Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Restless Teenager Resisting College? 4 Hands-On Careers for High School Graduates

Many parents push their kids toward a college degree after high school, but this isn’t the only way for young people to get on a path to an engaging career. There are a number of trades and occupations that offer opportunity for both physical and mental engagement, as well as room for advancement. Most of these careers do require some education and training, but these programs are typically aimed at developing practical skills and hands-on experience.

Construction Worker

Construction is a major industry throughout the country and there is relatively high demand for qualified workers on all kinds of projects. Many workers are employed through contractors to work on public roads and structures, while others deliver services for private developers. There are many different positions and skills involved in construction work, so new members of the profession have a lot of options when defining their career.

Casino and Gaming Manager

Casinos and gaming establishments also employ large numbers of people with hands-on skills rather than a college education. Gaming managers may oversee individual tables, conducting different games and consistently engage with clients. There is often opportunity for advancement for talented people in the gaming industry as long as they hone their skills and build a broad professional network.

Plane or Helicopter Pilot

Modern aircraft may have dozens of safety features, including a comprehensive autopilot system, but pilots still serve an irreplaceable role in planes and helicopters. Becoming a pilot doesn’t require a college degree, but it does require completion of training and certification programs. Employers typically start all new hires on a lengthy training and mentoring program to make sure they are ready before taking command of commercial flights.

Welding Specialist

Welders provide crucial services for companies in dozens of different industries, ranging from construction to vehicle maintenance. Rather than pursue a college program, prospective students can also consider completing a customized welding program and developing specialized skills. Since there are so many potential applications, many welders specialize in particularly industries to define their career and open up more job opportunities. While this career path can be rewarding and stable, it also requires substantial mental and physical endurance, as well as sound judgement.

For many people, college is an appropriate and productive path toward a fulfilling career. However, parents shouldn’t assume that it’s the only way for their kids to find a worthwhile or rewarding professional life. There are hundreds of different jobs that are perfect for people who prefer hands-on experience to academic pursuits.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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Yesterday, we put out an appeal for One Can Feed donations, so that we could replenish our Canned Pasta shelf in the IFCS Food Market. Well, our friends David and Ann came to the rescue. They made a monetary donation, so that we could purchase 125 cans at a deep discount. There will be lots of kids and kids-at-heart that have a quick meal. We are 125 meals closer to our goal of providing 130,000 meals of groceries this year. #OneCanFeed

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IFCS was so pleased to receive backpacks from PEO Chapter DH of Denver and Joan Clayton this year. Their mission of furthering girls and women’s education is inspiring! To learn how you can support this important mission, please email SarahR@ifcs.org. ... See MoreSee Less

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Our canned Ravioli & Spaghetti shelves are empty! We want to refill this family favorite by taking your One Can Feed monetary donations and shopping for those things we need most. Can you feed the need, by contributing to the campaign? #OneCanFeed

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#OneCanFeed…Seniors! 1 in 7 Colorado seniors struggle with hunger (deciding between Food and Medicine). One Can Make a difference – learn more at https://t.co/FOLfhUTXMG

#OneCanFeed…Families! Nearly 1 in 7 Coloradans struggle with hunger, facing times when there is not enough money to buy food. One Can Make a difference – learn more at https://t.co/FOLfhUTXMG

We are pleased to announce the launch of One Can Feed! This is a fundraiser for IFCS to help collect financial and food resources to help others in need. Check out https://t.co/GZufelWL6R today to see how you can make a difference! #onecanfeed #dogood #charity #colorado

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