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The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has estimated that 2.1% of adults in the United States have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). One of the biggest challenges they must overcome is the seemingly limited employment opportunities.
The good news is that the US government is reinforcing companies and businesses to address any form of employment discrimination against those with autism disorders. Individuals with autism can enter the workforce as long as they are qualified and fit the job roles and responsibilities. However, finding the right job can be difficult for some.
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Those in the autism spectrum can start by reviewing a list of the best careers that are suitable for their disposition and circumstances. It’s also important to note that everyone’s experience with autism is unique; therefore, not all the jobs listed below apply to everyone who is neurodiverse.
Some of these jobs will likely be most appropriate for individuals who are non-verbal or who have additional challenges, and others may be suitable for individuals with high-functioning autism.
The key is to consider a list of choices that you can assess and review as you match it with your career and personal goals.
Excellent Career Options for People with Autism
For those who have autism disorder and are not good at associating with people, it’s a wise idea to go into the technology industry. People with autism are well-suited for careers in web development. The services offered by this line of business include website coding, design, and maintenance.
As a result of their excellent visual abilities and attention to detail, people with autism may excel in this field. Many neurodivergent people find independence in working alone or in a small team, which is a boon to web developers.
Here are some reasons why web development is worth considering as a job for a person with autism:
- People with autism often outperform their peers in coding because they have the skills necessary to succeed as software developers by nature.
- Because they are rational in their thinking, love regularity, and are visual learners, students with ASD succeed in computer programming.
- They have innate talent in organizing and handling large amounts of data, which are all part of web development.
- They prefer working in front of the computers, compared to working alongside people, and so they have more control over these interactions.
- Computer programming and web development require predictable and rational results, eliminating uncertainties, which then decreases anxiety or unfavorable emotions for autistic individuals.
Agriculture and Farming
The green color is associated with calming your mind and body, and for this reason, agriculture and farming are great job possibilities for those who have autism. Green therapy is an all-natural mood booster, allowing those who are mentally distraught to relax or feel.
Better despite working. Autistic individuals can work on a farm, in a garden, or a factory producing food. There are many other agricultural jobs available for you to choose from.
Do note that agricultural jobs may also include working outdoors or caring for animals. If you have this passion for the outdoors and nature, it’s a wonderful idea to go into farming and agriculture. Many research studies would say that this profession is a good match for people with autism.
Children and adults with autism have had the opportunity to work on farms across the country, enhancing their life skills, education, health, and general well-being. The activity of gardening not only provides relaxation and joy but also provides social interaction and development for people with autism.
As you start working on a farm, you’ll perform tasks such as planting, transplanting, harvesting, and watering plants. And these activities can be quite repetitive, which allows autistic people to perfect or master their jobs. During their work, employees gain confidence and self-esteem by executing routine, predictable tasks successfully.
Individuals with autism who are high-functioning may be good with numbers and have a knack for accounting. In this case, it’s ideal to apply as an accountant in accounting and financial firms or corporate companies.
As an accountant, your usual tasks relate to the following roles:
- Forecast budget and expenses
- Manage cash flows
- Prepare financial statements monthly, quarterly, and annually
- File taxes
- Prepare reports for the company and stockholders
Since accounting is primarily related to logic and fixed rules, it can be a good fit for people with autism. Autistic people can thrive when they engage in numbers because these are usually logical. There’s plenty of opportunity to learn about tax laws or accounting standards that are quite rule-based. And so autistic people can easily learn and keep up with this knowledge and information. They will be able to use their strengths in attending to details in specific accounting roles.
Another position that may be suitable for someone with autism is in the field of information technology. Autistic individuals can be excellent IT support people. Typically, this kind of labor entails helping consumers who are experiencing issues with computer gear or software. People with autism frequently possess great problem-solving abilities, which may be advantageous in this industry and are unquestionably a benefit for this kind of career.
From finding solutions to difficult problems to creating innovative strategies and products, neurodivergent employees foster creativity. This is a strength for autistic people that may be absent among other types of workers.
Challenges may be approached differently by people on the autism spectrum. For instance, these individuals are often blessed with talents in numbers, memory, and pattern recognition. The development of products and services tailored to an increasingly diverse audience would be impossible if everyone used the same problem-solving techniques.
