Finding a career that meets our clients talents and interests is often one of our primary goals when working with them. A recently released book The Best Career Guide for Autistic Adults 2014 sheds some light on this topic. In this book the author, Dawn Lucan who is a special educator, discusses some careers that may be ideal for Autistic adults.
We will now look at some of the careers that Dawn suggests and give our take on how successful Autistic adults could be if they pursued them.
- Chef. Many of our clients enjoy food and cooking so from that perspective this could be a good career path. However, cooking at a restaurant could be challenging for those that struggle to do things at a fast pace. Possibly being a baker could be a nice fit for those with speed issues. Another career related to this field that Autistic adults could be successful at is food science. This would be more for those that are stronger in science, but it involves research which is something that many of our clients are not only good at, but enjoy doing.
- Comic Book Artist. There are certainly many Autistic adults who are talented artists and who enjoy comic books. In addition, our clients are very creative and this is a great avenue for them to use that skill. Formal education isn’t necessary for this type of career, but helps to strengthen skills. Most comic book artists are freelancers due to the fact that most companies aren’t hiring these type of artists.
- Illustrator. Becoming an illustrator may not be a great career path for Autistic adults. There are already more people involved in this field than jobs are available. In addition, the field isn’t projecting much growth in the next ten years.
- Paleontologist. This could be a good career path for some Autistic adults as there is much research done with this type of job. There are many different specialties in this field and those that have a particular special interest related to one of these topics could really excel. The drawback would be for those that struggle with college coursework as a masters degree is needed in most cases to have a career in paleontology.
- Photographer. Many of our clients are very interested in photography. However, this probably isn’t the greatest field for them to get into for a couple of reasons. The first is that the salary may not be enough to pay the bills. In 2012 the average salary was $27,000 for photographers and 25% made under $20,000. This could be a great hobby or a part-time job, but counting on this for a career may be challenging. Another reason for not going into photography is that most of the photography that gets you a job Autistic adults don’t have a great interest in. They tend to be interested in photographing landscapes or animals than taking pictures of people. The jobs photographing people (weddings, fundraisers, etc) seem to be more in demand than the ones with landscapes or animals.
- Travel Guide. I could see this being a good career for those Autistic adults that can talk about a subject for a long period of time. However, if they have trouble being aware of others reactions (see body language and facial expressions) then this may not be the field for them.
- Video Game Tester. Sign up the majority of our clients for this career!! I’m not sure how many jobs are available to be video game testers, but with the increase in those that play video games every year this seems to be a growing field. The job may not be to be a video game tester, but looking at the possibility of a career in the video game industry may be a good idea for many Autistic adults.
- Videographer. Many individuals in this field work in the tv/film industry. Many of the skills needed for this type of work play into the strengths of Autistic adults. An additional advantage is that videographers are typically working with just the director or a small group of people. This typically is the type of work environment that works best for those on the spectrum. The only drawback to this type of work is that it typically requires a bachelors degree. Therefore, those that struggle with college coursework would need the correct support in their college program to make this type of career possible.