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

By Kate Kelly
Email Email
Chat's logo Chat's logo

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.

Did you find this helpful?

Stay Informed

Sign up for weekly emails containing helpful resources for you and your family.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Please wait...

By signing up, you acknowledge that you reside in the United States and are at least 13 years old, and agree that you've read the Terms and Conditions. Understood.org does not market to or offer services to individuals in the European Union.