Best Careers for People Who Like Hands-On Work

Stan T.

Are you someone who likes work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions? You prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Often people with this personality type do not like careers that involve paperwork or working closely with others. You are practical, technical and harmonious. You like practical and hands-on work You prefer learning by doing instead of studying You like working with things rather than people You dislike paperwork and prefer working alone If the above description fits your personality, here are some of the best careers that suit your Builder personality type.

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  1. Transportation Engineers
  2. What they do

    They develop plans for surface transportation projects, according to established engineering standards and state or federal construction policy. Prepare designs, specifications, or estimates for transportation facilities. Plan modifications of existing streets, highways, or freeways to improve traffic flow.

    • Check construction plans, design calculations, or cost estimations to ensure completeness, accuracy, or conformity to engineering standards or practices.
    • Design or prepare plans for new transportation systems or parts of systems, such as airports, commuter trains, highways, streets, bridges, drainage structures, or roadway lighting.
    • Confer with contractors, utility companies, or government agencies to discuss plans, specifications, or work schedules.
    • Design or engineer drainage, erosion, or sedimentation control systems for transportation projects.

    How much they make

    $93720

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  3. Civil Engineers
  4. What they do

    They perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, and water and sewage systems.

    • Inspect project sites to monitor progress and ensure conformance to design specifications and safety or sanitation standards.
    • Design or engineer systems to efficiently dispose of chemical, biological, or other toxic wastes.
    • Compute load and grade requirements, water flow rates, or material stress factors to determine design specifications.
    • Provide technical advice to industrial or managerial personnel regarding design, construction, program modifications, or structural repairs.

    How much they make

    $93720

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  5. Automotive Engineers
  6. What they do

    They develop new or improved designs for vehicle structural members, engines, transmissions, or other vehicle systems, using computer-assisted design technology. Direct building, modification, or testing of vehicle or components.

    • Conduct or direct system-level automotive testing.
    • Conduct automotive design reviews.
    • Develop engineering specifications or cost estimates for automotive design concepts.
    • Provide technical direction to other engineers or engineering support personnel.

    How much they make

    $92800

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  7. Ship Pilots
  8. What they do

    They command ships to steer them into and out of harbors, estuaries, straits, or sounds, or on rivers, lakes, or bays. Must be licensed by U.S. Coast Guard with limitations indicating class and tonnage of vessels for which license is valid and route and waters that may be piloted.

    • Direct courses and speeds of ships, based on specialized knowledge of local winds, weather, water depths, tides, currents, and hazards.
    • Steer ships into or out of berths, or signal tugboat captains to berth or unberth ships.
    • Set ships' courses to avoid reefs, outlying shoals, or other hazards, using navigational aids, such as lighthouses or buoys.
    • Prevent ships under navigational control from engaging in unsafe operations.

    How much they make

    $82380

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  9. Farm and Ranch Managers
  10. What they do

    They plan, direct, or coordinate the management or operation of farms, ranches, greenhouses, aquacultural operations, nurseries, timber tracts, or other agricultural establishments. May hire, train, or supervise farm workers or contract for services to carry out the day-to-day activities of the managed operation. May engage in or supervise planting, cultivating, harvesting, financial, or marketing activities.

    • Operate or oversee the operations of dairy farms that produce bulk milk.
    • Inspect orchards or fields to determine crop maturity or condition or to detect disease or insect infestation.
    • Direct crop production operations, such as planning, tilling, planting, fertilizing, cultivating, spraying, or harvesting.
    • Monitor activities, such as irrigation, chemical application, harvesting, milking, breeding, or grading, to ensure adherence to safety regulations or standards.

    How much they make

    $79940

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  11. Ship Engineers
  12. What they do

    They supervise and coordinate activities of crew engaged in operating and maintaining engines, boilers, deck machinery, and electrical, sanitary, and refrigeration equipment aboard ship.

    • Start engines to propel ships, and regulate engines and power transmissions to control speeds of ships, according to directions from captains or bridge computers.
    • Maintain or repair engines, electric motors, pumps, winches, or other mechanical or electrical equipment, or assist other crew members with maintenance or repair duties.
    • Perform or participate in emergency drills, as required.
    • Monitor engine, machinery, or equipment indicators when vessels are underway, and report abnormalities to appropriate shipboard staff.

    How much they make

    $75710

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  13. Aviation Inspectors
  14. What they do

    They inspect aircraft, maintenance procedures, air navigational aids, air traffic controls, and communications equipment to ensure conformance with Federal safety regulations.

    • Approve or deny issuance of certificates of airworthiness.
    • Conduct flight test programs to test equipment, instruments, and systems under a variety of conditions, using both manual and automatic controls.
    • Inspect work of aircraft mechanics performing maintenance, modification, or repair and overhaul of aircraft and aircraft mechanical systems to ensure adherence to standards and procedures.
    • Examine aircraft access plates and doors for security.

