4 Careers That Let You Work With Your Hands

Choosing a career can be daunting. Your career affects how much money you earn and whether you have a lot of professional opportunities. There are a multitude of career options out there, from healthcare to agriculture, education, and more. Choosing a field affects the focus of your work. Your career choice also shapes your workdays, affects who you work with, and determines what type of duties you perform.

Suppose you enjoy working with your hands. This preference could influence your career preferences and help you choose a career path. Continue reading to explore four careers that involve working with your hands.

1. Auto Mechanics

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Auto mechanics are skilled installation, repair, and maintenance experts. Auto mechanics use their skills to repair vehicles. They also perform maintenance to prevent vehicles from breaking down.

There are several types of auto mechanics. Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians work with construction vehicles, railroad vehicles, and farm equipment, such as tractors. Automotive service technicians and mechanics focus on passenger vehicles, such as cars, trucks, and vans. Diesel service technicians and mechanics repair and maintain vehicles with diesel engines, including trucks and buses.

Employers favor applicants who’ve completed a postsecondary automotive and diesel technology program when hiring automotive and diesel mechanics. You must earn 60 credits to earn an association of occupational studies (AOS) degree. The typical program length is 15 months and covers performance fundamentals, engine repair, diesel fuel systems, advanced electronic systems, and climate control. Graduates acquire the technical skills needed to fix breaks, air conditioning and heating units, transmissions, engines, steering systems, and electronic systems.

Career opportunities for those with an AOS in automotive and diesel technology include becoming an auto parts manager, diesel technician, hybrid drive technician, and heavy-duty braking specialist.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a $50,200 median annual income for diesel service technicians and mechanics as of May 2020. The BLS reports the May 2020 median annual income for auto service technicians and mechanics was $44,050.

2. Sign Language Interpreters

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Sign language interpreters convert spoken communications to sign language. They ensure people who are deaf or hard of hearing receive the correct information. Sign language interpreters may work for the government and translate political speeches or announcements into sign language. For example, when a governor addresses the citizens in their state, a sign language interpreter signs their speech while they’re speaking.

Sign language interpreters must be fluent in sign language. They usually need a bachelors degree to work as an interpreter. The BLS reports that interpreters and translators took home median annual incomes of $52,300 in May 2020. Government careers paid the highest median annual salaries, with government interpreters and translators earning median incomes of $59,390. Demand for interpreters and translators is strong, and these professionals should enjoy a 20 percent job growth rate between 2019 and 2029.

3. Bakers

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Bakers measure ingredients. They follow recipes and combine those ingredients per the recipe. The ingredients are mixed and placed on baking sheets or in pans or molds. The pans, molds, or baking sheets are placed in preheated ovens until they’re baked.

Bakers work in bakeries, grocery stores, and restaurants. The BLS reports that bakers should see a five percent job growth rate between 2019 and 2029. The median annual income for bakers was $29,400 as of May 2020. Bakers can learn through on-the-job training, although they may also complete a postsecondary certificate program.

4. Solar Photovoltaic Installers

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Anyone looking for a career involving working with their hands with a high job growth rate will want to consider becoming a solar photovoltaic installer. The BLS projects that solar photovoltaic installers should see a 51 percent job growth rate from 2019 to 2029. Demand for solar energy is fueling the demand for solar photovoltaic installers. These installers may learn through on-the-job training, or they may complete a postsecondary certificate program.

Solar photovoltaic installers install solar panels and solar power systems. They also perform maintenance on solar photovoltaic systems. The median annual income for solar photovoltaic installers was $46,470 as of May 2020, per the BLS.

There are career opportunities in a range of industries that involve working with your hands. You could opt to enter the maintenance and repair field by becoming an auto mechanic. You could become a sign language interpreter if you’re interested in media and communications. Bakers are production professionals who work with their hands, while solar photovoltaic installers enjoy a hands-on career in the construction industry.