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Most people assume that to earn serious money in life, you have to wear a suit and tie, work in an office and toe the corporate line. However, that is not the only way to make decent money.

In fact, there are still plenty of ways to make a good living doing a decent day’s work, using your hands and not relying on dodgy deals and the exploitation of others. If you are more practically minded, work well with your hands or find the idea of pushing paper round a desk mind-numbing, then why not try out the following for size?

According to the bible of all things money, Forbes Magazine, the following all place in the top ten manual labour jobs for earning potential.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Lift repair and installation
More and more modern buildings are being fitted with lifts, partially due to legislation for disabled access and also because buildings are getting taller. That means it is a good time to be a lift installer or engineer. Almost everyone has a bad story to tell about a lift breaking down so it looks like they get plenty of work. And at £40,000+ a year, there is some serious money involved.


Petrol and oil industries
Fossil fuels are running out and while this is not the place to discuss its ethical merit, one thing is for sure, and that’s the money people who work in the sector can earn. It’s tough work and frequently involves being away from home in inhospitable and dangerous places but the rewards are huge. Pay usually depends on length of service and location but £100,000 or more a year is not impossible.


Electrical and power line engineers
Another job that is tough and very dangerous involves looking after the electrical grid. To most people pylons and high voltage electricity are terrifying so it takes a special sort of person to climb on up there and fix the things. Safety is of the utmost importance and requires all the right equipment but you will be well compensated. Top earners can get up to £50,000 a year.


Commercial divers
Diving in the Maldives is an experience some people pay thousands for but diving in the murky waters of industry, public facilities and so on is an experience some people are paid handsomely to do. Admittedly it’s less fun fixing pipes in the zero visibility world of a reservoir bottom than spotting tropical fish on a reef but it is a job that involves some serious skill and is essential to maintain infrastructure.


Locomotive engineers
Every young boy dreams of being a train driver but few get to realise their ambitions. Train drivers get paid well but their job comes with a lot of skill and responsibility.


There are various levels of construction work and those at the bottom of the ladder do work very hard for unspectacular wages. However, learn your trade, put in the hours and work your way up and you’ll find some serious money at the top.


Skilled tradesman
Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, plasterers and more and can all command fairly decent wages largely because they can do things that other people don’t have the time or skill to carry out. The job is hard, dirty, dangerous and involves long hours so it’s only fair that they are paid well to do it.

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