Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is widely prevalent in today’s society, with roughly 3.5% of US adults diagnosed with PTSD. The American Psychiatric Association also reports that women are twice as likely to have PTSD than men, and one in 10people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the body’s response to an especially traumatic event, such as assault, sexual abuse, or a horrific accident. Victims suffer from flashbacks and nightmares, which can also lay the groundwork for depression, anxiety, heart problems, and agoraphobia.
Specific triggers can make it hard for people with PTSD to thrive in the workplace. Associated conditions such as anxiety, depression, and intense flashbacks may prevent an employee from successfully meeting job requirements, which could result in the loss of a job.
PTSD is still a common cause of job discrimination for veterans all over the country, but veterans can make excellent employees when working in the right position. It’s not always easy making a midlife career change, but this could be the perfect opportunity to pursue an unexplored passion.
These are the top 10 best jobs for people diagnosed with PTSD.
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10 Best Jobs for People With PTSD
Before you choose a career, it’s important to consider factors such as how much it pays, what education it requires, and what your typical job responsibilities will include.
Career planning will not only help you find a job that is right for you but also one that meets your personal and financial needs.
Animals have long been known to help with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, which is a reason why service animals are so popular today. In this job, there is no pronounced focus on human interaction; rather, human interaction is a byproduct of the job in treating people’s pets or those lost or injured.
There are several positions you could hold in this area, such as an animal trainer, pet sitter, veterinary technician, or pet business owner. In addition to medical care, professionals may also handle grooming and training. Animal care technicians often enjoy a regular schedule with set hours.
The average animal worker earns $23,950 annually or $11.51 an hour. It’s an easy field to join, with some positions requiring just a high school diploma or GED. With 16% job growth, it’s also a career field that will keep growing.
Art is often a quiet activity that can help you avoid flashbacks that can be triggered by frequent noise and movement. It’s a broad category, as it can include everything from painting to sculpture to furniture building. Music has also long been a popular healing aid for all sorts of trauma.
Art is a broad subject that encompasses many different specialties with a wide-ranging pay scale:
- Fashion designer — $72,720 per year;
- Graphic designer — $50,370 per year;
- Multimedia animator — $72,520 per year;
- Craft and fine artist — $48,960 per year;
- Floral designer — $27,200 per year;
- Industrial designer — $66,590 per year;
- Interior designer — $53,370.
Your schedule and work environment will greatly depend on the kind of artist you become.
As a baker, you cook with your hands in a kitchen environment. Unlike a chef, you will work in a less savory and more sweet capacity, making bread, pastries, and sweets.
While bakers usually get to skip the dinner rush, their schedule demands very early hours working in either a retail or commercial capacity.
Bakers earn an average of $26,520 each year despite the high amount of training required. The BLS projects about 6% job growth, showing steady demand in the years to come.
If you like the kitchen but don’t love to bake, you may enjoy working as a chef or head cook. The average chef makes $48,460 per year with a bachelor’s degree and five years of experience.
You will be working with your hands in a controlled, indoor environment. Most chef positions are subject to stressful, high-intensity situations, such as in restaurants, event catering, and nightlife. It is usually a full-time position with afternoon and evening hours; many chefs work evenings, weekends, and holidays when people are off work and ready to celebrate.
With an expected 11% job growth, a career as a chef is not only fun and exciting but stable, too.
Editors need to be comfortable working in a team-oriented environment because you will need to work with a team of writers, IT pros, and other editors. Therefore, editors must be detail-oriented and patient enough to carefully review and meticulously edit work of all subjects and forms.
Editors often enjoy a set schedule, but the position may require greater mobility than the typical office job, depending on where you work and what kind of stories you cover. As an editor, you can work in an office or telecommute; most writers do a combination of the two.
Editors make an average salary of $59,480 each year. A bachelor’s degree is recommended, although less than five years of experience is required.
Working in computer and information technology is often a largely solitary activity that you can do from home or in the office. Regardless of where you work, as an IT professional, you could still usually work independently and in your ideal environment, wherever that may be.
Like art, IT is a generalized field with many subspecialities that you may choose from, including:
- Computer and Information Research Scientist — $118,370;
- Computer Network Architects — $109,020;
- Computer Programmer — $84,280;
- Computer Systems Analyst — $88,740;
- Database Administration — $90,070;
- Software Developer — $105,590;
- Web Developer — $69,430.
IT jobs are among the highest-paying jobs today. Working as an IT professional provides incredible job security with consistent job growth. It is a competitive industry, but there are plenty of programs available to help you become a software engineer manager or cloud engineer. It just depends on what interests you the most.
