Jobs With Disabled People | 10 Careers Paths in 2023
Giving and helping others is naturally rewarding and fulfilling. If you’re passionate about contributing to a better society and serving others, a career devoted to helping disabled people will fulfill your passion. There are several fields where you can utilize your skills and dedicate your time to enrich the lives of people with disabilities.
By exploring different jobs with disabled people and looking into different career paths, you can determine which one suits you best so you can take the necessary steps to fulfill your mission.
Whether you choose to work with people who have a mental disability, or a physical disability, these jobs and career paths can help make a huge difference in other people’s lives and also reduce the disability discrimination statistics in the workplace.
As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of 4 US adults live with a disability. This led to high demand for working with disabled people.
10 Jobs & Career Paths Working with Disabled People
Do you want to work with disabled adults? In this article, we explore 15 popular jobs and careers in helping people with disabilities.
1. Home health aide
Average salary: $29,020
Living with a disability comes with its challenges which most of us take for granted. As a Home Health Aide worker, your main responsibilities would involve helping disabled people to perform household chores, cook and prepare meals, administer medications, shopping and running errands.
Disability comes in many forms, so you might be working with someone who has a physical or mental disability. As a Home Health Aide worker you will be helping them complete tasks and provide hands-on help to complete daily living activities. You can also help disabled people by teaching them how to complete daily tasks so they can become more self-reliant.
To work as a Home Health Aide worker you need to complete a specific program to obtain a certificate.
You will be learning basic medical and patient care, emergency response, as well as home maintenance and organizational skills.
2. Developmental disability case manager
Average salary: $36,687
If you would like to find a job with disabled people involving administrative work instead of working in the medical field, a developmental disability case manager can be a good fit for you.
You would be working with newly-disabled people and your duties would include assisting and supporting them to adapt to their new lifestyle.
You will also be helping them file disability claims and choose between different health care services available. If the disability is not permanent, you will also help them establish a time frame for recovery and returning to their place of work, if possible.
To work as a developmental disability case manager, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology or a related subject.
3. Rehabilitation specialist
Average salary: $41,609
Your main responsibility as a rehabilitation specialist is helping disabled people adapt to their new lifestyle.
You will be supporting them as they transition by providing emotional support and encouragement. As a rehabilitation specialist, you might also see the need to refer them to a doctor, and you can help them in seeking a job or a work placement.
If you would like to work as a rehabilitation specialist, you need to have a master’s degree in psychology, counseling or a related area.
Average salary: $29,640
A counselor can work with different kinds of people. If you would like to specifically get a job and work with disabled people, you can specialize in your private practice as a counselor for people with disabilities.
Alternatively, you can choose to work in a hospital, school or support center.
Counselors focus on different areas such as mental health, disability and learning disabilities. Your responsibility as a counselor for disabled people would be helping clients cope with their disabilities and help them maintain a positive outlook on life.
To work as a counselor you need to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology, counseling or social work.
You would then be able to apply for a license to practice as a counselor.
5. Learning disability nurse
Average salary: $39,963
A great opportunity for people who are looking for jobs with disabled people is a Learning disability nurse or a special needs nurse.
Your responsibilities would involve supporting and helping disabled people with conditions like down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy and others.
Your main focus is to support them in learning and help them achieve their highest potential in personal and social growth, and career development.
To work as a Learning disability nurse or special needs nurse should have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing and obtain the NCLEX license.
Average salary: $47,860
There are specific therapists that specialize and focus their career on helping people with disabilities.
As a therapist, you will be providing different types of therapies that provide positive benefits to disabled people. You can choose to specialize in a particular service for example working as a recreational therapist.
As a recreational therapist, you will be working with patients who have different kinds of physical disabilities. Your responsibility involves spending time helping disabled people to learn how to take better care of themselves through recreation-based therapies.
For example, you will be teaching them handcrafts, music, and specific games. This type of treatment is effective especially when working with children who have disabilities.
To work as a recreational therapist you would need to earn a bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy or a related field.
7. Special education teacher
Average salary: $49,847
If you consider yourself as a patient and empathic person, working as a special education teacher is another good opportunity for those who are seeking a career in helping people with disabilities.
A special education teacher teaches people with learning disabilities and helps them reach their potential in the academic field.
As a teacher for special needs, you will be responsible for creating lesson plans for one or more students with different disabilities ranging from physical, mental or sensory disabilities. You will certainly feel very proud and happy to know that with your teaching skills you will help students find suitable jobs for people with disabilities.
To work as a special education teacher you need to have a bachelor’s degree in education focusing on special education.
8. Disability support coordinator
Average salary: $31,638
A disability support coordinator is someone who works with disabled people, mostly students and workers to help them settle down and excel in a new school or work environment.
Your duties would include assisting in the environment to make it more accessible and suitable for the disabled.
For example having the installation of ramps, arranging distraction-free learning spaces among other factors that could be challenging and affect their performance and comfort in their new environment.
To find a job with disabled people working as a disability support coordinator you need to have a bachelor’s degree in special education, psychology, social work or counseling.
9. Mental health case manager
Average salary: $40,804
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in six U.S. adults lives with a mental illness.
If you’re interested in working with people who have a mental disability instead of a physical disability, working as a mental health case manager can be a good fit for you.
You will be placed in a hospital or a psychiatric facility where you will be having appointments with clients to discuss their condition.
Your main responsibility would be to establish goals for recovery and organize appointments with experienced mental health specialists.
To work as a mental health case manager, you ideally would have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, social work or a related field.
10. Occupational therapist
Average salary: $82,439
Occupational therapists can be placed in different hospitals and clinics to help individuals with disabilities improve their mobility.
Your main duty as an occupational therapist would be providing support to injured and disabled people.
You would need to assess and analyze a patient’s needs and create a treatment plan for recovery or improved mobility. Additionally, you will be working with disabled people and helping them perform exercises that improve their movement while providing emotional support to empower them and improve their self-confidence.
A bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in occupational therapy are required to work as an occupational therapist.
This depends on what kind of job you choose with disabled people. Certain jobs don’t require a bachelor’s degree and might only require a certificate. For example you can work as a Disability Support Worker without formal qualifications. To work as a Home Health Aide you would need to complete a specific program and obtain a certificate.
These are 10 common jobs and careers in helping people with disabilities:
Home Health Aide
Development Disability Case Manager
Learning Disability Nurse
Special Education Teacher
Disability Support Coordinator
Mental Health Case Manager
Yes, as an occupational therapist your main duty is to provide support to injured and disabled people.
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