for entry-level positions. Make sure you have a clear idea of what’s included in any course or training program you sign up for, and what it qualifies you to do.

Start an Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships aren’t just for young people. Even if you’re not fresh out of school, you could benefit from doing an apprenticeship. When you become an apprentice, you get the chance to study and learn on the job at the same time. It’s an ideal way to learn a new profession because you’ll get in-person guidance and hands-on lessons. Apprentices typically earn less so many working adults will be wary of taking a pay cut, but you can soon start to earn a good amount in many jobs once your apprenticeship has finished.

Job Test Prep - IBEW Aptitude Test - Prep & Land Your Electrical Apprenticeship

The Electrical Aptitude Test is conducted for anyone who wants to become an electrician via apprenticeship.

Electrical Aptitude Test
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Launch Your Own Business

Being an employee isn’t the only way to start a new manual job. Another option is to start your own business. Obviously, this is best if you already have a wealth of skills and knowledge about whatever it is you want to do. For example, if you want to start a landscaping business, you should already have experience in landscaping, even if it’s as a hobby or a summer job. Some skills may also need certifying too. You might know some things about electrical systems but it doesn’t mean you can suddenly start up as an electrician.

You don’t have to be stuck in an office job if you don’t want to be. If you would prefer a manual job, your options are open.

What's next?

home popular resources subscribe search