    How much they make

    $75330

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  15. Aerospace Engineering Technicians
  16. What they do

    They operate, install, calibrate, and maintain integrated computer/communications systems, consoles, simulators, and other data acquisition, test, and measurement instruments and equipment, which are used to launch, track, position, and evaluate air and space vehicles. May record and interpret test data.

    • Test aircraft systems under simulated operational conditions, performing systems readiness tests and pre- and post-operational checkouts, to establish design or fabrication parameters.
    • Identify required data, data acquisition plans, and test parameters, setting up equipment to conform to these specifications.
    • Inspect, diagnose, maintain, and operate test setups and equipment to detect malfunctions.
    • Confer with engineering personnel regarding details and implications of test procedures and results.

    How much they make

    $68970

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  17. Surveyors
  18. What they do

    They make exact measurements and determine property boundaries. Provide data relevant to the shape, contour, gravitation, location, elevation, or dimension of land or land features on or near the earth's surface for engineering, mapmaking, mining, land evaluation, construction, and other purposes.

    • Verify the accuracy of survey data, including measurements and calculations conducted at survey sites.
    • Direct or conduct surveys to establish legal boundaries for properties, based on legal deeds and titles.
    • Prepare or supervise preparation of all data, charts, plots, maps, records, and documents related to surveys.
    • Prepare and maintain sketches, maps, reports, and legal descriptions of surveys to describe, certify, and assume liability for work performed.

    How much they make

    $66440

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  19. Photonics Technicians
  20. What they do

    They build, install, test, or maintain optical or fiber optic equipment, such as lasers, lenses, or mirrors, using spectrometers, interferometers, or related equipment.

    • Maintain clean working environments, according to clean room standards.
    • Compute or record photonic test data.
    • Adjust or maintain equipment, such as lasers, laser systems, microscopes, oscilloscopes, pulse generators, power meters, beam analyzers, or energy measurement devices.
    • Set up or operate assembly or processing equipment, such as lasers, cameras, die bonders, wire bonders, dispensers, reflow ovens, soldering irons, die shears, wire pull testers, temperature or humidity chambers, or optical spectrum analyzers.

    How much they make

    $65720

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  21. Aircraft Mechanics
  22. What they do

    They diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Includes helicopter and aircraft engine specialists.

    • Examine and inspect aircraft components, including landing gear, hydraulic systems, and deicers to locate cracks, breaks, leaks, or other problems.
    • Conduct routine and special inspections as required by regulations.
    • Inspect completed work to certify that maintenance meets standards and that aircraft are ready for operation.
    • Read and interpret maintenance manuals, service bulletins, and other specifications to determine the feasibility and method of repairing or replacing malfunctioning or damaged components.

    How much they make

    $65230

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  23. Electrical Engineering Technicians
  24. What they do

    They test or modify developmental or operational electrical machinery or electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants or laboratories. Usually work under direction of engineers or technologists.

    • Assemble electrical systems or prototypes, using hand tools or measuring instruments.
    • Build, calibrate, maintain, troubleshoot, or repair electrical instruments or testing equipment.
    • Inspect electrical project work for quality control and assurance.
    • Identify solutions to on-site technical design problems involving electrical systems equipment.

    How much they make

    $65050

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  25. Sound Engineering Technicians
  26. What they do

    They operate machines and equipment to record, synchronize, mix, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects in sporting arenas, theater productions, recording studios, or movie and video productions.

    • Confer with producers, performers, and others to determine and achieve the desired sound for a production, such as a musical recording or a film.
    • Prepare for recording sessions by performing such activities as selecting and setting up microphones.
    • Record speech, music, and other sounds on recording media, using recording equipment.
    • Regulate volume level and sound quality during recording sessions, using control consoles.

    How much they make

    $63500

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  27. Foresters
  28. What they do

    They manage public and private forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, water quality, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine optimal harvesting schedules.

    • Procure timber from private landowners.
    • Monitor contract compliance and results of forestry activities to assure adherence to government regulations.
    • Plan and supervise forestry projects, such as determining the type, number and placement of trees to be planted, managing tree nurseries, thinning forest and monitoring growth of new seedlings.
    • Negotiate terms and conditions of agreements and contracts for forest harvesting, forest management and leasing of forest lands.

    How much they make

    $63150

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  29. Construction and Building Inspectors
  30. What they do

    They inspect structures using engineering skills to determine structural soundness and compliance with specifications, building codes, and other regulations. Inspections may be general in nature or may be limited to a specific area, such as electrical systems or plumbing.

