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Best Jobs for People with Autism

What is autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? 

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that can cause social, behavioral, and communication issues. There are different levels of ASD. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) lists quite a few symptoms of ASD. These include not pointing at things they might be interested in, not understanding when someone else points at an object, not showing interest in other people, avoiding eye contact, not understanding others’ feelings or talking about their own, echoing words or phrases in place of speaking normally, having trouble adapting when a routine changes, or repeating actions over and over again. Some of the more severe issues for children with ASD include behaviors such as kicking, biting, or hitting.

There is no cure for ASD. However, steps can be taken to diminish or eliminate negative behaviors. Applied behavior analysis, or ABA, seeks to replace negative reactions with more positive ones. This has been shown to be effective for helping many people who are on the spectrum. 

Best Jobs for Autistic Adults

When parents learn that their child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, they can begin to worry about their child’s future. Depending on the severity of their child’s ASD, they may wonder if their child will be able to provide for themselves and what their child will do upon reaching adulthood. However, there are many jobs for people with autism. In fact, the Autism Parenting Magazine lists several ways that those with autism make better employees than their neurotypical counterparts. These include a better quality of work, an obsessive approach when it is needed, great accuracy, fast turnaround times, good work ethic, and, of particular note, a unique perspective. 

We have compiled a list of the best jobs for autistic adults. There were quite a few lists available, but we narrowed it down to a few of the most helpful websites. They are listed here (in no particular order) in case they may be useful in a search for autistic careers. 

Sources:

Jobs & Careers for People With Autism (2020)

Elemy.com is a website that helps connect parents of autistic children with applied behavior analysts. This article lists good jobs for people with autism for visual and non-visual thinkers, besides describing levels of severity of autism. It also lists companies that hire autistic individuals, and resources for the job search and interview process.

Indiana Resource Center for Autism

This article describes how to choose a good job if you have autism or asperger’s syndrome. It provides lists for visual and non-visual thinkers. It also gives examples of bad jobs for people with autism, which are those that require too much short-term memory or interaction with people. 

Jobs for people with Autism Disorder (ASD) | Real job ideas

After briefly listing some things that people need to know about their strengths and weaknesses before searching for a job, this article lists 10 jobs for autistic adults. 

8 Great Career Paths For People With Autism

Another list of good jobs for those with autism; this one talks about common proficiencies of people with ASD and stresses the importance of knowing one’s skills and interests prior to beginning a job search.

Jobs for People with Autism: Careers for Visual Thinkers

In an article from theplaceforchildrenwithautism.com, visual thinking is described as a way of thinking more in images than in words. Those with ASD who think in images tend to see things in their mind in order to understand or process them. The thought process for these individuals may not always be linear, and it can be difficult for others to see the connection between two ideas or images that are obviously connected from the autistic individual’s perspective. The following jobs are listed as being good jobs for people with autism that are visual thinkers. We chose the top 10 jobs by finding those with job outlooks that are average or above average, and then ranking them according to the highest salary. All data on salary and job outlook was taken from the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

#10. Veterinary TechnicianAn image of a veterinary technician getting a dog ready for shots for our list of the top careers for autistic adults

Average annual salary: $36,260

Job outlook: 15%

What do veterinary technicians do? 

Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians with their duties. This job involves caring for animals, as well as some interaction with the pets’ caretakers. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

Those with ASD often form very close bonds with animals, finding them easier to interact with than other people. An image of a maintenence worker for our list of the top jobs for adults with autism

#9. Building or Factory Maintenance

Average annual salary: $40,850

Job outlook: 8%

What do people who work in building or factory maintenance do? 

This is a very hands-on job that can involve painting, building, and other kinds of repair, whether it is repairing a broken door or fixing a machine that won’t run. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults? 

This job is good for those who are problem-solvers, as well as for those who enjoy working with their hands. 

#8. PhotographyAn image of a photographer for our list of jobs for autistic people

Average annual salary: $41,280

Job outlook: 17%

What do photographers do? 

Photography requires a strong visual and aesthetic sense, as well as knowledge about technology. Photographers are often in demand to document important moments in people’s lives, such as weddings or graduations. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults? 

This job, as stated above, is good for visual thinkers and for those who enjoy technology. Adults on the spectrum can find a fulfilling career in this field, if they enjoy this art form.

#7. Welding

An image of a welder for our list of the best jobs for people with autism

Note: Data found on BLS.gov for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

Average annual salary: $44,190

Job outlook: 8%

What do welders do? 

