The 25 highest-paying jobs for people who don’t want to sit at a desk all day

Kathleen Elkins, Jacquelyn Smith and Aaron Taube for Business Insider

vet veterinarian

Stepping into the real world doesn’t have to mean being chained to a cubicle for the rest of your life.  Some of the most lucrative careers in the US are non-desk jobs, according to an analysis of data provided by Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., CareerBuilder’s labor market data arm that pulls from over 90 government and private resources.It turns out that 90% of these jobs are medical professions that require a doctoral or professional degree — but there are a wealth of high-paying options for those without a college diploma.

If you don’t like the idea of sitting at a desk all day, consider these 25 professions.

25. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Median hourly pay: $31.93 BLS job description: Produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.

24. Producers and Directors

Median hourly pay: $33.40 BLS job description: Produce or direct stage, television, radio, video, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Responsible for creative decisions, such as interpretation of script, choice of actors or guests, set design, sound, special effects, and choreography. 

23. Ship Engineers

Median hourly pay: $33.49 BLS job description: Supervise and coordinate activities of crew engaged in operating and maintaining engines, boilers, deck machinery, and electrical, sanitary, and refrigeration equipment aboard ship.

22. Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels

Median hourly pay: $33.62 BLS job description: Command or supervise operations of ships and water vessels, such as tugboats and ferryboats. Required to hold license issued by US Coast Guard.

21. Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers

Median hourly pay: $33.71 BLS job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the management or operation of farms, ranches, greenhouses, aquacultural operations, nurseries, timber tracts, or other agricultural establishments.

20. Speech-Language Pathologists

Median hourly pay: $34.04 BLS job description: Assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. 

19. Dental Hygienists

Median hourly pay: $34.19 BLS job description: Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease.

18. Audiologists

Median hourly pay: $34.22 BLS job description: Assess and treat persons with hearing and related disorders. 

17. Occupational Therapists

Median hourly pay: $36.99 BLS job description: Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to people with disabilities or developmental delays.

16. Elevator Installers and Repairers

Median hourly pay: $37.81 BLS job description: Assemble, install, repair, or maintain electric or hydraulic freight or passenger elevators, escalators, or dumbwaiters. 

15. Radiation Therapists

Median hourly pay: $38.05 BLS job description: Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards.

14. Physical Therapist

Median hourly pay: $38.96 BLS job description: Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and improve or correct disabling conditions resulting from disease or injury. 

13. Veterinarians

Median hourly pay: $41.66 BLS job description: Diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals. Includes veterinarians who conduct research and development, inspect livestock, or care for pets and companion animals.

12. Nurse Midwives

Median hourly pay: $44.37 BLS job description: Diagnose and coordinate all aspects of the birthing process, either independently or as part of a healthcare team. 

11. Nurse Practitioners

Median hourly pay: $44.55 BLS job description: Diagnose and treat acute, episodic, or chronic illness, independently or as part of a healthcare team.

10. Physician Assistants

Median hourly pay: $44.70 BLS job description: Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. 

9. Optometrists

Median hourly pay: $48.70 BLS job description: Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment.

8. Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

Median hourly pay: $55.38 BLS job description: Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft, usually on scheduled air carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo. 

7. Dentists

Median hourly pay: $70.36 BLS job description: Examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums.

6. Nurse Anesthetists

Median hourly pay: $72.64 BLS job description: Administer anesthesia, monitor patient’s vital signs, and oversee patient recovery from anesthesia. 

5. Psychiatrists

Median hourly pay: $86.03 BLS job description: Physicians who diagnose, treat, and help prevent disorders of the mind.

4. Orthodontists

Median hourly pay: $90 BLS job description: Examine, diagnose, and treat dental malocclusions and oral cavity anomalies. Design and fabricate appliances to realign teeth and jaws to produce and maintain normal function and to improve appearance. 

3. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Median hourly pay: $90 BLS job description: Perform surgery and related procedures on the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial regions to treat diseases, injuries, or defects.

2. Surgeons

Median hourly pay: $91.66 BLS job description: Physicians who treat diseases, injuries, and deformities by invasive, minimally invasive, or noninvasive surgical methods, such as using instruments, appliances, or by manual manipulation. 

1. Anesthesiologists

Median hourly pay: $92.41 BLS job description: Physicians who administer anesthetics prior to, during, or after surgery, or other medical procedures.