    • Inspect bridges, dams, highways, buildings, wiring, plumbing, electrical circuits, sewers, heating systems, or foundations during and after construction for structural quality, general safety, or conformance to specifications and codes.
    • Inspect facilities or installations to determine their environmental impact.
    • Issue permits for construction, relocation, demolition, or occupancy.
    • Monitor installation of plumbing, wiring, equipment, or appliances to ensure that installation is performed properly and is in compliance with applicable regulations.

    How much they make

    $63150

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  31. Fish and Game Wardens
  32. What they do

    They patrol assigned area to prevent fish and game law violations. Investigate reports of damage to crops or property by wildlife. Compile biological data.

    • Patrol assigned areas by car, boat, airplane, horse, or on foot to enforce game, fish, or boating laws or to manage wildlife programs, lakes, or land.
    • Compile and present evidence for court actions.
    • Investigate hunting accidents or reports of fish or game law violations.
    • Protect and preserve native wildlife, plants, or ecosystems.

    How much they make

    $59260

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  33. Mechanical Drafters
  34. What they do

    They prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, fastening methods, and other engineering information.

    • Develop detailed design drawings and specifications for mechanical equipment, dies, tools, and controls, using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment.
    • Produce three-dimensional models, using computer-aided design (CAD) software.
    • Lay out and draw schematic, orthographic, or angle views to depict functional relationships of components, assemblies, systems, and machines.
    • Modify and revise designs to correct operating deficiencies or to reduce production problems.

    How much they make

    $59010

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  35. Automotive Engineering Technicians
  36. What they do

    They assist engineers in determining the practicality of proposed product design changes and plan and carry out tests on experimental test devices or equipment for performance, durability, or efficiency.

    • Document test results, using cameras, spreadsheets, documents, or other tools.
    • Set up mechanical, hydraulic, or electric test equipment in accordance with engineering specifications, standards, or test procedures.
    • Read and interpret blueprints, schematics, work specifications, drawings, or charts.
    • Inspect or test parts to determine nature or cause of defects or malfunctions.

    How much they make

    $58240

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  37. Telecom Equipment Technicians
  38. What they do

    They install, set-up, rearrange, or remove switching, distribution, routing, and dialing equipment used in central offices or headends. Service or repair telephone, cable television, Internet, and other communications equipment on customers' property. May install communications equipment or communications wiring in buildings.

    • Demonstrate equipment to customers and explain how it is to be used, and respond to any inquiries or complaints.
    • Test circuits and components of malfunctioning telecommunications equipment to isolate sources of malfunctions, using test meters, circuit diagrams, polarity probes, and other hand tools.
    • Test repaired, newly installed, or updated equipment to ensure that it functions properly and conforms to specifications, using test equipment and observation.
    • Climb poles and ladders, use truck-mounted booms, and enter areas such as manholes and cable vaults to install, maintain, or inspect equipment.

    How much they make

    $57080

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  39. Environmental Engineering Technicians
  40. What they do

    They apply theory and principles of environmental engineering to modify, test, and operate equipment and devices used in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental problems, including waste treatment and site remediation, under the direction of engineering staff or scientist. May assist in the development of environmental remediation devices.

    • Assist in the cleanup of hazardous material spills.
    • Maintain project logbook records or computer program files.
    • Record laboratory or field data, including numerical data, test results, photographs, or summaries of visual observations.
    • Perform environmental quality work in field or office settings.

    How much they make

    $54800

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  41. Histotechnologists
  42. What they do

    They prepare histologic slides from tissue sections for microscopic examination and diagnosis by pathologists. May assist in research studies.

    • Stain tissue specimens with dyes or other chemicals to make cell details visible under microscopes.
    • Cut sections of body tissues for microscopic examination, using microtomes.
    • Mount tissue specimens on glass slides.
    • Embed tissue specimens into paraffin wax blocks or infiltrate tissue specimens with wax.

    How much they make

    $53880

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  43. Forest Firefighters
  44. What they do

    They control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

    • Rescue fire victims, and administer emergency medical aid.
    • Maintain contact with fire dispatchers at all times to notify them of the need for additional firefighters and supplies, or to detail any difficulties encountered.
    • Collaborate with other firefighters as a member of a firefighting crew.
    • Patrol burned areas after fires to locate and eliminate hot spots that may restart fires.

    How much they make

    $53240

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  45. Correctional Officers
  46. What they do

    They guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institutions in accordance with established regulations and procedures. May guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, prison, or other point. Includes deputy sheriffs and police who spend the majority of their time guarding prisoners in correctional institutions.

