Careers for People with ADHD

Jan 18, 2020

There are a multitude of career options for individuals who have ADHD. Because these people sometimes struggle with staying focused on one topic at a time, careers that involve creativity, problem solving, and thinking on your feet are likely to interest those who have ADHD.

Career Options for People with ADHD

No matter what your personality type is or how your brain functions, everyone does better when they can find a career that plays to their strengths. Individuals with ADHD struggle with focusing on one topic or task for an extended period of time. This may make the job hunt even more challenging for them. However, as long as they are seeking out jobs that will keep their minds busy with new ideas and challenges, they are likely to experience great job satisfaction. Below we will discuss a few careers that individuals with ADHD would likely thrive in.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Elementary Teacher $58,230 (Elementary school teachers, except special education) 3% (Elementary school teachers, except special education)
Chef $48,460 (Chefs and head cooks) 11% (Chefs and head cooks)
EMT $34,320 (Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics) 7% (Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics)
Software Developer $105,590 21%
Market Research Analyst $63,120 20%
News Correspondent $43,490 (Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts) -10% (Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for People with ADHD

Elementary Teacher

Elementary school teachers work with children from age 6 to around age 11. At this age, children are usually full of new ideas, very creative, and may not enjoy spending hours focused on one subject or task. These tendencies make this a great option for people with ADHD, as they also struggle with these issues. As an elementary teacher, you are usually responsible for instructing students on several different subjects, allowing you to shift your focus throughout the day from math to biology to art.

Teachers also have to deal with a number of different issues throughout the day, from homesickness to actual sickness to arguments between students. Tackling these problems will allow ADHD individuals to keep their brains buzzing, looking for new and creative ways to keep the peace in their classroom and make sure their students are having a positive learning experience. To become an elementary teacher, you will need to complete a bachelor's degree in elementary education and pass a series of exams to become licensed.


Chefs are responsible for running the kitchens at restaurants. They oversee the rest of the kitchen staff, including sous chefs and other prep chefs, and make sure that food is prepared in a timely manner and is of good quality. Generally, chefs are the creative minds behind the menu, which may change on a seasonal or even daily basis depending on the type of restaurant.

Working in a restaurant kitchen is an extremely fast-paced and sometimes stressful environment. This makes it a great possible career choice for people with ADHD who also love preparing food. Being able to change the menu, prepare different dishes, and constantly move from task to task will help keep ADHD individuals interested. To become a chef, you may eventually work your way into the position through years of work experience. Others attend culinary art schools or may train with another chef before working on their own.


EMTs, or emergency medical technicians, often work out of an ambulance and are the first responders to emergency medical and disaster situations. These professionals must remain cool under pressure, as they may not know exactly what kind of situation they will have to handle before arriving on scene. EMTs have to know how to respond to quickly changing emergency situations, which can often be a matter of life or death. Their job changes daily, as one day they may be responding to a car accident and the next day a heart attack. This presents new challenges and problems regularly, which an individual with ADHD would likely enjoy as they would never get bored with this job and would be required to constantly be in problem-solving mode. To become an EMT, you must complete a postsecondary educational program and then be licensed by the state in which you work.

Software Developer

As a software developer, you will work with different types of clients to build new software programs. This could include applications or entire operating systems that are used to operate computers. Like many other aspects of technological work, the world of software is constantly changing and evolving as new technologies are created and people come up with new ideas. The software developer is the creative mind that brings these ideas to life. ADHD individuals may enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to develop new software that is unique and meet the requirements of the client. To become a software developer, you normally need a bachelor's degree in a field like computer science or programming.

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts are professionals who study market conditions in order to understand how a certain product or service will be received on the market. They are often employed by companies who want access to this knowledge in order to best predict how much revenue a new product will bring them. Because the market is ever changing, it is unlikely that this job would ever feel stale to an individual with ADHD. Market research analysts may also be in charge of conducting focus groups and interviews to better understand the consumer and then share this information with their clients. These professionals usually have a bachelor's degree in a field like market research or statistics. Some may have a master's degree.

News Correspondents

News correspondents work for news networks researching stories, interviewing the public, and creating segments that appear on the daily news. Some of these professionals may work in the field doing special reports, while others work as news anchors and report on breaking and local news. For an individual with ADHD, this job could be a great fit as they would constantly be confronted with different news stories on a daily basis. Rather than dealing with the same topic all the time, news correspondents report on whatever stories are most interesting and relevant at the time. To become a news correspondent, you need a bachelor's degree in a field like journalism or communication. Professional internship experience may also be helpful when looking for a job.

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