Having a disability doesn't define your capabilities as a professional, and there are a variety of jobs and employers that provide flexible options for disabled professionals. Hearing impaired jobs allow professionals with a degree of hearing loss to excel in the workplace and engage in specialties they feel passionate about. By researching potential job roles you can benefit from as a hearing-impaired individual, you can find one that aligns with your interests, education level and salary needs.
In this article, we define hearing impaired jobs, review how to find jobs when you're hard of hearing and provide a list of nine jobs that work well for professionals with hearing impairments.
What are hearing impaired jobs?
Hearing impaired jobs represent any job positions suitable for hearing-impaired individuals with differing levels of hearing loss. Although hearing-impaired individuals can thrive in any role with the right mindset and skills, hearing impaired-friendly jobs typically allow hearing-impaired individuals to take on roles that require minimal verbal communication.
How to find jobs when you have a hearing impairment
Review these steps to determine how to find jobs when you have a hearing impairment:
1. Research job services for hard-of-hearing professionals
There are several job service websites that help hard-of-hearing professionals find jobs and determine the best ways to get job offers or address hearing loss concerns with current or potential employers. The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) provides beneficial insights and advice on how hearing-impaired individuals can find work opportunities.
2. Search for jobs that offer disability programs or inclusive environments
Another effective way to search and find potential job opportunities is to research which employers offer the best benefits and opportunities for disabled individuals. You can also look at employee reviews, company website information and job openings to aide your decision.
3. Contact company hiring or HR departments to ask about opportunities
If you find a job you want to apply for but the job description doesn't include information about benefits or disability opportunities, contact the hiring manager or HR department by email. Discuss your desire to apply and your desire to learn more about work opportunities for hearing-impaired individuals. You can also include your resume and cover letter for further consideration.
4. Provide information about your hearing impairment in your application
You can use your cover letter to discuss your professional qualifications more in-depth, but you can also use it as a platform to address your hearing impairment, what you've learned and how you can contribute to the role in a unique way. This can help you standout to employers and demonstrate your resilience.
9 jobs for people with a hearing impairment
Here are nine jobs for people with a hearing impairment, including salary expectations, job responsibilities and education requirements:
National average salary: $26,600 per year
Primary duties: Sonographers work in healthcare facilities and use sonography equipment to complete ultrasounds on patients and take images throughout the process. They may need to interact with patients to instruct them on how to sit or lay down, but otherwise, they don't speak with patients about what they see during ultrasounds. Following appointments, Sonographers send images via email to the patient's primary physician for them to review.
Related: Learn About Being a Sonographer
2. Pastry chef
National average salary: $36,165 per year
Primary duties: Pastry chefs work in restaurant kitchens, bakeries or patisseries and specialize in preparing, baking and decorating a range of different pastry items for customers to enjoy. This includes Choux pastry, short crust pastry, puff pastry, filo pastry and other types of pastry dough. From these different pastry techniques, pastry chefs create food items like croissants, quiches, pasties, eclairs, cream horns, tarts and pies. Hearing impaired pastry chefs balance independent work with coworker interactions. They may use hand signals, writing or lip-reading to ensure they understand one another.
Related: Learn About Being a Pastry Chef
National average salary: $42,908 per year
Primary duties: Photographers use photography equipment to capture scenes of nature, city-life, human portraits and other subjects to sell. Hearing-impaired individuals can use their eye for photography to communicate themes, personalities or ideas in a visual way.
National average salary: $43,375 per year
Primary duties: Chatroom customer support representatives provide advice and resources to customers by engaging in written communication in customer service chatrooms. After each customer interaction, they write report forms to document customer feedback for future analysis by their employer.
National average salary: $44,870 per year
Primary duties: Social media managers work for companies to oversee social media channels. This includes creating post schedules, engaging with followers and answering questions in the comment section, creating stories and ensuring brand unity across all channels. Working as a social media manager allows hearing-impaired individuals to communicate in a written format.
National average salary: $46,120 per year
Primary duties: Tradespeople specialize in carpentry, stonework, welding, plumbing, electricity, landscaping and other areas to promote construction projects or renovations for commercial and residential properties. Although trades professionals may need to interact with other trades professionals, clients and construction crews, they can perform the majority of work tasks by taking measurements, assembling structures, creating blueprints and using notes or hand signals to communicate to team members.
National average salary: $53,347 per year
Primary duties: Artists paint murals, designs and other items on walls or canvases for clients. This is a great role for hearing-impaired individuals who have a desire to be creative. Artists can complete custom projects for clients or sell their work to art galleries, local shops or online stores.
National average salary: $55,786 per year
Primary duties: Fitness instructors teach fitness classes like yoga, pilates, cycling, kickboxing, barre or aerobics. Hearing impaired with the ability to speak and lipread can teach classes by calling out commands and helping students refine their techniques. They can also specialize in teaching other hearing-impaired or deaf individuals to build a fitness community for the hard-of-hearing in their area.
National average salary: $74,322 per year
Primary duties: IT technicians typically work in IT departments and oversee the installation, repair and maintenance of computer hardware or software for company employees. Hearing-impaired individuals can thrive in IT technician roles as they need to complete a variety of visual tasks to troubleshoot problems and install computer components.
Related: Learn About Being an IT Technician