    • Conduct head counts to ensure that each prisoner is present.
    • Inspect conditions of locks, window bars, grills, doors, and gates at correctional facilities to ensure security and help prevent escapes.
    • Monitor conduct of prisoners in housing unit, or during work or recreational activities, according to established policies, regulations, and procedures, to prevent escape or violence.
    • Search prisoners and vehicles and conduct shakedowns of cells for valuables and contraband, such as weapons or drugs.

    How much they make

    $49300

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  47. Audio and Video Equipment Technicians
  48. What they do

    They set up, or set up and operate audio and video equipment including microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, recording equipment, connecting wires and cables, sound and mixing boards, and related electronic equipment for concerts, sports events, meetings and conventions, presentations, and news conferences. May also set up and operate associated spotlights and other custom lighting systems.

    • Notify supervisors when major equipment repairs are needed.
    • Diagnose and resolve media system problems.
    • Direct and coordinate activities of assistants and other personnel during production.
    • Compress, digitize, duplicate, and store audio and video data.

    How much they make

    $48940

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  49. Museum Technicians and Conservators
  50. What they do

    They restore, maintain, or prepare objects in museum collections for storage, research, or exhibit. May work with specimens such as fossils, skeletal parts, or botanicals; or artifacts, textiles, or art. May identify and record objects or install and arrange them in exhibits. Includes book or document conservators.

    • Install, arrange, assemble, and prepare artifacts for exhibition, ensuring the artifacts' safety, reporting their status and condition, and identifying and correcting any problems with the set up.
    • Repair, restore, and reassemble artifacts, designing and fabricating missing or broken parts, to restore them to their original appearance and prevent deterioration.
    • Classify and assign registration numbers to artifacts and supervise inventory control.
    • Study object documentation or conduct standard chemical and physical tests to ascertain the object's age, composition, original appearance, need for treatment or restoration, and appropriate preservation method.

    How much they make

    $46870

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  51. Agricultural Inspectors
  52. What they do

    They inspect agricultural commodities, processing equipment, and facilities, and fish and logging operations, to ensure compliance with regulations and laws governing health, quality, and safety.

    • Set standards for the production of meat or poultry products or for food ingredients, additives, or compounds used to prepare or package products.
    • Inspect food products and processing procedures to determine whether products are safe to eat.
    • Inspect agricultural commodities or related operations, as well as fish or logging operations, for compliance with laws and regulations governing health, quality, and safety.
    • Label and seal graded products and issue official grading certificates.

    How much they make

    $45970

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  53. Endoscopy Technicians
  54. What they do

    They maintain a sterile field to provide support for physicians and nurses during endoscopy procedures. Prepare and maintain instruments and equipment. May obtain specimens.

    • Clean, disinfect, or calibrate scopes or other endoscopic instruments according to manufacturer recommendations and facility standards.
    • Prepare suites or rooms according to endoscopic procedure requirements.
    • Assist physicians or registered nurses in the conduct of endoscopic procedures.
    • Collect specimens from patients using standard medical procedures.

    How much they make

    $39110

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  55. Veterinary Technicians
  56. What they do

    They perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals. Prepare vaccines and serums for prevention of diseases. Prepare tissue samples, take blood samples, and execute laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts. Clean and sterilize instruments and materials and maintain equipment and machines. May assist a veterinarian during surgery.

    • Care for and monitor the condition of animals recovering from surgery.
    • Maintain controlled drug inventory and related log books.
    • Administer anesthesia to animals, under the direction of a veterinarian, and monitor animals' responses to anesthetics so that dosages can be adjusted.
    • Restrain animals during exams or procedures.

    How much they make

    $35560

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  57. Animal Trainers
  58. What they do

    They train animals for riding, harness, security, performance, or obedience, or assisting persons with disabilities. Accustom animals to human voice and contact; and condition animals to respond to commands. Train animals according to prescribed standards for show or competition. May train animals to carry pack loads or work as part of pack team.

    • Train horses or other equines for riding, harness, show, racing, or other work, using knowledge of breed characteristics, training methods, performance standards, and the peculiarities of each animal.
    • Cue or signal animals during performances.
    • Talk to or interact with animals to familiarize them to human voices or contact.
    • Conduct training programs to develop or maintain desired animal behaviors for competition, entertainment, obedience, security, riding, or related purposes.

    How much they make

    $35260

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  59. Vet Assistants
  60. What they do

    They feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics. Clean and disinfect cages and work areas, and sterilize laboratory and surgical equipment. May provide routine post-operative care, administer medication orally or topically, or prepare samples for laboratory examination under the supervision of veterinary or laboratory animal technologists or technicians, veterinarians, or scientists.

    • Hold or restrain animals during veterinary procedures.
    • Clean and maintain kennels, animal holding areas, examination or operating rooms, or animal loading or unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
    • Fill medication prescriptions.
    • Administer anesthetics during surgery and monitor the effects on animals.

    How much they make

    $28690

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