Escape The Office: Where To Go To Work With Your Hands

Millennial Magazine- Work with your hands

Not everyone is built for a 9-to-5 in an office. These cloistered workspaces and the service industries inhabiting them are so large that more people are assuming that they have to pursue a career in admin, in management, in finance, in marketing and in other desk roles just in order to have a job. But not only is it okay to work with your hands above all else, it’s profitable. We need skilled workers with real trades more than ever as fewer people step into those roles. Here’s what they are, how you get into them, and what you might need to get started.

Every household needs one

It’s not considered the most glamorous of careers, but the simple fact is that we all need plumbers and, as it stands, we don’t have enough. If a little mess and the risk of getting wet from time to time doesn’t scare you, then plumbing could be an incredibly lucrative career path. General plumbing is profitable enough, but if you go into a niche such as drainage, installation, or eco-friendly plumbing, you could stand to corner a market entirely in your area. Beyond training and apprenticeship, you need to build links with suppliers of toolkits such as

Light it up

Of course, the other utility that the vast majority of households have need of is the electrics. As an electrician, you work with your hands too- with homeowners, fixing faulty issues, with property developers or inspectors, or with construction teams and contractors, outfitting new electrics systems entirely. It’s a highly technical job and it does take a lot of training, more than most other tradesman industries. But it also tends to pay more than other tradesperson roles, as well. Regardless of which market you work in (or if you work in all three examples named), you can specialize this further into a niche as well. You might specialize in wiring security cameras, in-floor heating, electrical maintenance, or electrics for high-end homes and smart homes. A niche in a trade helps you win more referrals and establish a more distinct brand. It doesn’t stop you from getting work with all the other skills you know.

Out on the farm

In the past, the majority worked in agriculture to feed the minority. Now, it’s the other way around. With major farming conglomerates, it’s easy for many to forget that there’s a real career path there. However, running your own farm is becoming somewhat harder to find a profit in. Instead, it might be more profitable learning to use, maintain, and improve farm technology as a service to the bigger services out there or to smaller farmers that can’t invest all that time and money themselves. Though the number of people farming might have grown smaller in the past century, the amount of farmland hasn’t shrunk. There’s still plenty of work to be done and thus plenty of potential to work with your hands.

Millennial Magazine- Work with your hands

The modern blacksmiths

A lot of work using metal is done in automated manufacturing plants, nowadays. Pieces are prefabricated with machines and set out to be applied as is. You might not be producing in bulk in metalworking, but your future might lie in providing your talents to very specific needs. Metalworking is very commonly needed in construction and engineering roles, for one. But if you prefer working more independently, then you could work as a contractor that builds things like metal fences, gates, partitions, and gates for home and business owners. Beyond the skills, it’s important to find suppliers like Metal can be expensive if not bought from the right sources, and developing close relationships with suppliers, especially those that can provide used metal, can make your business much more profitable.

The hands-on approach

Perhaps you don’t want to work with machines, with raw materials, or with household utilities. Perhaps you want to work with people. If you’re a people person who has a talent with their hands, then you might apply them directly by learning to become a massage therapist. After getting your qualification from places like, you can go on to apply your skills in all sorts of environments. You can work as a massage therapist in a spa or parlor; you can work in hospitals as part of a physiotherapy team; you can work with sports trainers to help condition athletes. There are a lot of ways to branch out from the basics of massage therapy and in fitness and specialized health, demand is causing earnings to soar, too.

Stylin’ it

Fashion is always a profitable industry. You don’t necessarily have to spend all your days stitching dresses by hand to make a living in that ultra-competitive world. If you have a touch of style and attention to detail, then working as a hairstylist could help you find a career that lasts you a lifetime. Working in your local salon can be comfortable enough, but if you’re able to prove yourself, working in some of the fashion capitals of the world and becoming a bespoke stylist working independently can be incredibly lucrative.

Millennial Magazine- Work with your hands

Art, in the flesh

Tattoos are a growing market, as well. Art is a hard world to make a living in, even if you have the talent. Tattoo artists might stand alone in the fact that they have a large enough consumer base that they can reliably find a living so long as they’re good enough. Whether you join a team or you buy supplies from places like and start one of your own, you could genuinely make a living from designing and applying gorgeous pieces of art. It’s incredibly rewarding to spend so much time crafting a design that has real significance to those who wear them on their body, too, and it’s a great job to hear lots of interesting stories from clients.

Ditch the cubical- work with your hands

If you like to work with your hands and you love working with them, you could learn a craft that challenges you and keeps you well paid for the rest of your days. Which talent would be the path to your future?

What do you think?

Written by Millennial Staff

MiLLENNiAL is a lifestyle magazine profiling those who are shaping the world we experience. From business innovation and career strategy to sustainable health and cultural disruptors, MiLLENNiAL shines the light on the young change makers of the world.

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