10 active jobs that will keep you moving all day
Sedentary behavior has been linked to an increased risk of health problems, but the jobs listed below will help you stay active at work.
Active jobs are not only good for your wallet, they're also good for your body. For years, we’ve been told that the more sedentary your job, the worse it is for your health as it can increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes, among other serious conditions. So say a handful of studies made famous by Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative. (He’s also the guy who invented the treadmill desk… go figure!).
But a study found that such sedentary behavior might also be bad for your brain, particularly the region that is critical to learning and memory. Unfortunately, it’s getting harder to avoid jobs that don’t involve plopping in front of a computer monitor for a large portion of the day—unless you opt for jobs that keeps you active.
Whether you’re the type of person that fidgets habitually or are just looking to avoid being glued to a keyboard all day long, Monster found some physical jobs that can transform you from a cubicle potato into a fit professional.
Diagnostic medical sonographer
What you’d do: Health care tends to be an overall active career choice, as plenty of positions require you to go from room to room, patient to patient, and machine to machine. These particular professionals spend their days prepping patients and using high-tech equipment to perform diagnostic exams using ultrasound technology. Often, their job is fast-paced, set in busy medical offices or hospitals.
What you’d need: Employers usually require the completion of a formal educational program in sonography, from a one-year certificate to a four-year bachelor’s degree. Check out this sample resume for a radiologic technologist.
Popular areas hiring: New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; Miami; Philadelphia
What you’d make: $68,750 per year
Find diagnostic medical sonographer jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: While there might be the occasional office hours, event planners are mostly on the go, working onsite at convention centers, traveling to meetings, or scoping out potential locations for their next event.
What you’d need: Many in this field have a bachelor’s degree in a related area like hotel management. After time working in the industry, it could add some professional clout to earn the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential. Check out this sample resume for an event coordinator.
Popular areas hiring: New York City; Los Angeles; Washington DC; Chicago; San Francisco
What you’d make: $50,600 per year
Find event planner jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: Installing heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems in buildings is highly skilled physical work, requiring the use of specialized tools. Not to mention, HVAC installers are experts at crouching, bending, reaching, and squeezing their way into tight spaces.
What you’d need: HVAC installers typically pursue training at a trade school in programs that lead to either a certificate or associate degree. Check out this sample resume for an HVAC installer.
Popular areas hiring: New York City; Los Angeles; Miami; Philadelphia; Houston
What you’d make: $48,730 per year
Find HVAC installer jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: Ironworkers spend their days climbing, erecting, building, lifting, and reinforcing—all from high atop buildings, bridges, and other structures. No rest for the weary on this job!
What you’d need: Ironwork is a skilled trade that requires a three- or four-year apprenticeship to learn how to weld, read blueprints, and handle the precision tools needed to construct metal frameworks.
Popular areas hiring: New York City; Houston; Chicago; Los Angeles; Boston
What you’d make: $53,650 per year
Find ironworker jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: Landscapers spend their time in the great outdoors beautifying gardens and grounds for homeowners, businesses, and public places. They plant shrubs, trim bushes, fertilize grass, and mulch.
What you’d need: Depending on the type of landscaping job, some employers may require landscape design, horticulture, or arboriculture certifications or training.
Popular areas hiring: New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; Dallas; Miami
What you’d make: $30,440 per year
Find landscaper jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: Massage therapists provide muscle and soft tissue treatments to help relieve pain, improve wellness, and provide relaxation for their clients. In other words, in this active job, the only person relaxing is the one lying on the table.
What you’d need: Most states require massage therapists to obtain a license to practice, with requirements ranging from 500 to 1000 hours of study. Check out this sample resume for a massage therapist.
Popular areas hiring: New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; Denver; Seattle
What you’d make: $42,820 per year
Find massage therapist jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: These workers are the "parts and labor" of industry. This physically active job requires you to process incoming shipments, verify shipments with purchase orders, and inspect materials for damage, quantity, etc. You'd also fulfill orders, prepare outgoing shipments, ensure the accuracy of inventory, unload and load shipments from delivery trucks, as well as possibly transport materials to proper locations using a forklift.
What you’d need: No formal education is needed, but some employers may require a GED or high school diploma.
Popular areas hiring: Austin, TX; Harrisburg, PA; Madera, CA; Sugar Land, TX; Ontario, CA
What you’d make: $28,710 per year
Find material handler jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: There are all sorts of photographers, from portrait photographers to photojournalists to those specializing in nature shoots. What’s common among them all is that they need to be in the right place at the right time to capture the perfect shot, and that can’t happen if you’re desk-bound.
What you’d need: Many skilled photographers take courses to improve their skills, but it’s not necessarily a requirement. Check out a sample resume for a photographer.
Popular areas hiring: New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; Atlanta; Orlando
What you’d make: $36,280 per year
Find photographer jobs on Monster.
Real estate agent
What you’d do: While some online research and paperwork is part of the job, top real estate agents spend most of their time out in their neighborhoods checking out properties, soliciting business, showing houses, and meeting with clients.
What you’d need: After working under senior agents, most real estate professionals who wish to advance in the field take state-accredited courses to become licensed. Check out a sample resume for a real estate professional.
Popular areas hiring: Atlanta; Washington DC; Miami; Seattle; New York City
What you’d make: $50,730 per year
Find real estate agent jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: Those who work retail know that it’s a physically demanding job. Whether you’re working for a department store, clothing shop, or furniture store, the job is all about working the floor, assisting customers, keeping shelves well-stocked, and handling the cash register.
What you’d need: Though no formal education is required, some on-the-job training is typical. Check out a sample resume for a retail worker.
Popular areas hiring: New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; Dallas; Miami
What you’d make: $25,440 per year
Find retail sales jobs on Monster.
Make your move
If your daily workday activity is limited to the time you spend traveling to and from the bathroom, office kitchen, or elevator lobby, chances are you’d like to be moving more—maybe even to a new job that allows for more body and mind stimulation. Need some help with that? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of active jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Don’t let your career stagnate. Get a move on!