The best jobs and careers for people with dyslexia

Living with dyslexia and looking for work? Check out APM's picks for the best jobs for people with dyslexia and find out how to get personal help finding job opportunities that are right for you.

Can you get a job if you live with dyslexia?

Living with dyslexia might make some things more challenging, but it can't stop you from having a successful career.

The best jobs for people with dyslexia are the jobs which fit your interests, skills and abilities. Just like the rest of the community, people with dyslexia excel in a wide range of jobs and career pathways.

People who live with dyslexia can be found in virtually every industry, from tech to healthcare, performing arts, hospitality and education.

What jobs are right for you?

When brainstorming which jobs and careers would be a good fit for you, take time to consider your unique set of skills, interests and strengths.

For example:

  • Are you a strong visual thinker?
  • Do you have great time management skills?
  • Are you good with people?
  • Can you communicate ideas effectively?
  • Are you good at creating things and thinking outside the box?

For tailored career advice, chat with one of APM's Employment Consultants. After getting to know you, we can help you discover job opportunities and potential employers that are a good fit for you.

The 7 best jobs for people with dyslexia

From the chef Jamie Oliver to actress Jennifer Anniston and fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger – there are many famous examples of people living with dyslexia who have successful careers.

Check out the ideas below for different career choices that people living with a learning disability have found success in.

1. Hospitality

If you like the idea of working in a fast paced environment and meeting different people from all walks of life, a career in hospitality could work for you.

There are many roles in hospitality which require strong communication skills and creative thinking.

  • Chef
  • Kitchen hand
  • Waiter/server
  • Valet
  • Greeter
  • Customer service officer

The British chef and restaurant owner, Jaimie Oliver, lives with dyslexia. His learning difference made school a struggle, but helped him realise that there are different kinds of intelligence. He found his talent in cooking and food preparation.

In an interview with Made by Dyslexia, Jaimie Oliver said: "Everyone has their ability to be brilliant."

2. Visual arts

Many people with dyslexia have strong visual thinking and creative skills. These can be a real asset in visual art careers such as:

  • Graphic design
  • Jewellery making
  • Fashion
  • Illustration

There are many examples of famous people who found success in the visual arts:

  • Dav Pilkey, the author of Captain Underpants, struggled with ADHD and dyslexia at school before finding success as a comic book artist.
  • John Hoke, the chief of design officer at Nike, lives with dyslexia and says drawing is his first language.
  • The famous fashion designer, Tommy Hilfiger, struggled with reading from a young age but had a passion for fashion that he turned into a successful career.

3. Sports and recreation

Some people with dyslexia are good at visualising space and have quick reflexes – skills that are important for sports.

One of the most famous sportsmen of all time, Muhammed Ali, lived with dyslexia. Ali was also an activist for children with learning difficulties and created a series of books called "Go The Distance" to help improve literacy.

In addition to being a sports person, there are many other roles in sports and recreation that you can do. For example:

  • Sports coach
  • Sports umpire
  • Physical education teacher
  • Personal trainer
  • Sports administrator

4. Construction

If you are good with hands-on, practical tasks, you might enjoy a career in construction. Spatial awareness and visualisation skills are important for building and construction roles.

Other hands-on trades to consider include:

  • Carpentry
  • Electrical trades
  • Plumbing and gas
  • Painting
  • Insulation installation
  • Heavy equipment operating

There are many apps and devices that can help with reading and writing tasks that you might need to do for trade jobs. For example, colour coded manuals, portable readers and screen reading software.

5. Sales and marketing

Those who are good at communicating with others, might do well in a sales or marketing job.

Sales and marketing roles mostly require strong verbal and visual communication skills. They often involve some written tasks too, such as writing emails, composing sales pitches or writing ad copy.

There are many simple accommodations, such as word processing software and copyediting assistance, that can help you perform written tasks to a high level.

6. Landscaping/gardening

If you prefer hands-on work in an outdoor environment, a job in landscaping, gardening or caretaking might be a good fit for you.

Landscapers design and build outdoor spaces. The job requires strong visual thinking as well as practical skills. Gardeners and caretakers will need strong practical skills and problem solving skills.

Check out how APM helped Leigh find a hands-on job where he feels happier and healthier.

7. Social Work

Do you have a passion for helping others? A career in social work might be a good fit for you.

Social workers help others who are going through a hard time. They may provide counselling, or help people access other support such as medical assistance, legal services or financial help.

Skills that social workers need include:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Active listening skills
  • Compassion and empathy
  • Patience
  • Self-care

How do I get a job with dyslexia?

If you're living with dyslexia and want to find work, APM is here for you. We help thousands of job seekers across Australia find work and thrive in their new job. We're ready to help you too.

You could be eligible for Disability Employment Services, a government funded program which helps find jobs for people with disabilities, including dyslexia and other learning disabilities

Ready to get to work? Register with APM today and let's get started.

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