8 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require Sitting at a Desk All Day (2023)

Money / Jobs

8 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require Sitting at a Desk All Day (1) 6 min Read

By Jordan Rosenfeld

8 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require Sitting at a Desk All Day (2)

Who doesn’t want a job where you can make close to or more than six figures? The problem with a lot of those jobs is that you’re often stuck at a desk all day in front of a computer, which can be tiring, bad for the body, and just not a lot of fun.

However, there are jobs where you can get out and about and still make great money doing so. GOBankingRates spoke with experts about a variety of high-paying jobs that don’t necessarily even require a desk.

Notary Public

Amy Seitz, CEO of Cyberize It, LLC, describes her job as an “out of the box job” that most people wouldn’t expect to pay over $80k. However, as a notary public, she averages $80/hr. and earned over $120,000 last year.

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“Notaries are used for I9 verifications for new employees, supervise banks when they need to drill into a safety deposit box, fingerprint clients for state and federal background checks, and some of us can marry people.”

Notaries often travel as well, so you don’t have to be stuck at one desk all day. Seitz explains that the process to become a notary varies by state, but often is as simple as a course that takes a few hours, with no other education requirements.

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Food Critic

Whether you’re a professional food critic or just a regular foodie, you can actually earn “huge sums of money” from giving food-related opinions, according to Jodi Pemberton, head chef and founder of Eat Pallet.

“A professional food critic earns about $80-100K annually, and the best part is that they get free food. This is also more adventurous since you don’t just sit at your desk and do stuff on your screen. With this job, you get to enjoy the beauty of exploring places and meeting people. You can also make money out of being a regular food critic by posting reviews online and earning money either from sponsorships or on social media apps.”

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Also in the realm of food work, Pemberton shares another little known job that pays big bucks — a “flavorist.”

“As a flavorist, you create new flavors from old ones, and use your knowledge about artificial oils and all other ingredients to create new products. Working in the food manufacturing industry is challenging but exciting at the same time.”

Training and education are required for this role, but it could be a dream job for someone with a creative palate.

Keynote Speaker

If you have some wisdom to impart and are comfortable talking in front of a crowd, “Public speaking is a thriving industry where speakers can make over $100K a year and never have to sit at a desk,” says Sergio Diaz, CEO of the Keynote Speaker Agency.

“The average speaker who is not famous can easily make $5 to $10K per speaking gig. While many might assume that the only way to be a public speaker is that you have to be famous, this is not true at all. In the professional speaking business, there are many people who make a good living and never have to sit at a desk.”

To become a professional speaker requires becoming an expert in your niche or topic and learning the art of presentation skills and teaching. Public speaking programs abound, Diaz says.

Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are often on the go, meeting clients, showing houses, staging houses and mingling with people. Hardy Selo, real estate and property digital marketing expert at DD Property explains, “An estate agent can be a particularly lucrative job which often requires you to not be at a desk.

“If you want to make this a lucrative role for you, you really need to focus on what types of property you are selling — we can’t all live like the cast of ‘Selling Sunset’ but the more you move into more luxury real estate, the more likely you are to be getting better commissions and making more money for your time spent.”

According to Indeed, real estate agents average over $94,000 annually and can make significantly more than that, especially if selling commercial properties.

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If you have a green thumb and prefer to be outdoors, according to Rhys Charles, founder and CEO of Mower On the Lawn, landscaping is a high paying job that doesn’t require sitting at a desk.

“Landscapers are responsible for maintaining and designing outdoor spaces, including lawns, gardens, and parks. They are responsible for planting, mowing, pruning, and watering plants and trees, as well as installing and maintaining hardscaping features such as walkways and retaining walls.”

While the job can be physically demanding, Charles says it pays well. “Landscapers often earn a competitive salary, and the demand for their services is high. This job requires a combination of skill and knowledge in horticulture and design, as well as physical stamina and a willingness to work outside in various weather conditions. Landscapers can work independently or as part of a team, which gives them a good earning potential.”

Court Reporter

If you’ve got an interest in legal proceedings, “Court reporters are an essential part of the legal process, capturing the definitive record of all court proceedings with a front-row seat to history,” says Michelle Loeb, vice president of Butler Associates.

“No trial can take place without a court reporter, who is responsible for swearing in witnesses, marking exhibits and creating the official transcripts that become critical in jury deliberations, appeals and more. And unlike other legal professions that require multiple degrees, years of study and excessive college debt, court reporters can be on the road to a six-figure salary with approximately two years of school and a minimal financial outlay.”


People with an interest in helping others and a stomach for medical procedures might consider nursing, says Holly Hanna, founder of The Work at Home Woman, LLC, and a retired nurse.

“While there are desk jobs for nurses, such as case management and medical record review, most nursing positions require nurses to be on the go. You can find nurses working in hospitals, clinics, ERs, surgery centers, in the air as flight nurses, or traveling to areas with extreme nursing shortages.”

She says that the average salary for an RN is around $93,504 annually. “To become an RN, you’ll need either an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN); the latter garners higher wages.”

Not only does nursing pay well, but there are many different career paths nurses can take.

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About the Author

Jordan Rosenfeld

Jordan Rosenfeld is a freelance writer and author of nine books. She holds a B.A. from Sonoma State University and an MFA from Bennington College. Her articles and essays about finances and other topics has appeared in a wide range of publications and clients, including The Atlantic, The Billfold, Good Magazine, GoBanking Rates, Daily Worth, Quartz, Medical Economics, The New York Times, Ozy, Paypal, The Washington Post and for numerous business clients. As someone who had to learn many of her lessons about money the hard way, she enjoys writing about personal finance to empower and educate people on how to make the most of what they have and live a better quality of life.

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