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Jeruba's avatar

Can you name a job that doesn't involve touching a computer of any kind, at any time, for any reason?

Asked by Jeruba (52936points) 1 month ago

By “computer” I mean a programmable, interactive electronic device made for the purpose of recording, storing, and retrieving information, including communications.

It could be a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, or even a phone, when used for the job. Any device where the interactive computing and data handling functions are the main purpose of the device.

I’m not counting all the devices that have some kind of chip embedded in them but are not meant for user-generated information processing; for example, a coffeepot, a clock, a car.

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28 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Hunting / fishing guide.

zenvelo's avatar

Cafeteria Worker, whether cook or server.

Valet car parker.

Zaku's avatar


Brian1946's avatar

Even though the guy who mows my lawn and removes the leaves is a yard maintenance technician, I think all his equipment is free of any electronic implementation.

zenvelo's avatar

I worked two summers as a pipe fitter. No computer interaction there.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Ditch digger.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Artists of all kinds.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Secret Shopper
Paper delivery
Dog walker

LadyMarissa's avatar

School dietician & her staff

JLoon's avatar


Not even the jobs listed so far are really detached from all aspects of computer tech. If you’ve got a phone and get email & text from your boss or co-workers you’re connected. That guide up in Alaska? He’s using GPS, has a weather app, and reporting catch/kill data to state databases. And those houskeepers, food servers, dog walkers, and ditch diggers – all of them have to take and pass regular health & safety tests, and fill out time sheets.

At least one business performance monitoring company reports that over 85% of all US jobs now require employees to access or report work related info online :

Jeruba's avatar

@JLoon, do you count those as touching a computer? I didn’t say “detached from all aspects.” I said “touching.” Physical contact. A computer might record those tests and time sheets, but the employee is not using a keyboard and entering data, right? Their work might be tracked online, but they are not handling or operating the data recording device.

HP's avatar

That’s a tough one, particularly if you must include a phone. I mean I wonder if people punch in any more to work.

Jeruba's avatar

If a phone is used for data entry or retrieval at work, such as when the Target employee puts in a “where is” request on her smartphone, that counts. If the Target employee uses his phone just to call in sick to his supervisor, that does not count; it’s being used as a phone, not a data processing device.

JLoon's avatar

@Jeruba – Yes.

If you touch a modern smart phone connected to internet services or web based apps, you’re in fact “touching a computer”.

Thank you Steve Jobs.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Jeruba there are still some parts of the world that don’t depend that much on technology. They do the things people do with computers manually. I have been in obligatory health check for my schools before, and there was no computer around. Just tables and good old paper.

Farmers in my country don’t use computers at all. A lot of them may not even know what a computer is. Teachers here, until very recently, didn’t touch a computer for work. Even I, for the first period of time in my job, didn’t use computer at all. Just the good old pen.

Jeruba's avatar

So, @JLoon, the Target employee is touching a computer when he uses a smartphone. Okay. But I’m still looking for jobs where you don’t touch a computer, and I think there are many. Are you really insisting that every job listed by others in this thread (thanks, all) involves physical contact with a computer? How about that ditch digger, the pipe fitter, or the painter?

I was in Staples yesterday, and there are still lots of manual accounting and bookkeeping books, order forms (complete with carbon paper), invoice forms, etc., on the shelves. Somebody is buying them.

Thanks, @Mimishu1995, I have no doubt of that. And those guys will still be able to do their work when the power grid goes down. I had a job like that too: all I needed was a pencil and enough light.

JLoon's avatar

@Jeruba – It’s your question, and what you’ve asked is interesting but pretty broad. I can only answer for myself.

And the answer is: I can’t name any. Because I don’t live in Vietnam, or Namibia, or Greenland – and I don’t know anyone working in any of the jobs suggested by others who doesn’t use some type of internet connected device or access computer based technology ( I actually do know a ditch digger, but he uses a backhoe and has a website).

And the source I linked to makes it clear this is the trend here in the US, and probably in most developed countries. The fact that you can still find accounting pads in Staples, or that someone can remember working a job “back in the day” without a computer doesn’t change that. Jobs that don’t involve “touching a computer of any kind” are disappearing. And I think that’s probably not a bad thing, because it means that even workers in less skilled jobs are becoming more educated and the technology is getting more user friendly.

But some folks will always have fond memories…

raum's avatar

I would say the answer depends less on the job and more on the location.

flutherother's avatar

Plumbers, carpenters, carpet layers, postmen, masseurs, bin men, home decorators, painters, sculptors, models, bakers, drivers, composers, ministers, comedians, sex workers, musicians, acrobats, dancers, chefs, hairdressers, shoe shine boys.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The Alaska guide I know packs in with a compass and paper map for a minimum of a week to 10 days; off the grid, no power no cell towers.

JLoon's avatar

@Tropical_Willie – When I worked a summer job with the USFS they put me on as a backcountry ranger. Same deal – remote areas, full pack, often out of radio contact. But before I left and after I got back all details of my route and patrol report were posted to my page on the district website, and logged back into the department database. Your guide buddy probably still has to book clients, order supplies, and keep books.

The point is, virtually no one working a legit job anywhere in the US is ever going to go through their whole career, or even an average month, without ever “touching a computer of any kind, at any time, for any reason.”

And I think that was the question.

Jeruba's avatar

This was not the question:

> The point is, virtually no one working a legit job anywhere in the US is ever going to go through their whole career, or even an average month, without ever “touching a computer of any kind, at any time, for any reason.”

> And I think that was the question.

I asked if jellies could think of any such jobs, and people did. I said nothing about going through a whole career. I’m talking about job functions and job descriptions. If a shepherd uses a cellphone for company while watching his flocks by night, that doesn’t count unless he is using it to do his job of keeping the flock together and safe.

JLoon's avatar

@Jeruba – I can read your question just fine.

But I can’t read your mind, and I cant think of any real job that doesn’t require a worker to ever, at any time, for any reason, “touch” any device that could be a computer.

Maybe that’s my fault for being so young and inexperienced. Or maybe you should just try being more clear.

seawulf575's avatar

Carpenter, Plumber, masseuse, short-order cook in a diner. All of these could easily be done without a computer. Land line phones could be used, paper records, etc.

mazingerz88's avatar

Japanese female free divers for pearls, seaweed etc. Ama

LadyMarissa's avatar

^^ Speaking of…what about the mermaids at some of the tourist resorts in Florida???

kruger_d's avatar

Artists use computer for marketing, sales, record keeping, contacting clients and galleries. School dieticians have a ton of budgeting, requisitions, ordering, reports, inspections.
Yes, people still “punch in” but I suppose those are mostly computerized now. Are there any lighthouse keepers left?

WhyNow's avatar

Porn Star!... like me.

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