Matthew Crawford’s 2009 book ” Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work” challenges the cultural idea that manual labor is not a good way to make a living, that it is demeaning and does not use the brain enough. Making money by doing manual labor can be rewarding, as you can see what your hands have accomplished at the end of the day and you use your mind to create something from nothing. Manual labor is a broad term that encompasses designing, creating, building, repairing and nurturing. You have many options if you want to make money doing manual work.
Work as a gardener, farm laborer or landscape laborer or cut grass in your neighborhood. Sell your produce and seeds from your own garden at local plant shows, nurseries and farmer’s markets. Working with plants to bring them to life or to improve a property’s appearance can be satisfying work. Planting trees, crops and flowers, caring for them and then harvesting them is one way to make money doing manual labor.
Fix cars, motorcycles, boats, RVs or diesel trucks. Open a mobile car repair business or work for a transportation company fixing diesel trucks. Work as an auto body specialist, painting and fixing vehicles. Become a specialist auto mechanic in hybrid technology or a certain type of racing.
Work as an apprentice or go to vocational school to work in a construction or home repair field. Some areas to consider are electricity, painting, plumbing, drywall, plaster, remodeling, building and roofing. The more experience and education you have in one of these occupations, the more money you can earn and the better you will be prepared if you go into business for yourself.
Hire yourself and your truck and trailer out as garage or home improvement project cleaners. You can haul away brick, metal and other leftovers from families’ do-it-yourself projects around the house. You can also help them clean and organize their garages, basements and closets. You can sell the metal or some of the appliances you haul away to make some extra money.
Help schools, office buildings and homes stay clean. Work as a custodian or maid to keep buildings clean and orderly. Do minor building repairs during your workday as a building caretaker.