Best Paying Hands-On Jobs

Updated on February 13, 2024

Hands-on jobs offer the opportunity to engage directly with your work, often providing a tangible outcome that’s both rewarding and satisfying. For those who prefer active engagement over desk-bound roles, here are some of the top-paying hands-on careers across various industries.

Police Officer

  • Average Salary: $40,420 to $105,540
  • Job Description: Police officers enforce laws, protect the public, and ensure community safety through patrols, investigations, and crime prevention strategies.
  • Responsibilities: Patrolling assigned areas, responding to emergencies, conducting investigations, and engaging in community policing.
  • Required Education: Post-secondary certificate and police academy training​​​​.

Mechanical Engineering Technician

  • Average Salary: $37,670 to $95,300
  • Job Description: These technicians assist mechanical engineers in designing, developing, and testing various mechanical devices.
  • Responsibilities: Building prototypes, performing tests, and analyzing data to improve mechanical designs.
  • Required Education: Post-secondary certificate or diploma​​.


  • Average Salary: $37,020 to $99,800
  • Job Description: Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems.
  • Responsibilities: Reading blueprints, installing wiring and lighting, and troubleshooting electrical issues.
  • Required Education: Post-secondary certificate and apprenticeship​​.

HVAC Technician

  • Average Salary: $34,320 to $78,210
  • Job Description: HVAC technicians work on heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems to ensure they operate efficiently.
  • Responsibilities: Installing and maintaining HVAC systems, diagnosing problems, and performing repairs.
  • Required Education: Post-secondary certificate​​.

Elevator Installer and Repairer

  • Average Salary: $98,000
  • Job Description: These professionals install, repair, and maintain elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and other lifts.
  • Responsibilities: Assembling elevator cars, replacing components, and ensuring compliance with safety regulations.
  • Required Education: Apprenticeship and the ability to lift heavy weights​​.

Aircraft Mechanic

  • Average Salary: $65,000
  • Job Description: Aircraft mechanics maintain and repair the mechanical and avionics equipment of airplanes and helicopters.
  • Responsibilities: Inspecting aircraft, diagnosing issues, and repairing or replacing defective parts.
  • Required Education: Certification by the Federal Aviation Administration​​.

Wind Turbine Technician

  • Average Salary: $56,000
  • Job Description: These technicians install, maintain, and repair wind turbines, ensuring their efficient operation.
  • Responsibilities: Climbing turbines, troubleshooting issues, and performing maintenance tasks.
  • Required Education: Technical training or certification program​​​​.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

  • Average Salary: Not provided
  • Job Description: Sonographers use ultrasound equipment to create images of internal body structures for medical diagnosis.
  • Responsibilities: Operating ultrasound equipment, analyzing images, and collaborating with healthcare professionals.
  • Required Education: Associate degree or certificate in diagnostic medical sonography​​.

Sheet Metal Worker

  • Average Salary: Not provided
  • Job Description: These workers fabricate, install, and repair sheet metal products used in various applications.
  • Responsibilities: Measuring and cutting metal, welding pieces, and installing metal structures.
  • Required Education: Apprenticeship or on-the-job training​​.


  • Average Salary: $48,000
  • Job Description: Carpenters construct, repair, and install building frameworks and structures made from wood and other materials.
  • Responsibilities: Measuring, cutting, and assembling wood components, and ensuring structures are level and secure.
  • Required Education: Apprenticeship or vocational training​​​​.

Final Thoughts

Hands-on jobs not only offer the satisfaction of tangible results but also competitive salaries and the opportunity for career growth. Whether your interests lie in law enforcement, engineering, construction, or healthcare, there’s a high-paying hands-on job that can suit your skills and passions.


I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 100,000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn more about finance, immigration, and more!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

Get the Checklist