Choosing a career path is easy for some people. They know what they want to do from a young age, their parents encourage it and push them in the right direction, and everything seems to fall into place for them. For a lot of us, it takes some trial and error. Still, taking some time to think about your personality, what sort of projects and jobs you enjoy working on, and learning about what’s out there can help point you in the right direction.

Here are some career ideas for teenagers that like working outside, with their hands, building things, and just physical work in general as opposed to sitting at a desk or serving customers.

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning

HVAC has a lot of different jobs under this umbrella that requires different certifications and levels of schooling depending on where you’re from. You can talk to local HVAC contractors to get an idea of what the career path is like and what the local job market is like.

Don’t be afraid to ask around and talk to people. Someone’s job is one thing that they’re probably pretty confident and opinionated about, so it’s really not like you have to pry the info out of anybody.


This is good, honest, hard-work. You’ll have to be a team player, and this is definitely a career path where respect is earned. You can get in great shape and earn a few bucks along the way, especially if you like to keep your head down and work hard.


Different places around the world will have their own programs in place to manage their forestry. They employ tree-planers who work long hours and are often paid for each tree they plant. Planters will go away for a few months out of the year, they’ll bust their butts and make a lot of money, and they’ll sometimes try to live off of it for the rest of the year. They’re usually pretty chill people who love nature and would rather work very hard all summer if it means taking off the rest of the year to chill.


If you want to spend your working day getting an amazing workout, then consider working as a mover. You can end up really sore if you don’t follow the best protocols for lifting heavy things, but if you lift correctly and don’t push yourself to the point of risking injury, there’s a lot of money to be made as a mover. If you can gain some experience and then get your own moving truck, the sky’s the limit for starting your own moving company and expanding.

Reffing for Local Sports

If there are soccer, hockey, football, basketball, and any other sports leagues in your area, then they probably hire referees. If you know the sport, this is a good way to pick up some extra cash on the side, and will require you to be active and on your feet. You’ll probably have to deal with some chirping from grumpy parents, but it’s all in day’s work.

Mat Woods
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Mat Woods

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