Jobs For People With ADHD: 15 Best Careers in 2023
In America, about 4.4% of adults are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, better known as ADHD. This condition is not a learning disability but a neurodevelopmental disorder and is determined by certain behavioral patterns that make it difficult to perform everyday tasks that would be normal for a person without this disorder.
ADHD mostly begins at an early age, i.e., in infancy. However, symptoms can persist into adulthood in about 60% of cases. In fact, our last analysis of the statistics of neurodiversity in the workplace shows that ADHD is the most common neurodiversity among college students.
Therefore, here is a list of the best jobs for people with ADHD, whether you are young and looking for the best careers in which you can perform, or you are already in your adult life and looking for a change of employment or an activity in which your potential is better developed.
If you’re interested in delving deeper into ADHD employment, we’ve also compiled the latest ADHD employment statistics for your exploration
Do you have ADHD and are you looking for a job? We invite you to have a look at our jobs for people with disabilities to find and apply for ADHD friendly jobs that might interest you.
Before getting into the topic it is necessary to talk about the positive and negative traits of personality, so you can compare careers according to which characteristics you see more reflected in yourself and which ones are not.
Let’s start with the positive characteristics and strengths Healthline suggests when it comes to job performance:
- High-intensity: People with ADHD have a high energy level. They exhibit strong motivation for tasks that have high intensity and where their energy can be harnessed to the fullest, with no room for boredom or quietness.
- Enthusiasm: This means a tremendous ability to be strongly passionate about certain topics or activities. This strength is key when choosing a job because if you are passionate about it, you are likely to do outstanding work.
- Ultra-structured: Jobs that lack organization can be a headache for a person with ADHD. Their personality tends to need structure to carry out activities so that there are no tasks left out and no room for forgetfulness.
- Higher levels of creativity: The idea that people with ADHD are more creative than others is not mythical. Studies revealed that creative thinking in them can reach high levels as well as problem-solving abilities. This strength is perfect for jobs that require creativity and “thinking outside the box”.
- Velocity: Constant change, adaptation, and quick thinking and ideation are the elements that contribute to people with ADHD being able to feel at ease in fast-paced, intense work environments. Again, no room for boredom!
- Risk-taker: Creative and innovative thinking, coupled with a willingness to take risks and try new things can be perfect for taking on jobs where you can be your own boss. This will depend a lot on how well you can handle self-made structures, so the passion for this type of work is key.
Now let’s review some of the potential negative personality traits:
- Distractibility: They can be easily distracted by other issues, activities, and even thoughts. Hence, it is essential that they are passionate about their activities. Remember: the key is not to give room for boredom.
- Hyperactivity: Their hyperactive minds keep switching from one task to another. They may jump from one task to another without finishing the initial task and end up doing several at the same time. As a result, meeting deadlines becomes a major obstacle, and tasks that require planning and organization may be put on the back burner.
- Impulsivity: People with ADHD may have problems predicting the outcomes of their current actions. Their impulsivity and willingness to take risks may lead to many problems in teamwork or jobs in general.
Best careers for people with ADHD
We listed the best jobs and careers for people with ADHD, note that there are different jobs for ADHD introverts and extroverts. You might also want to have a look at our other guide about the worst jobs for ADHD and careers to avoid.
1. Social worker
This job is perfect for people with ADHD as the willingness to serve requires a strong passion for the activities you do and for helping others. This is a type of work that you can not do if you are not passionate about it. In addition, it can often become very intense and require high energy levels in people with ADHD.
It is also worth mentioning that being a social worker does not usually require autonomous time management but rather the following of given structures, which also adds to the skills of someone with ADHD.
To find a path as a social worker it is important to start a career as this is a formal profession in the United States. It can also be beneficial if you participate in volunteer work, NGOs, or other types of social work activities. In this area, you can also specialize in different topics such as mental health, child welfare, senior citizens, politics, and justice, among others. The more specific your passion, the more you will excel in your activities!
Social work salaries have high variability. Social work salaries vary depending upon a number of factors, including geographic location, highest social work degree, and area of practice.
Currently, the fastest growing areas are healthcare and medical social work as well as mental health and substance abuse. Salaries range from $40,000 to $60,000 per year.
Other jobs that also fit the passion of people with ADHD are religious clergy, psychologist, author, teacher, nurse, or veterinarian.
2. Police officer
Working as a police officer can provide a perfect environment for a person with ADHD. A fast-paced, detail-oriented, energy-intensive, and very intense job fulfills all the motivational and attentional needs of someone with this disorder.
Areas such as Criminal specialists are especially interesting for the curious, investigative nature with good problem-solving skills. Although it will require organization, these entities are highly structured which will undoubtedly help with task performance.