Therefore, the fresh ideas that autistic and neurodiverse employees may provide technology organizations, who are always looking to foster innovation, might be advantageous. That’s also one of the explanations for why businesses are making efforts to prioritize neurodiversity in the workplace; in addition to improving corporate culture, it may also result in the creation of more creative solutions.
Risks and uncertainties are everywhere, especially in insurance companies. This is where actuaries come in handy. They usually analyze the financial costs and burdens. Mathematical, statistical, and financial theories are used to assess the risk of events, and policies are designed to minimize the cost of those risks.
They utilize statistical research to decide what kinds of policies should cost more than others and how insurance firms may maintain a stable financial position. Actuaries frequently have office jobs, appreciate statistics, and have high aptitudes for numbers and huge volumes of data.
Autistic individuals with special gifts in mathematics and statistics are very well suited to be actuaries. Autistic people tend to detect patterns more easily and derive rules more quickly. Being an actuary is a great fit for those who don’t want to be social but focus more on mathematical patterns.
For autistic persons who appreciate intricate or challenging undertakings and prefer to understand how things function, working on cars might be a rewarding career choice. It’s a plus point if you love automobiles and are intrigued by their nature. Vehicles get routine maintenance and repairs by automotive specialists. Automobile technicians need to have a thorough knowledge of mechanical systems, car parts, and their functionalities.
Autistic automobile technicians can work for auto repair shops and car companies or even start their businesses. The majority of the work on an automobile or truck is done alone, even though some customer interaction may be necessary.
While you won’t necessarily need to get a bachelor’s degree in automotive engineering to be a technician, it would help if you have undergone training programs that emphasize hands-on practice and applications. For instance, students can receive technical training while enrolled in school in some high school programs.
There are many library jobs available for autistic individuals. The memory of dates, times, and places can be quite sharp in autistic people, and these skills can be handy for library work. For instance, librarians need to pay attention to detail and good memory of books and their placements.
The discipline of library sciences offers a fantastic chance for folks with autism who are more non-visual thinkers. Most persons who work in this position will do so at a library where they will assist with a variety of chores like sorting books and other materials and assisting patrons in finding books. Individuals may operate in a peaceful setting with very little stress, thanks to this. The municipal and university libraries are excellent starting points for job searches.
To be a librarian or library assistant, here are some roles and responsibilities that autistic individuals should be ready for:
- Make sure all returned books and items are placed on the shelves where they belong.
- Organize the library search systems for readers to find what they’re looking for seamlessly.
- Retrieve materials in secured areas and check items back in with others.
- In charge of book registrations and collecting fines and fees.
- Assists in answering general library queries and helps process library materials and documents.
Administrative or Clerical Work
Since autistic individuals are very keen on details, it makes a great job opportunity to become an office or administrative clerk. An office clerk within an organization handles administrative tasks. An office assistant may answer phones, file paperwork, schedule appointments, and manage calendars.
It may be a good fit for autistic people who enjoy routine-based surroundings. During regular business hours, office clerks often do their duties in conventional office environments. Any company seeking an office assistant to assist with a range of responsibilities around the workplace is eligible for this role. This job is a great fit for folks with short attention spans due to the diversity of duties expected.
An office assistant would likely do important activities around the office to promote easier workflow. Some other tasks expected from administrative workers are:
- Tidying up the workspace
- Filing paperwork
- Updating or repairing computers
Animal Science and Pet Grooming
For those who love animals and pets, it’s a great idea to enter the field of animal science, pet grooming, or veterinary. Animals are more appealing to autistic people than people. And so, for this reason, they might feel it’s a joy to work and handle cats and dogs rather than work alongside people. After all, working with animals is also known to provide some therapeutic benefits.
Taking care of animals is a great career option for Aspies. It focuses more on animals than on people. However, there are instances when you need to socialize with the pet’s owners and ask for information and requirements about their pets. But the social interaction is very limited, and you’ll have more interactions with their pets or animals.
As an autistic pet groomer or animal scientist, you’ll expect the following tasks:
- Assist veterinarians or vet techs in checking pets and animals.
