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Q: Jobs for non-academic, "hands on" teenager? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Jobs for non-academic, "hands on" teenager?
Category: Business and Money > Employment
Asked by: bcat1234-ga
List Price: $150.00
Posted: 20 Feb 2005 14:13 PST
Expires: 22 Mar 2005 14:13 PST
Question ID: 477663
Our son is 17 and will be graduating high school. He hates academics,
preferring jobs/interests that are "hands on". He scores low-average
on IQ tests. He is motivated to "do something", recently mentioning
joining the Navy. However, he is mildly color blind thus prohibiting
him from many armed forces careers. He is exceptionally good looking,
naturally athletic, laid back in personality, loves
surfing/snowboarding and gets along with others well, especially kids.

Question: What jobs might be of interest to this type of kid? I am not
interested in perusing "on line job ads" for teens or young adults. I
am interested in expanding our thoughts with options other than
contruction, gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants. It could be
a corporate sales program that would be willing to start with a high
school graduate or an academic situation with a "hands on" approach, a
more thrilling/adrenaline oriented job or working with the Red Cross
and traveling to other parts of the world. Broad question, I know, but
that is the challenge!!

I am looking for ideas that are different and that would capture the
imagination of a non academic, thrill seeking kid.

Subject: Re: Jobs for non-academic, "hands on" teenager?
Answered By: jbf777-ga on 20 Feb 2005 20:03 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello -

If you need any additional information, please don't hesitate to ask.  Thank you.

If film, art, design, music or media even remotely interest your son,
he might seriously consider a career in these areas.  These are some
of the few careers that he can get a degree in -- and not even "feel"
like he's pursuing "something academic."  These fields are very
hands-on in nature, and besides the directly artistic side, they can
involve things like show production and touring, lighting design for
live production, local crew stagehand, etc.   A notable school in the
field is Full Sail (visit   They have very
hands-on, concentrated training programs, offering a fun and
interactive means of gaining practical experience in several of these
areas, while at the same time attaining an actual degree.  One can get
an Associates in as little as 14 months.  Graduates have been involved
with major motion pictures and music recordings.  The website has full


There's an entire website dedicated to "discovering life's options." 
They profile dozens of adventure-type jobs, geared to getting your
feet wet in one or more areas.  It is a consummate resource on this
topic that should be able to offer you most every viable option:

"If you are baffled as to a future career and are ready to explore the
many doors of opportunity that short-term jobs have to offer, you've
come to the right place. is simply about discovering
life's options and finding your place in the world (and that's real
exciting stuff). So come explore, dream, discover and do!"



IAfrica has a section of their website dedicated to detailed
information on several relevant career options.  Careers include
climbing instructor, tour guide, animal trainer, etc.  Visit:

????????????????????????????????? is an automatic career suggestion service.  Fill out
their questionnaire and they will supply you with over 20
opportunities that are relevant to your interests and personality. 
While the service will include jobs that require a degree, this might
spark potential academic interests in various areas.


Here is a book title on the topic that might be worth picking up:

What can I do with no degree?


In addition, I would investigate "all things snowboarding" -- teaching
how to snowboard, working at a factory making snowboards, working at a
retail shop that sells snowboards.  If you're able to fund any of
these endeavors, then selling snowboards or snowboard accessories (or
other things on eBay) might even be an option.  His exceptional good
looks might lend well toward a career in modeling snowboards.

Search strategy:
 careers "no degree"
 careers  "no college"
 thrill-seeking careers 
 exciting careers
 <same as above, replacing careers w/ jobs>

Request for Answer Clarification by bcat1234-ga on 21 Feb 2005 07:55 PST
Thank you. I am very impressed by your answer and found it to be right
on point. As a follow up, did you come across any corporate sales
organizations/websites who train/employ non-college bound kids?

Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 21 Feb 2005 09:25 PST
Hello -

Thank you for your request.

There are hundreds of such opportunities nationwide at this link, spread across 69 pages:

Some companies post the same ad for many states, so you'll have to
possibly skip a few pages before seeing more entries.

Several additional jobs here, at
bcat1234-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $20.00

Subject: Re: Jobs for non-academic, "hands on" teenager?
From: am777-ga on 20 Feb 2005 14:39 PST
Hi bcat,

I know this doesnt answer your question, but has your son ever
considered working abroad for some time after graduating high school?
I have done it after graduating and never regret it.
The experience is worthwhile and it might give your son some more time
to consider in what profession he will feel happy.

In Holland we have many organisations that arrange these activities
abroad and nowadays these youngsters can choose any activity in any
possible country.
I found this one online but I am sure there must be as many
possibilities as we have in the Netherlands.

Wish your son good luck and Ill hope he will find work he loves doing!!

Subject: Re: Jobs for non-academic, "hands on" teenager?
From: am777-ga on 21 Feb 2005 01:31 PST
I realised that I forgot to mention that I meant working abroad as a
for example

All the best,

Subject: Re: Jobs for non-academic, "hands on" teenager?
From: jbf777-ga on 22 Feb 2005 07:05 PST
bcat1234 -

Thank you very much for the rating and tip!  All the best to your
son's future.  Please stop by again.

Subject: Re: Jobs for non-academic, "hands on" teenager?
From: dreamboat-ga on 24 Feb 2005 00:26 PST
I just wanted to add that, these days, many software programmers are
non-college educated and that there are many "hands-on" sites on the
internet where he can go to learn programming. For example, if he has
Microsoft Office on his computer, he can go to and
learn how to program those applications. He can pay for the training,
or just hang around the forum and learn on his own and by asking
questions. There are many other similar programming forums out there.
I only suggest this one 'cause:
a) I'm kinda partial to it since I created it.
b) MS Office is widely used.
c) The programming language is included; doesn't require additional purchase.
d) Our guys will push him to learn if he really wants to learn.
e) A good VBA programmer makes $100/hour or more.

Anything computers: web design, web hosting services

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