Within the Deaf or HoH communities, many people find it difficult to follow a career path that would fully accommodate their needs. In essence, these people worry that due to their disability, they won’t be able to find a good stable job that would support them and their families. This, however, is not the case. The range of occupations is endless! Below are some examples of career paths that people from these communities could pursue.
Due to different technological advancements, deaf and hard of hearing individuals have an ample amount of opportunities within the healthcare sector. For instance, medical devices such as stethoscopes, help strengthen various sounds. Along with this, there has been a recent widespread distribution of clear surgical masks where it can help facilitate lip reading. This helps hearing people understand them more. In addition to this, some deaf people’s sense of touch are also heightened by using their hands to help them detect different sounds related to the heart and lungs. Lab-related occupations are also a great career choice since there is very little verbal communication involved. Some examples of healthcare jobs that one can do revolves around dentistry, physician roles, or even laboratory tech roles.
Technology and Engineering
Pursuing a career in technology or engineering is a great way for people of the deaf and HoH community to find jobs. Most of the jobs that relate to this field do not require the person to have hearing abilities. On a daily basis, most communication is done through E-mails, text messaging, or other electronic communication devices! Since technology is always advancing, there are a ton of professions within this field that are in high demand and end up paying really well. Some examples of jobs include web developing, database administration, or even biomedical engineering. Salary expectations range from $70K to $120K depending on how quickly you move up the ladder.
Currently, there is a huge percentage of the deaf community that work within the manufacturing and construction fields. Since these workplaces are often loud, people regardless of whether or not they can hear, usually use hand gestures or written notes to convey their messages. One cool aspect of these professions is that it is really hands on! Feeling the vibrations of a mechanical deficiency plays an advantage for a deaf or HoH person as they can trace to where the problem lies. In hindsight, people within this field use limited forms of verbal communication and can still get the job done! Some examples of skilled trades jobs are: carpenters, electricians, and even car mechanics.
Helping people diagnose hearing problems through sign language is a big plus! Many audiologists who know ASL communicate better with patients and understand certain hearing issues they may face. In fact, many patients are more comfortable with a deaf audiologist because they can relate to them more. Obtaining a doctoral degree in audiology in addition to a state licensure is required for this position. Audiologists can make up to $110K per year depending on concentration.
Social workers are vital for the communication with deaf and HoH clients. Fluency in ASL is key for the advocacy of deaf individuals because it helps people communicate better at mental health clinics, schools, child welfare and human service agencies, hospitals, settlement houses, community development corporations, and private practices. In order to become a social worker, you need a bachelor’s degree in social work or a license in social work to practice in a clinical setting. The average salary in 2019 was around $50K.
With these career opportunities in mind, we love our friends at Deaf Job Wizard, where they provide assistance in job hunting through their abundance of resources. Definitely stay up to date with them.