The requirements to become a police officer will depend on the position you want to apply for, but they are usually minimum requirements such as, obtaining your high school diploma, being a U.S. citizen, and having a clean criminal record. For more advanced law enforcement positions you will need a bachelor’s degree, especially those at the federal level, such as with the FBI or US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The national average annual wage of a police officer is $67,600, a little over $15,000 more than the annual average wage for all occupations, $51,960. Depending on the state, however, the average salary of a police officer can vary significantly. Police officer wages are heavily dependent on the cost of living in each state.
Other jobs that share many characteristics with this one and are also high intensity are detective, critical care nurse, emergency dispatcher, and sports coach.
Being a high-paying career for ADHD, lawyer offers many advantages for people with ADHD. Mainly thanks to the fact that it is a highly structured job, for example in following bureaucratic issues, formats, etc. Developing in this area can allow following a logical order that helps to counteract the disorder typical of people with ADHD. In addition, problem-solving can be very motivating in this job and creativity can make you excel in your activities.
Prospective lawyers must undertake a series of steps to practice law, including completion of undergraduate and graduate degrees, examinations, and licensing processes. Take into account that to become a lawyer you must be willing to commit several years to study law in order to do so.
For the US the average annual wage of a lawyer is $144,230, which is not far from being three times the average annual salary for all occupations, $51,960. However, that average salary is for the U.S. overall, which hides significant differences depending on the state you reside in. California is the state with the highest salaries: $171,550, while Montana is the lowest with $88,000.
If structured jobs are what you are interested in, these share characteristics with those of a lawyer: military, project manager, data analyst, software tester, accountant, insurance claims adjuster, or bank teller.
Many of a child’s dreams can come true and be a perfect fit for a person with ADHD. Being a firefighter requires high energy levels, problem-solving, working in a fast-paced environment, different sources of information, and lots and lots of passion for the craft.
Those who fight fires are trained to do their job anywhere: from forests to rural areas to urban high-rises. Firefighters work to protect lives. Some firefighters choose to start with volunteer work at their local firehouse, coupled with their high school diploma. Those who want to advance up the ranks faster can turn to a fire science degree that will prepare them for responsibilities at the state or federal level. Some states also require an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) license and they can be called out for emergency medical situations. EMT could be also very exciting for people with ADHD. This is definitely one of our top choice when it comes to good jobs for people with ADHD.
Firefighter salaries can vary widely across the United States. Some firefighters work in very small departments with limited budgets while others work in urban areas with much higher financial coffers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the 2021 median pay for firefighters was $50,700.
Very similar jobs with fast-paced environments may be ER nurse, trauma doctor/surgeon, schoolteacher, dental assistant, or retail clerk.
In this type of work, we can include any type of art since creativity will see its full comfort in these jobs. From painting, photography, fashion, music, or film, people with ADHD can be outstanding artists thanks to their different ways of seeing the world and the passion they may have for art. Artist is often seen as a good choice when it comes to jobs for the mentally disabled if you have good organizational skills.
For artists, it can be challenging to find themselves in work environments without a defined structure, so if this is the area that interests you, you should master the organization or work directly in companies that can have such a structure for you and you can devote yourself fully to developing your creativity. Also note that depending on the field you choose, artist can be a good job for ADHD introverts.
Due to the varied nature of careers within the arts and humanities, salaries can be difficult to pinpoint. For instance, the difference between salaries for a top film director compared to the annual wages of a new graphic designer can be huge. Salary in this field depends heavily on the specific role, location, one’s level of education, and previous experience. Here are some specific examples you may be interested in:
- art directors earn $88,000 annually,
- fashion designers earn $62,000,
- and photographers earn around $30,000.
Being a doctor can be a great alternative for a person with ADHD as it combines several personality strengths such as the need for passion and vocation for the profession, the fast-paced environment, and a structured space with no room for clutter. This job can provide the necessary challenges and excitement that a person with ADHD may need.
Likewise, pursuing a career as a doctor has a very defined structure that can also make it easy to continue studies and decrease the likelihood of attrition. However, passion will also be key because discipline in the study of medicine is a must.
Medicine is one of the highest-paying occupations in the country. Doctors account for 45% of the 20 highest-paying jobs in the US. Average salaries easily surpass six figures, with some surgeons and physicians able to command salaries greater than $400,000. Numerous factors influence doctors’ earning potential, including specialization, education, and location. And there is always a crushing need for more doctors.
Journalism can be exciting, creative, and rewarding for reporters and writers who cope well with the daily changes on the job. Most journalists have a wide range of topics to investigate, interact with many people, and lack a boring routine: their work changes from day to day.
