Around the world, an estimated 1.3 billion people live with some form of vision impairment, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). While 188.5 million people have mild vision impairment and 217 million have moderate to severe vision impairment, another 36 million people are blind.
For them, their vision impairment poses yet another obstacle in the already competitive job hunt. But there are tons of jobs out there in which people living with blindness can excel. Here are just 13 examples of jobs for blind people.
There are tons of resources out there for teachers with blindness, such as The American Association of Blind Teachers. And, if you can cope with your blindness as a teacher, you can earn a decent salary. Being a high school teacher can earn you about $60,320 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, kindergarten teachers earn about $57,980 per year, and preschool teachers earn about $29,780 per year.
A psychologist is someone who studies the "cognitive, emotional and social processes and behavior by observing, interpreting and recording how individuals relate to one another and to their environments." They're known for being able to establish rapport with clients and truly empathize. Because blindness may be a challenge that you face, you have common ground with clients in that you each have your own unique obstacles. A psychologist can earn about $79,010 per year or $37.99 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While some psychologists work independently, consulting with their own individual clients or working with patients, others work as part of a healthcare team among physicians and social workers, or even in school settings to help students, teachers and parents.
A massage therapist earns about $41,420 per year or $19.92 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There were 159,800 openings for masseuse jobs in 2018, and the outlook for 2018 to 2018 shows a 22% growth rate, which means that massage therapists are in demand. And many spas and salons will hire blind masseuses, specifically, who are often believed to have a stronger sense of touch.
"Customer service representatives interact with customers to handle complaints, process orders and answer questions," according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reports that they earn an average of $33,750 per year or $16.23 per hour. You primarily need to be able to verbally and non-verbally communicate well with customers, which means that characteristics like blindness shouldn't pose too many challenges to the job.
Like a psychologist, a blind social worker may be able to relate to clients' unique challenges. And a social work can earn about $49,470 per year or $23.79 per hour doing it, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although some social workers only need a bachelor’s degree in social work, some clinical social workers do need to have a master’s degree, at least two years of post-master’s experience in a supervised clinical setting and a license in their state, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you're a food lover, there are tons of companies that will literally pay you to taste test their products. Companies always look to hire food tasters to determine whether or not their recipes are ready for the public. And, again, because many people believe that, when one sense is lessened, the others are greatened, your sense of taste may be hugely valuable to these companies.
Musicians and singers earn, on average, about $28.15 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that "there will be tough competition for jobs because of the large number of people who are interested in becoming musicians and singers," it can be a highly lucrative career for those who are musically gifted.
Craft and fine artists earn, on average, about $48,960 per year or $23.54 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reports that "many artists work in fine- or commercial-art studios located in office buildings, warehouses, or lofts" while "others work in private studios in their homes" or "share studio space, where they also may exhibit their work." Whatever you choose to do, show off your talents as an artist in whatever form comes naturally to you.
"Speech-language pathologists assess, diagnose, treat and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults," according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also reports that they earn an average of about $77,510 per year
or $37.26 per hour with a Master's degree. While some speech-language pathologists work in schools, most of them work in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals. Many people with blindness go on to pursue careers in speech pathology because they can relate to the challenges that their patients face in day-to-day life.
"Substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors provide treatment and advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction or other mental or behavioral problems," according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They earn about $44,630 per year or $21.46 per hour.
Teach fitness or nutrition to clients who are looking to get themselves physically fit and healthy. A personal trainer can earn about $39,820 per year or $19.15 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A physical therapist earns about $87,930 per year or $42.27 per hour for helping injured or ill people improve their movement and manage their pain, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Physical therapists are indeed required to have a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, and all states require physical therapists to be licensed. While it's not an easy job to land, the growth projection from 2018 to 2028 is 22%, which is much faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A professor can earn about $78,470 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a professor, you can really help to make a difference in your students' futures.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.