Career Paths for Teens Who Don’t Want to Sit at a Desk

By Kate Kelly
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Some teens might not want a job that puts them behind a desk all day. Lot of young adults are better suited to careers that involve more activity, variety, or energy. Here are a few paths to consider.

Highly Interactive Professions

Health-care provider: Health-care jobs are all about one-on-one interaction. And while providers have protocols to follow, they still approach each patient individually.

Hospitality worker: Hotels tend to be positive environments. Whether working behind the scenes or directly with guests, employees are generally part of a team.

Retail worker: Helping to satisfy customer needs can be rewarding to teens with strong people skills. Plus, working a busy floor involves a lot of movement.

Fast-Paced Professions

Salesperson: Typically in sales, the more you sell the more you earn. It may be a good fit for young adults who like to talk, have good people skills, and enjoy working at a fast pace.

Stock/commodities trader: Like high-intensity environments? The commotion on the trading room floor and the need to quickly change gears might be a good fit.

Entrepreneur: Owning a business involves multitasking and taking risks. That can be a good match for teens who thrive on variety and excitement.

Task-Oriented Professions

Computer technician: Moving from client to client solving tech problems means there’s always something new to do. But when it’s done, it’s done.

Culinary artist: Food service jobs can be both task-oriented and creative. They often involve changes in settings, which adds variety.

Mechanic : Teens who like working with their hands and are good problem solvers can find fixing things highly absorbing.

Action-Oriented Professions

Member of the military : The work is intense and physically demanding. And it provides immediate feedback and clear directions—a plus for some teens.

Police officer, fire fighter, EMT : These jobs offer built-in excitement. They can be a good choice for high-energy teens who thrive on unpredictability.

Construction worker : Teens who love doing hands-on activities for fun may really enjoy building things for a living.

Key Takeaways

About the Author

About the Author

Kate Kelly 

has been writing and editing for more than 20 years, with a focus on parenting.

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Jim Rein, MA 

has lectured on postsecondary options and summer programs for kids and young adults with learning and thinking differences.

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