A person in a hard hat and work gloves plugs wires into an electrical box on a construction worksite. Office jobs aren’t for everyone. There are so many other options and one of them could turn out to be the best choice for you. Non-office jobs involve both skilled and non-skilled labor. This blog shares some advantages of non-office jobs.


Five Advantages of Thinking Outside the Office

Aug 12, 2022

A person in a hard hat and work gloves plugs wires into an electrical box on a construction worksite.

Office jobs aren't for everyone. There are so many other options and one of them could turn out to be the best choice for you.

Non-office jobs involve both skilled and non-skilled labor. Some involve completing an apprenticeship program; others may require vocational training or certification; still others include on-the-job training. A few examples of non-office jobs include cooks, painters, hairdressers, welders, drivers, electricians, flight attendants, emergency responders, tour guides, veterinary technicians, custodians and hundreds more. Some industries are growing fast; others are trying to backfill for workers who have moved on. Either way, thinking about a career beyond the office is worth considering.

Today we are sharing a few advantages of non-office jobs.

1. Start working without a four-year degree

A college degree isn't the only option to get the skills you need to work. Earning a college degree takes time and is expensive. Non-office jobs often require shorter training programs and education that you can obtain for a fraction of the cost of a four-year degree. Contact your State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency for help exploring training programs. They may be able to provide information, cost comparisons of programs and explore the availability of financial assistance. VR agencies are available in every state and provide a variety of services to help people with disabilities return to work or work for the first time. These may include intensive education, rehabilitation, career counseling and job placement assistance.

2. Gain experience that can lead to more advanced positions

Maybe you have goals toward a job that's more advanced and requires more experience. An entry-level job in that industry is a great place to start. You'll get on-the-job experience and learn more about what specific path you'd like to take.

Here's an example: if you aspire to be a head chef in a large restaurant or banquet venue, you can start off in a small local restaurant. Many top chefs began in a local fast-food restaurant or small bakery. You'll learn the basics and get more experience as you go. Working in a commercial kitchen can teach you not only about food preparation, but about the processes involved in that environment, all of which can lead you to a more advanced role.

3. Learn while you earn with apprenticeships

Apprenticeship programs allow you to get paid while you gain work experience, classroom instruction and credentials that employers like to see. You can get hands-on experience that leads to future employment. An apprenticeship is a great option, especially if you are just starting your employment journey or switching to a new field.

An apprenticeship is a real job. It allows you to learn and earn at the same time. Apprenticeships are available in fields such as manufacturing, health care, IT, hospitality and more. According to Apprenticeship.gov, 92% of apprentices retain employment after completing an apprenticeship. There is much more information on Apprenticeship.gov, including how to apply for an apprenticeship and current programs available. Our blog post, Why Should I Consider an Apprenticeship? contains even more information.

4. Start working sooner

Non-office jobs often have a shorter application process that starts your journey to financial independence more quickly. Many employers have big signs and announcements at their locations asking people to come in for on-the-spot interviews. Online job boards are frequently updated with jobs that need to be filled immediately. For example, CareerOnestop.org has posted jobs in various industries that need applicants. Visit our Find a Job page for an extensive list of job boards to help with your search.

5. Earn good wages

There are good paying non-office jobs and career paths. The opportunity to earn a good living doesn't only exist in office jobs. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many non-office jobs are listed among the industries with the fastest growing wages. Fields included are agriculture, transit and ground transportation, amusement and recreation, and motor vehicle manufacturing. There are many more to choose from that may be of interest to you.

Learn More

Discovering Blue-Collar Occupations may help you determine a non-office field you are suited for and a training path.

Whatever job path you choose, taking the first step is key and Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program is here to help! The Ticket Program supports career development for Social Security disability beneficiaries ages 18 through 64 who want to work. The Ticket Program is free and voluntary and helps people with disabilities progress toward financial independence.

To learn more about the Ticket Program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket Program Find Help tool.

There are many different roads to financial independence and Ticket Program service providers can assist you with the one you choose.

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If you're interested in receiving text messages from the Ticket Program, please text TICKET to 1-571-489-5292. Standard messaging rates may apply. We'll send updates from our blog, identify steps on the path to employment and more. We hope you'll find our texts helpful, but you can opt out at any time.

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