It’s a simple fact: desk jobs aren’t for everybody. But just because office life isn’t calling your name doesn’t mean you can’t have a job with a good future. There are tons of great, fast-growing career choices that don’t require a cubicle, a swivel chair, or even an office water-cooler.

Here are our top five fastest-growing careers that will get you up and about:


Physician Assistant

Physician assistants work with doctors to care for and treat patients. You’ll spend lots of time on your feet, making rounds, evaluating patients, and moving about operating rooms. With the rising demands for healthcare workers, this job is expected to grow a whopping 39% by 2018.

Main Education Level: Master’s degree

Average salary: $86,000

Job Growth: 39% by 2018


Athletic Trainer

The basic job of an athletic trainer is to help prevent and treat injuries in all kinds of people—from professional athletes to soldiers. You’ve got to stay on your toes as you work with patients in rehab centers or run onto the sports field when a player goes down. Because of increasing awareness of sports-related injuries, this job is projected to expand 37% by 2018.

Main Education Level: Bachelor’s degree

Average salary: $42,000

Job Growth: 37% by 2018


Dental Hygienist

Keep your clients’ teeth bright and clean as a dental hygienist. True, you do generally sit to examine a patient’s mouth. But you are also kept on the move walking between exam rooms and setting up X-ray machines. As more people seek out dental care, this occupation is calculated to grow 36% by 2018.

Main Education Level: Associate’s degree

Average salary: $68,000

Job Growth: 36% by 2018


Veterinary Technician

Always dreamed of working with animals? This could be your ideal career path. Veterinary techs help veterinarians care for our fuzzy friends by performing diagnostic tests and helping pet owners understand the best care for their animals. Working with pets can a physically demanding job, but the rewards of seeing a healthy animal can be extremely satisfying. Plus, opening in this area are forecast to expand 36% by 2018.

Main Education Level: Associate’s degree

Average salary: $30,000

Job Growth: 36% by 2018


Physical Therapy Assistant

Under the guidance of a physical therapist, PT assistants use exercises, massages, and stretching to help patients recover from major injuries. Between setting up equipment and assisting clients, you won’t spend much time behind a desk. As the baby boomer population gets older, demand for physical therapy is expanding. This job is no exception: it’s expected to rise by 33% by 2018.

Main Education Level: Associate’s degree

Average salary: $38,000

Job Growth: 33% by 2018

More info on Physical Therapy Assistant here:


Sources: All job growth and salary information comes from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.


About the guest author:

Annie Favreau is the managing editor for Inside Jobs, a site that helps people discover a career they’ll love and build strong, successful futures.