ADHD can presents challenges in life, but it doesn’t have to compromise your career prospects. In fact, there are tons of quality professions and positions you can hold with ADHD, and some might be better fits for you than others.
Break down the best jobs for people with ADHD so you know how to target your job search:
What is ADHD?
ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a neurobehavioral disorder that’s characterized by symptoms like short attention span, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Although millions of people have some level of ADHD, no two people display ADHD in exactly the same way. For instance, some people with ADHD are very withdrawn, while others are very social people.
In any case, individuals with ADHD may have difficulty concentrating or focusing on one topic at a time. Some people with ADHD also inappropriately focus on one thing at a time and find it difficult to shift their focus when needed.
That’s because there are three different types of ADHD:
- Inattentive type
- Hyperactive and impulsive type
- Combination type
Regardless, individuals with ADHD have a lot of distinct advantages and strengths. They tend to be high-energy, for example, so they can channel a lot of work energy and productivity into distinct tasks when they are able to focus.
People with ADHD are also often very creative. This doesn’t mean that they will necessarily be artists, necessarily, but that they often think out of the box compared to other workers. Individuals with ADHD can hyperfocus or dedicate a lot of brainpower to a specific problem, making them good problem solvers in certain contexts.
What makes a job good for people with ADHD?
Generally, the best jobs for individuals with ADHD share certain factors or traits.
- High intensity. Jobs that are high-intensity fit people with ADHD well since it means they always have something to do or focus on.
- Very structured. Structured jobs give people with ADHD the guidance they need to focus on the right things at the right times.
- Lightning paced. Fast-paced jobs are perfect for folks with ADHD since it means they don’t get bored, which can get them into trouble.
- They have some creative elements. Many individuals with ADHD appreciate creative jobs because it gives their brains an opportunity to exercise in this unique way.
- They relate to a person’s passion. The best jobs for people with ADHD revolve around a passion or overall goal that the person has.
Top jobs for people with ADHD
Not sure where to start in your job hunt? Here’s a look at 13 great jobs for people with ADHD like you or a loved one in your family.
1. Daycare worker
If you appreciate having your attention pulled in many different directions and want to help with kids, consider becoming a daycare worker. Daycare workers have a lot of different responsibilities, and every day is unique. In that sense, it’s perfect for people with ADHD.
As a daycare worker, you’ll be cleaning up messes, playing with kids and organizing activities throughout your working hours. It’s a great way to divert your energy into a productive outlet.
2. Copy editor
Copy editors always have a lot to do. They usually correct errors and typos in content, help edit online blog posts and much more. Depending on your needs, you can work as a freelance copy editor or work for a dedicated copywriting agency or marketing firm. The sky’s the limit.
What makes this job well-suited for people with ADHD is that there are always tight deadlines. When work hits your table, you need to get cracking at it fast. This could work perfectly if you like to focus on one thing at a time with great intensity.
Hairstylists see new people about every 45 minutes, if not even faster. Thus, this job could be ideal for people with ADHD who like to work with many people and have various projects or problems to solve. Furthermore, no hairstyling appointment is ever the same.
As a hairstylist, you can work for several salons or even open up your own salon once you get enough experience. In any case, this is a fantastic social job for people with ADHD who like to work with their hands.
Becoming an entrepreneur will take a lot of drive and ambition, but it could be great if you have ADHD. As an entrepreneur, you’ll start businesses and make products, plus you have to wear a lot of different hats. You’ll need to master marketing, business analytics, customer outreach and much more to succeed.
There’s a lot to risk in entrepreneurship, but also a lot to earn. If you like the idea of running your own business and making it on your own, consider pursuing entrepreneur opportunities or building up a business with a few friends.
EMTs or emergency medical technicians lead high-stress workplace lives. They do the vital medical work that saves people in times of crisis. Because of this, individuals with ADHD who thrive in high-pressure situations and who need fast-paced work might find themselves right at home in this profession.
However, note that you need to become certified to become an EMT, and the hours can be brutal. The pay isn’t great, but this could open up other professional doors for your career in the future.
Or you could work as a nurse. Similar to EMT, the nursing profession includes a lot of high-stress, high-pressure work, so it might be ideal for those with ADHD. As a nurse, you’ll help treat injuries and illnesses, diagnose patients and assist other medical professionals at clinics and hospitals.
You’ll need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to become a nurse, plus completion of a certificate program. There are lots of opportunities for pay and professional advancement in this career.
7. Software developer
Software developers create software programs that people use for work, pleasure and a variety of other purposes. You’ll need to know lots of different coding languages to succeed, so people with ADHD who like to learn might already find something to like here.
After you learn your languages, you’ll also have tight deadlines, tons of tasks to complete and a fast-paced work environment. Consider becoming a software developer if you like the idea of programming or coding as a profession.
8. Theatrical stage manager
Theatrical stage managers are artistic professionals who organize and run every element of a theatrical production, like a play or musical. They need to know the ins and outs of this industry, plus be good communicators. Their jobs are very fast-paced and particularly high-pressure once the curtains roll up, as they’re in charge of ensuring everything in a play goes off smoothly.
Engineering is another solid fit for people with ADHD. There are many different types of engineers, but every engineering position relies on solving problems and focusing on little details that ensure safety and product performance.
Plus, engineers typically make excellent money. If you have a very spatially oriented mind, engineering could be the perfect fit for you if you have ADHD.
Chefs at restaurants have to thrive in fast-paced environments to get orders out on time and to create food to perfection. If you like cooking and have ADHD, becoming a professional chef might be just the ticket. Chefs have to divert their attention from thing to thing very quickly, so it’s perfect for people with ADHD who have to multitask.
Teachers also run very busy lives in the workplace. They have to grade papers, speak to kids, give lessons and much more, all within a relatively standard workday. Teaching could be a great profession if you have ADHD and you appreciate a job where every day is at least a little different. Plus, it’s a natural fit if you also like kids.
In addition, teachers often work at home just as much as they do in the classroom. So if you need a lot of work to keep yourself busy, this might be a perfect job for you.
12. Fitness trainer
Many people with ADHD find that exercise helps their minds calm and makes their lives better. With that in mind, you can work as a fitness trainer and get your daily exercise in while also earning money.
You can extend your passion for exercising to others by working for a gymnasium or fitness brand. Then, you’ll always have a new exercise or routine to hop into. You can use your infinite energy to inspire others to become physically fit, as well.
Journalists track down leads, speak to contacts, write articles and handle a dozen other responsibilities. Since this is a very fast-paced life with lots to do, it’s a good fit for people with ADHD.
You can also become a journalist for a physical newspaper or for an online outlet. Whatever the case, there are lots of opportunities for work in this field, though you normally need a degree in writing or communications to qualify.
Lastly, consider becoming a photographer if you have ADHD and are looking for a great job. Photographers are always on the lookout for stellar visual subjects, and there are many types of photographers you can become. Examples include wedding photographers, nature photographers and more.
Photographers often focus on several things in a short timeframe as they attempt to get the perfect shot for their publications. You can work as a photographer for a brand/newspaper or be a freelance photographer and sell your photos to the highest bidder.
In the end, the best jobs for people with ADHD will allow them to progress in their careers and enjoy their time at work much more than other jobs. Consider applying for positions like these in your area if you’re on the hunt for a new job.
Check out Entrepreneur’s other guides and resources for more information on this topic.