- Handle and bathe dogs, cats, and birds, as well as cut, trim, shampoo, and rinse their fur.
- Take care of the animal’s well-being, including performing grooming services.
- Provide grooming products to customers.
- Keep equipment clean, maintain it, and sterilize it.
Another occupation with great demand is data entry, which is necessary in practically every industry. Data entry is a fairly dependable and steady job. This is suitable for autistic individuals. This is the perfect career because the environment is very organized and predictable. It is unlikely that there will be a lot of unprecedented situations or changes in this role that match the environment for autistic people. Another excellent benefit is the ease of data input.
As a data entry person, you’ll be expected to have skills such as computer savviness, attention to detail, organization skills, confidentiality, and quick typing skills. Your work will include typing information and details through a given time frame. You will have to sort information, organize them, and ensure accuracy.
As a data entry master, you should also make sure to meet deadlines and retain the quality of outputs. There are many data entry jobs to apply for, but you can work as a freelancer and accept data entry projects per output.
Mathematicians and statisticians are projected to have a job growth of 30% in the next decade, according to the US Labor Statistics Bureau. Hence, this should be an appealing job for those who have autism but are gifted with mathematical and statistical skills. This field has relatively high employment chances due to several factors. Most fields and industries require some form of statistics, which makes the demand very high.
Furthermore, there is little competition for this employment because few individuals seek it out. The likelihood of someone with autism succeeding in this role is quite high if they have a talent for math and memorizing. Statistics and mathematics require at least a master’s degree. It is, however, possible to get a job with just a bachelor’s degree in some cases.
Here are some tasks to expect when you get a job as a statistician:
- Analyzing reports and making decisions based on them
- Data gathering, analysis, and interpretation
- Creation of data collection processes
- Finding patterns and connections in data
- Reporting findings and data
- Create statistical reports that can support strategies
For someone with autism who may lack the linguistic, social, or practical abilities necessary to get other sorts of occupations, working in a factory or warehouse is the ideal employment option. Many industries have factories and inventory storage. Some people on the spectrum may even enjoy working in a warehouse or factory with low social requirements and a high degree of organization and regularity. The daily tasks don’t involve speaking with unfamiliar faces, but workers eventually have to talk or work with the same people in the company.
Factory work also requires repetitive tasks, making it comfortable and safe for autistic individuals. A person in this role typically has very specific chores to perform every day, which they repeat every single day. Hence, there won’t be room for errors or anxieties.
Manufacturing industry aspects such as assembly, receiving, shipping, and inventory management may appeal to autistic individuals. Their predictable and precise features make it easy for autistic workers.
The following are typical duties performed by a warehouse employee:
- Manage inventory
- Ensures first-in and first-out system for all products
- Operate forklift or other mechanical tools in handling removal or display of products
- Maintaining workplace orderliness, cleanliness, and safety
- Ensure quality assurance before products are packed and shipped
- Display new items on the racks of warehouses
- Look for abnormalities or errors in the warehouse assembly line
- Keep invoices organized and error-free
If you have great creativity and you love the outdoors, it’s time to enter into the carpentry field. For anyone who enjoys hands-on work, building, and the outdoors, the carpentry profession is an excellent choice. Among other things, carpenters make wooden products used to construct structures, doors, and window frames. Autistic people who are great at handling tools, analyzing mechanical requirements, and reading blueprints can be great and effective carpenters.
You can either work to follow design and blueprints or let your creativity put to work as you create wooden products like furniture, home structures, and many more. Visual skills are valuable in trades such as carpentry and welding, which are in high demand since fewer people are training in these fields than are retiring from them. With these skills, entrepreneurs could even start their businesses. If you’d rather be your boss than work in a carpentry firm, it’s best to open your own furniture or construction business.
Anyone with autism who enjoys being around animals might be a wonderful dog trainer. If you have a passion for training dogs and helping families or pet owners with taking care of their dogs, it’s a promising career to become a dog trainer.
Most dog trainers work with private clients to teach pups and older dogs basic manners, while some specialize in dealing with dogs that have fear or undesirable behavior. You can work individually based on your connections as a freelancing dog trainer, or you can be employed in a dog training firm or business.