Welders use heat to fuse metal surfaces together. They may use this skill either in repair or in the creation of something new. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

This is a hands-on job that requires the use of equipment and can yield beautiful and practical results. For those with a strong visual sense, welding can place high among good jobs for autistics adults.

#6. HandcraftsAn image of handcrafted jewelry for our list of jobs for autistic adults

Note: Data found on BLS.gov for craft and fine artists

Average annual salary: $49,120

Job outlook: 14%

What do craft artists do?

This description covers a wide range of crafts. It can include ceramics, jewelry-making, wood-carving, knitting, crocheting, sewing, and many other skills. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

This is a good job for anyone who is passionate about their craft, and it is no different for those with ASD. If someone with ASD is highly skilled in this area, it can certainly be counted among good jobs for people with autism. 

#5. Laboratory TechnicianAn image of a lab technician for our list of good jobs for autistics adults

Average annual salary: $54,180

Job outlook: 11%

What do laboratory technicians do?

According to Indeed.com, laboratory technicians have a wide range of duties, including conducting experiments, making sure that machinery or equipment is running correctly, and disinfecting equipment and work areas. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

Attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and the ability to think outside the box can make those with ASD great candidates for employment in this field.

#4. Computer Troubleshooting and RepairAn image of someone repairing a computer for our list of the top autistic careers

Average annual salary: $55,510

Job outlook: 9%

What do people who repair computers do?

Those who repair computers must evaluate the problems that a computer is having and do their best to fix it. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

Problem-solving is of immense use in this field, as are patience and attention to detail. When those with ASD are interested in something, they will often work harder on it than neurotypical people will, which means this field offers some of the best jobs for autistic adults. 

#3. Webpage DesignAn image of a website designer for our list of the top jobs for autistic adults

Average annual salary: $77,200

Job outlook: 13%

What do people who design webpages do?

Almost every company now requires an online presence to help people find them. Webpage designers help these companies to make themselves available to the online community. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

For someone who is interested in computers and visual design, this is among the best jobs for autistic people. It requires minimal face-to-face interaction with people, as most of the designer’s time is spent with a computer. 

#2. Computer AnimationAn image of someone working at a computer for our ranking of the top jobs for autistics adults

Average annual salary: $77,700

Job outlook: 16%

What do computer animators do?

Computer animators help characters and symbols come to life on a screen, whether for use in advertising or in the entertainment industry. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

This is one of the best jobs for autistic people. Similar to webpage design, it requires minimal face-to-face interaction with people. The animator spends most of their time using a computer.

#1. Equipment DesignAn image of a man working on a machine for our list of the top jobs for people with autism

Note: Data found on BLS.gov for mechanical engineering

Average annual salary: $90,160

Job outlook: 7%

What do equipment designers do?

As can be deduced from the occupation title, equipment designers are responsible for coming up with the equipment to be used in a certain area. This may be in manufacturing, construction, or another field. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

This is one of the best jobs for autistic people who are visual thinkers, as it requires a strong visual sense as well as attention to detail. 

Other Career Options

There are other good jobs for people with autism; however, many of the other jobs we found had a low job outlook. Some of these other good jobs for autistic adults include: 

  • Home appliance repair
  • Automobile mechanic
  • Carpentry
  • Drafting
  • Commercial art
  • Computer programming

Jobs for People with Autism: Careers for Verbal/Logic Thinkers and Pattern Thinkers

An article from Forbes.com describes the differences in thinking patterns within those who are on the autism spectrum. One way of thinking is verbal or logic thinking. These individuals are often good with words and facts, and they tend to be incredibly good at memorizing. They may memorize seemingly random things, such as software product codes or train timetables and routes. They also tend to like making lists. 

Another way of thinking is pattern thinking. These individuals tend to see patterns within larger things. One example of this is music. Another field in which pattern thinkers can excel is math. We have combined logic thinkers and pattern thinkers below under the umbrella of “non-visual” thinkers, which is how many sources describe these patterns of thinking.

#10. Instrument Tuning and RepairAn image of someone tuning a piano for our list of autism careers

Average annual salary: $39,770

Job outlook: 7.1%

What do people who repair instruments do?

As implied in the occupation title, instrument tuning and repair is a field that involves making sure that people can enjoy their instruments to maximum capacity by ensuring that they are tuned and repaired. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

This job, as with many other jobs on the list, requires attention to detail. Piano tuning, for example, is an extremely detailed job. However, for someone who enjoys memorizing or finding patterns, tuning pianos or other instruments can be highly rewarding, and it is one of the best jobs for autistic people. 

