Getting a degree is exciting, spending 40 or more hours a week at a desk until you're over 60 isn't. If you want to advance your education without sealing your fate as an office drone, there are some active, hands-on careers to consider that will challenge your mind and keep your body moving all while paying the bills.

Chef
Few jobs keep you on your feet as much as a chef. Working in the culinary world engages every part of the body and mind. You'll spend time around people, whip up delicious meals, nourish diners and get a good workout bustling around the kitchen all day. One great aspect about becoming a chef is that you can choose a field and work environment that suits you best.

Indulge your perma-sweet tooth and wild imagination to become a pastry chef. If you've always been one for traveling, study the culinary arts and cook for an exotic restaurant that allows you to incorporate your skills with your passion for foreign cuisine.

Welding
Blacksmiths were some of the most important people of medieval times, but the fact that machines are taking over many mechanical jobs today doesn't mean there's no place for a skilled welder.

Welders work in a variety of fields and can make everything from medical equipment to car parts. If you love working with your hands and don't mind some sweat, then working as a welder can keep you occupied while bringing in a decent salary. If you are interested in welding, it’s important you receive the proper training. You also need to purchase reliable equipment, like the products found at Northland Fastening Systems, to ensure you can complete your job safely and efficiently.

Vet Tech
If you love animals and medicine, then this might be the career for you. Veterinary technicians to everything from provide nursing care and first-aid to animals to hands-on care like grooming, feeding and exercising.

You'll get to spend time with furry critters of all kinds in this line of work as well as embrace the science of veterinary medicine by taking and developing X-Rays and other tests, administering medication, giving vaccines and providing various other treatments.

If you aren't sure how to focus your interests and career ambitions, try an online career aptitude test. There's a lot more than you may have ever considered, and some research and deep thinking will help point you in the direction you could go.

Author's Bio: 

Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2