Journalism or Writing
The field of journalism appeals to those with a good grasp of the English language and an interest in current events. A lot of firms and companies in the news or media sector are looking for credible journalists who can share accurate and concise information with the public. Interviewing a variety of people is often a part of the process of researching and writing articles. However, as an autistic person who might not be comfortable interacting face-to-face, you can always go for phone or email interviews.
Aside from journalism, you can work as a writer. There are various job opportunities in the field of writing. Technical writers write instruction manuals and other materials that transmit technical knowledge. Businesses hire them and frequently work in offices. They occasionally work remotely. Successful technical writers must be well-organized and possess a strong knowledge of the language.
If you have an unending passion for anything mechanical, it’s time to go into the field of mechanical engineering. As an autistic person, you’ll be surprised at how vast the opportunities will be for you in this field. As a mechanical engineer, you will need to design systems and apply principles of mechanics, heat transfer, thermodynamics, hydraulics, and materials to mechanical and electromechanical systems and products. You will also need to test methods and properties to verify the functionality of a system or product.
A person who wants to become a mechanical engineer has to be proficient in using software and have solid problem-solving abilities. The good news is that many individuals on the autism spectrum fit this description. Engineers with mechanical expertise assist in the design and production of new goods. They must thus be able to communicate and work well as a team. Because of this, individuals with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s may be most suited for the position of mechanical engineer.
It’s time to put your creativity to good use. If you love art and technology, it’s a great field to work as a graphic designer. The role of graphic designers is to create visual content. You will have to create visual designs that will be used in digital marketing, websites, company logos and materials, and advertisements. Adults with autism can be creative and work independently in this job because it allows them to be creative.
To inspire, inform, or capture consumers, graphic designers create visual text and imagery concepts. Many modern businesses today are always hiring graphic designers. You will constantly have projects waiting for you in this field. There are many ways to improve your graphic design knowledge and skills, too. You can always study, enroll in boot camps and online learning, or build your portfolio.
Medical Laboratory Technician
Autistic individuals who love science and are interested in working in laboratories can be great medical laboratory technicians. It is essential to have an interest in anatomy and medical science. This job is great for autistic individuals who have decent organization skills and who are not afraid of examining people’s blood, stool, or urine. They collect samples that need to be tested from people of all ages and backgrounds.
To identify typical or abnormal results, you will collect and examine bodily fluids, tissues, and other materials. You’ll use complex tools and equipment to determine the outcomes. While this job may not require you to work alongside a lot of colleagues, you will need to collaborate in these positions while sharing space in clinics, hospital labs, medical offices, and diagnostic labs.
Autistic individuals who love to enter the law sector can acquire a job as a paralegal. They can participate in court hearings as they assist lawyers and lawmakers. They provide legal research, acquire information and accurate data, or even interview clients. They compile everything and utilize technical information to provide recommendations to attorneys.
This is a good fit for autistic adults since they can form good relationships with the attorneys they work with. Paralegals do several legal, commercial, and regulatory research projects. Other responsibilities include document filing and acting as a type of assistant when lawyers have client meetings or appear in court. In addition to having a strong command of reading and writing, paralegals must be able to ask potential clients several probing questions without feeling uncomfortable.
People with autism who like being creative and taking pictures could succeed as photographers. If your hobby is photography, it’s ideal to turn it into a profession, too. Most photographers are independent contractors, where you have the flexibility to work and accept projects.
Autistic people are usually creative, and going into photography can allow them to practice their creativity even more. There are many specialties and subsets of photography. You can specialize as a portrait photographer or get booked for occasions such as weddings, milestones, birthdays, and other events.
How to Find Jobs as a Person with Autism Disorder
As a person with autism disorder, your first step is to organize and set your goals. As you do so, it’s essential to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Learn which talents and skills are usable for you to make a living.
Don’t hesitate to tell others if certain types of work are not within your abilities when choosing a career path. You may also need to identify your passions and interests to find a job you love. After all, when you love what you do, you won’t treat it as a job but as an activity that makes you happy.
Begin building your credentials and start looking for jobs that are suitable for autistic individuals. Read reviews and check what others say about their work culture and environments.