Opportunity is a subjective concept, best defined by the individual. A CareerBuilder study of pay levels for various occupations, and job growth by occupation, helps explain why one person's job opportunity can be another's worst nightmare.

For this survey, CareerBuilder focused on "non-desk jobs." Although the first-world-nation economy has shifted strongly toward desk jobs, there's still plenty of work for those who abhor being tethered to desk and computer. As CareerBuilder notes in a release accompanying the data, "Many of the fast-growing non-desk jobs, however, do not require a four-year degree or higher, and several offer workers a direct path to the middle class in a variety of industries."

These jobs offer other less tangible benefits too. "A 2014 CareerBuilder/Harris Poll survey found that workers in non-desk jobs were two times less likely to complain about their work environment and significantly less likely to report being overweight."

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.