Journalism requires critical thinking, synthesizing, and logical thinking. People who are also passionate about their stories to tell and good communicators who have an intuitive understanding. You do not need a diploma to become a journalist but if you want to do it professionally it is a great option.
Salaries for journalists vary widely from region to region, state to state, and individual job-to-job. Freelance writers, for example, can make as much as two dollars a word doing stories for national magazines, or as little as $50 per story for an online site. A wide estimation of all different occupations in journalism is $34,750 annually.
Let’s look at a few more good jobs for people with ADHD
Another career opportunity for people with ADHD. Many careers in the culinary arts demand high energy levels and often allow you to focus on short tasks, without the need for a great deal of long-term planning. The thrill of the fast pace may also be appealing.
Average salary: $47,889 per year
9. IT Professional
Technology careers can be a great option for those who experience hyper-concentration. Being able to focus emphatically on something for hours at a time, without being distracted, can be of great benefit in a technology career that requires developing code or programming, for example. As long as you are passionate about it.
Average salary: $62,571 per year
Many people with ADHD find activities that allow them to work directly with children appealing, as these jobs depend on a dynamic, creative, and energetic attitude. Teacher might not be the best job for ADHD introverts. Since you can also teach online, this job is also considered as an easy job for disabled adults.
Average salary: $65,090 per year
Being an entrepreneur involves challenging, rewarding, and always different challenges, which offers an escape from the office routine. Also, it can help to train the risk-taking behavior in people with ADHD.
Average Salary: $65,000 – $72,000 per year
Another one that is considered as on of the a best job for people with ADHD. Estheticians are constantly meeting with new clients, each of whom poses a unique creative challenge that requires short-term concentration. These professionals jump quickly from one task to another, an ideal work situation for an adult with ADHD hyperactive type.
Average Salary: $50,000 per year
The creativity and hyper-concentration displayed by many individuals with ADHD can make the engineering profession very appealing. With so many fields within the engineering profession, a variety of tasks and environments is virtually assured.
Average Salary: $100,000 per year
Seeing a project from many different angles and creativity are characteristics of this profession. People with ADHD can excel in this job, where hyper-concentration on a project can yield incredible results for clients and their creativity can also be boosted.
Average Salary: $82,320 per year
15. Physical trainer
If fitness is your thing, you can harness all that energy and channel it into helping someone reach their fitness goals. Athletic trainers or fitness specialists can perform a variety of jobs. Some people just want to start working in a gym right out of high school; others become certified athletic trainers, personal trainers, rehabilitation counselors, etc. There are many career opportunities for people with ADHD in the sports and fitness field.
Average Salary: $64,566
Do you have ADHD and are you looking for a job? We invite you to have a look at our list of disability jobs to find and apply for ADHD friendly jobs that might interest you.
Resources for Individuals with ADHD Seeking Employment
There are several resources available to individuals with ADHD who are seeking employment in the United States. These resources can provide job search assistance, career counseling, and advice on requesting accommodations. Some of the resources available include:
- The Job Accommodation Network (JAN): JAN is a free service that assists individuals with disabilities, including ADHD, in identifying and requesting accommodations in the workplace.
- The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA): ADDA provides resources and support for individuals with ADHD, including job search assistance, career counseling, and information on accommodations.
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): NAMI offers resources and support for individuals with mental health conditions, including ADHD, and can assist with job search and accommodations.
- Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS): VRS is a federally-funded program that provides vocational rehabilitation services, including job search assistance and accommodations, to individuals with disabilities.
- CareerOneStop: CareerOneStop is a free online resource that provides job search assistance, including tools for creating resumes and cover letters and information on job training and apprenticeship programs.
By utilizing these resources, job seekers with ADHD can receive the support and guidance they need to successfully navigate the search process and excel in their careers. A study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders found that employees with ADHD who received career counseling and co
The bottom line is that most adults with ADHD find it possible to succeed in the workforce. The key is to view your ADHD traits as assets and seek jobs or fields that capitalize on your unique strengths, quirks, and interests. Pay also attention to the fact that there are some jobs for ADHD introverts that might not be a good fit for extroverts.
It is very important not only to analyze the ADHD characteristics when choosing your career but also the most present characteristics in you, the negative things you can handle and the things you can not, and definitely the things that catch your attention the most because after all, you are not only ADHD but much more. Now, you can review and go on your way to choose the best ADHD job that fits you.
Yes, most adults with ADHD find it possible to succeed in the workforce.
The key is to view your ADHD traits as assets and seek jobs or fields that capitalize on your unique strengths, quirks, and interests.
Some of the jobs for ADHD introverts are artist, architect, engineer, IT professional, journalist, marketer, freelancer, accountant, actuary, application developer, archivist, content manager, graphic designer, photographer.
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