Career

6 Decently-Paying Graduate Jobs Where You Won’t Be Stuck Behind a Desk All Day

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Joanne Poh

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When you’re trying to decide what to study at university, it can seem like there’s a huge array of choices and career paths open to you.

But in reality, after graduating, 90% of your peers will go on to become… office workers who spend most of their day sitting in front of computers. Like it or not, everyday life as an accountant, graphic designer, lawyer or computer programmer will involve your being hunched over a computer terminal all day long.

If that doesn’t sound like something you’d relish, here are six jobs for university grads who don’t want to be chained to a desk, and their median salaries as of last year.

 

1. Salesperson

Not afraid of rejection? Got a skin that’s thick as a rhino’s? Then you might want to try your hand at a sales job. Sales jobs often involve quite a bit of running around Singapore, which is perfect for those who don’t want to be stuck behind a desk under the boss’s watchful eye.

Best of all, while sales jobs usually do not require a specific degree, your area of study can give you an advantage. For instance, a degree in finance can make you a good candidate for a sales job in a bank, while a degree in biomedical science can help you clinch a sales job in a company that distributes biomedical or pharmaceutical products.

If you want absolute control over your time, insurance sales and real estate sales can be lucrative for those who manage to succeed.

Median salary for a sales supervisor: $2,400

 

2. Civil engineer

Many Singaporeans go to engineering school without really knowing what an engineering job entails. Computer engineers might spend all their time sitting in front of their laptops, but the same is not true for civil and mechanical engineers.

As a rookie civil engineer, you are likely to find yourself spending most of your time on site. Prepare to perspire a whole lot, and feel like Phua Chu Kang as you stomp around in work boots and a hard hat.

Median salary for a civil engineer: $4,800 

 

3. Healthcare worker

Every kiasu parent’s dream is for their child to end up in NUS Medical School. Doctors, dentists and other healthcare workers like physiotherapists, nurses and medics are often on their feet all day, with the exception of GPs, who spend a lot of their time desk-bound.

In fact, for those who work at hospitals, long shifts of close to 12 hours and working on weekends can be all the more tiring because of having to run around and handle medical equipment.

Median salary for a nursing professional: $3,821

 

4. Veterinarian

Prefer animals to people? Then consider a job as a veterinarian. You’re more likely to find yourself trying to lift a yowling cat from its carrier than surfing the Internet in a cubicle. Most of your time will be spent handling and examining animals, and interacting with their worried owners.

This is a lot more demanding than you might expect, because unlike humans you can’t just tell animals to open their mouths say “ah”. You’ll find yourself prying jaws open, lifting furries onto weighing scales and trying to administer eyedrops without getting mauled.

Median salary for a veterinarian: $3,832

 

Teacher

Teachers in Singapore are said to enjoy an iron rice bowl. For those who just can’t sit still, another advantage is that you probably will not gain weight since you’ll be on your feet and, depending on the level of uncontrollability of your students, raising your voice quite a bit.

Then there are after school activities to conduct, excursions to lead and so on. The only time you’ll find yourself seated at your desk will be when you take home piles of marking at the end of the day.

Median salary for a special education teacher: $3,300

 

Pilot

Want to see the world but don’t want to have to deal with rude passengers or have to clean airplane toilets? Then your best bet is to become a commercial pilot. It’s a job that not only pays handsomely, but lets you have lunch in London and party in Dubai, all in one day.

Aviation buffs and people who have a flight simulator installed on their computers will also appreciate the fact that you’re being paid to fly the machine of your dreams, which certainly beats staring at Excel spreadsheets.

Median salary for a pilot: $10,000

Would you consider any of the above careers? Tell us which ones in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.