Learning on the Job: Career Ideas for Hands on People

The term “career” is often associated with college degrees, however many people enjoy very lucrative careers without ever setting foot on a college campus. The truth is, if you have the right determination, you can have your dream job by learning skills in a hands-on environment. Even those who already have college degrees and are seeking a career change can follow the same pathway. Take a closer look at some areas where hands-on people can learn career-building skills and find a career.

Catering and Specialty Food Service

People who enjoy both planning and cooking may find catering to be a great opportunity to learn on the job. Start by applying for a job with an established caterer, and working at a restaurant that offers catering, or working in food service at a hotel. Working for a caterer provides an opportunity to learn how to prepare all types of foods and create memorable experiences for others. It also offers the opportunity to hone special skills like baking and presenting foods in imaginative ways.

Landscaping and Lawn Care

People who enjoy being outdoors might consider jobs in landscaping. This includes cutting grass, trimming shrubs, and planning a yard or landscape. The work can be hot during the summer, but with the number of busy families who need help keeping their lawns looking good, there is sure to be work available in the colder months as well. During the winter, the focus of lawn care can be getting soil ready for spring planting, pruning certain vegetation, and clearing out dead plants and leaves.

Landscaping contractors also work with developers, business sites, or anywhere grass, trees or other plants need maintenance and care. The local Agricultural Extension office usually offers classes that teach all types of lawn care and landscaping skills for free, or at a minimal charge. It is also possible to get a pesticide applicators license through the Extension service. This will enhance one’s ability to work independently as a landscaper.


There will always be a need for skilled carpenters. Many carpenters learn their craft by wielding a hammer alongside more experienced workers. Carpentry offers many opportunities, including framing new homes, home renovations in Courtenay, and building custom cabinets. In today’s environment of cookie-cutter homes, many people are looking for custom builders. According to a Courtenay custom home builder, a carpenter with custom building know-how will be sought after by builders who serve affluent clients.

Massage Therapy

What could be more hands on than massage therapy? Being a competent massage therapist will require some formal training to learn how to apply therapeutic massage without causing injury. People who are going through stressful times, pregnancy, or recovering from an injury, benefit from massage therapy. A massage can be relaxing and necessary for many clients, so you will have relative job security.

These are just a few of the many jobs that are hands on, and can be learned through on-the-job training. The key to being successful in developing skills, is to find people who are passionate about their work to serve as mentors for you.

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