Maintenance work is a popular source of employment for many people living with PTSD. You are able to spend your day outdoors with constant movement. That makes it ideal for someone who does not like to sit still. Working in nature with natural light and plenty of vitamin D has also been proven to fight depression. More importantly, though, maintenance workers enjoy a sense of accomplishment with each item you’re able to fix and every project you complete.
There are many different kinds of employers for maintenance; you could work for a school, a private condominium, or a neighborhood community. You could also work incommercial buildings, government facilities, and office buildings.
The average general maintenance and repair worker earns $38,300 each year. With 9% job growth, it’s a secure field, too.
A park ranger is another outdoor job with many different positions available. It’s often a solitary position, spent outdoors in nature and with limited human interaction.
The average forest and conservation worker is dedicated to the study and maintenance of our forests, making about $27,460 each year. Unlike the other positions on our list, this job is not so secure with a job outlook projected for a 3% decline.
Another option is to become a conservation scientist and forester, in charge of managing the land quality of natural resources like forests and parks. This is a more lucrative position at $61,340, and although it does require a bachelor’s degree, it should see a 3% increase in jobs.
Temporary Office Employee
Working as a temporary office employee or temporary clerical employee is great for those diagnosed with PTSD because of the flexibility it provides. You have the option of working part time or full time. Some positions may be for extended periods, such as covering for an employee on maternity leave, while other jobs may be for just a few days at a time.
Working as a temporary office employee provides structure and balance with clear-cut responsibilities in a social atmosphere. It is also a low-risk job due to few workplace hazards.
The average temporary office or clerical assistant makes about $24,490 annually or $12.88 an hour. Payscale users also report an average bonus of $700 in addition to their regular wages.
Writers create written content across all sorts of media channels. There are many different kinds of writers, such as bloggers, copywriters, resume writers, and speechwriters.
Writers must be highly educated in the finer points of the English language, to include grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary. A bachelor’s degree is recommended, along with extended on-the-job training and real-world application. Job requirements are relatively simple, requiring a computer and stable internet connection.
A writer is one of the best jobs you can work remotely while still earning a comfortable average salary of $62,170 per year. However, it is a popular and competitive industry with no job growth expected through 2028.
Job Search Tips for People With PTSD
Once you decide what kind of job you want, you need to find the right position for you. Job boards like Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn are all valuable resources and will allow you to familiarize yourself with the kind of positions that are available in your area.
Here are some tips to consider when searching for a PTSD-friendly job:
- Consult with the ADA to review your employment rights for workplace accommodations.
- Take a free career personality test to see which career fields are the right match for you.
- Determine your triggers. Is working with people a problem? Do you prefer to avoid isolation? Your environment can be just as important as your job duties when battling PTSD.
- Explore career resources designed to help you with everything from job interview tips, to common job interview questions, and even tips to calm interview nerves.
- Learn networking tips with work relationship-building advice for introverts and great tips for dealing with anxiety at work.
- Rework your resume to fit your new industry. It’s not enough just to know how to format a resume; you need to be able to use your resume at a job interview to sell yourself to your future employer.
Organizations for People With PTSD
Many organizations can help you find a job that accommodates your PTSD, especially if you’re deciding whether to go to college or get a job without a degree. There are also many programs dedicated to helping businesses hire veterans that provide education on military and veteran employee rights.
These are some of the organizations dedicated to helping those diagnosed with PTSD:
- National Center for PTSD offers free educational resources and support.
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a free federal resource to help you understand your rights in the workplace.
- Job Accommodation Network is designed to help those with disabilities find work.
- Workplace Mental Health, from the American Psychiatric Foundation, provides free educational resources about PTSD.
- American Heroes Network is designed to support active and retired military members.
Working From Home With PTSD
As the world becomes increasingly dependent on the internet, remote work becomes much more prevalent. Many of the jobs included here, such as a writer, artist, or IT professional, allow you to work from home. It’s an advantage that is once again making work possible for the many people who are diagnosed with PTSD.
Many people diagnosed with PTSD employ an emotional service animal to help treat several issues, including depression. However, some companies have strict rules banning animals from the workplace, making a job near impossible for some people who depend on these animals. Working from home not only allows for a safe working environment but also one that is welcoming to your service dog.
Some veterans need to work from home to benefit from a controlled environment. It raises the question for many whether it’s better to work from home or become self-employed. There are many advantages to working from home for someone with PTSD, such as a safe, controlled environment and no commuting requirements.
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