#9. Copy Editing An image of a woman editing at a computer for our list of the top autism careers

Average annual salary: $44,670

Job outlook: 7.5%

What do copy editors do?

Copy editing involves going over a manuscript and checking for errors, whether these are grammar, spelling, or factual errors. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

This could be one of the best jobs for autistic people, especially for someone who enjoys working with words and is passionate about getting every detail right. 

#8. JournalismAn image of a journalist for our list of jobs for people with autism

Average annual salary: $49,300

Job outlook: 6%

What do journalists do?

Journalists inform others about what is going on in the world by writing or speaking. This may involve collecting information by visiting the scene of an event or analyzing information collected by others. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults? 

Because those with ASD tend to be very logical and avoid getting their own personal biases in the way, this field could provide very good jobs for people with autism.

#7. Laboratory TechnicianAn image of a lab technician for our list of the top jobs for autistic adults

Average annual salary: $54,180

Job outlook: 11%

What do laboratory technicians do?

According to Indeed.com, laboratory technicians have a wide range of duties, including conducting experiments, making sure that machinery or equipment is running correctly, and disinfecting equipment and work areas. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

Attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and the ability to think outside the box make those with ASD candidates for employment in this field. Those who are logical or pattern thinkers will be able to discern patterns and remember facts in this field, which is why this is a good field for both visual and non-visual thinkers.

#6. LibrarianAn image of a librarian for our list of jobs for people with autism

Average annual salary: $60,820

Job outlook: 9%

What do librarians do?

Librarians ensure that a library is running correctly. This may include shelving books, organizing library programs, and checking books out. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

People with ASD who are non-visual thinkers tend to have good memory skills, which are highly useful in a library setting. However, each individual must evaluate whether this job is right for them, as there is a level of interaction with other people involved in this job. 

#5. Aerospace EngineeringAn image of an aerospace engineer for our list of jobs for autistic people

Average annual salary: $68,570

Job outlook: 9%

What do aerospace engineers do?

Aerospace engineers design spacecraft and aircraft. They may also design and create prototypes that can be tested to ensure that the design functions according to plan. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

As stated above, attention to detail is one thing that makes those with ASD good at their job, and this job is one of the best jobs for people with autism, as it requires a great deal of attention to detail.

#4. AccountingAn image of an accountant for our list of the top jobs for autistic adults

Average annual salary: $73,560

Job outlook: 7%

What do accountants do?

Accountants work with numbers. They are skilled at evaluating a company’s money situation and handling their financial information. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

This job is good for those who enjoy mathematics and finding patterns, as well as for those who are passionate about getting things exactly right. Since non-visual thinkers with ASD may fit these descriptions, jobs as accountants can be good jobs for people with autism.

#3. Mechanical EngineeringAn image of a mechanical engineer for our list of best jobs for autistic people

Average annual salary: $90,160

Job outlook: 7%

What do mechanical engineers do?

Mechanical engineers design machinery of all kinds, sometimes using sophisticated software to do so. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

A similar job to this was listed above for visual thinkers. However, non-visual thinkers could also find this a good job, since it involves working with numbers and precise designing. 

#2. Statisticians/MathematiciansAn image of a statistician for our list of jobs for autistic adults

Average annual salary: $93,290

Job outlook: 33%

What do mathematicians do?

Statisticians and mathematicians conduct research. They often work with large numbers. They must use their theoretical knowledge to obtain real-world, practical situations. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

This job requires a great deal of comfort and familiarity with numbers. It also requires curiosity and, once again, attention to detail, making this a good autism career. 

#1. Physicists/AstronomersAn image of an astronomer for our list of the top jobs for autistic adults

Average annual salary:$128,950

Job outlook: 8%

What do physicists/astronomers do?

Physicists and astronomers are scientists that study how the world works, whether this is through examination of matter and energy or research about the universe. 

Is this a good job for autistic adults?

Much passion and enthusiasm is involved in reaching this job. Those who want to have a successful career in these areas must have a passion approaching obsession for this area of science. For some scientists with ASD, this is a perfect description of them. For these individuals, this is a good autism career. 

Other Career Ideas

Here are some other ideas for autistic careers. These were not included on the main list because of their low job outlook; however, they may provide some help in your search for autistic careers. 

  • Inventory Clerks
  • Bank Tellers
  • Computer Programmers
  • Office Clerks
  • Telemarketers
  • Civil Engineers

In conclusion, although people with autism can face significant challenges when searching for employment, there are excellent career options for adults with autism. 

ABADP Staff

December 2021

Related:

This concludes our list of the top careers for people with autism.