10 Surprising Jobs that a Deaf Person Cannot Do

what jobs can a deaf person not do

Oftentimes, disabilities come with numerous restrictions and limitations, especially when it has to do with the type of job you can and cannot do.

One of such disabilities is deafness or ear impairment.

Even though there are many jobs that people who suffer from deafness can do, there are other jobs that they simply cannot do because the nature of their disability will not allow them to function effectively in the job.

Many employers often find it difficult to employ deaf workers or workers who suffer from a certain type of disability because of the financial strain they believe will be imposed on them, especially when they have to hire an interpreter for the worker(s).

In this article, I’ll expose you to some challenges deaf people encounter while hunting for jobs and the jobs a deaf person cannot do.

Table of Contents

Challenges Faced by Deaf People During Job Hunting

Lack of interpreter

Since most employers don’t plan to receive job applications from deaf applicants, there is usually no room for interpreters.

Hence, you might end up being neglected or victimized during the cause of the interview.

The cost of hiring an interpreter for deaf applicants and/or employees is a factor that discourages a lot of employers from employing deaf people since their goal is to maximize profit at no extra cost.

This makes the discriminatory practices that are done to deaf people in workplaces continue to linger on.

Related: How to Dance With Someone in a Wheelchair

Misconceptions about deafness

Many employers often misconstrue deafness and other kinds of disabilities as hindrances to productivity and hard work.

Such misconceptions are untenable.

This is because many deaf people are very hardworking and productive when they are given the opportunity to work and display their expertise.

What Jobs Can a Deaf Person Not Do?

can a deaf person work

1. Receptionists

This type of job requires you to interact with different kinds of people regularly.

You’ll have to be in charge of receiving visitors, phone calls, among other office duties. Performing all these functions might not be possible if you suffer from hearing impairment.

2. Customer care representatives

Just like the receptionist, a customer care representative must be an attentive listener. Such a person must be able to listen to customers’ grievances or complaints and proffer solutions to them on behalf of the company.

This type of job is obviously not ideal for a deaf person since it’s not every customer that understands sign language.

3. Seafarers

In some countries, deaf people might not be issued the medical certificate that will enable them to work at sea. Hence, it’s quite impossible to work as a deaf sailor or mariner.

Related: How to Have Sex in a Wheelchair with Your Spouse

4. Armed forces

Those who work in the ministry of defense are meant to be physically and mentally sound to carry out their job of defending the state or country from external aggression.

Passing a hearing test is one of the prerequisites that can enable you to join the armed forces. Failing this test is, therefore, tantamount to not getting the job. It isn’t an ideal job for deaf people.

5. Railway engineers

Being a railway engineer or any type of engineer as a deaf person is quite impossible.

This is due to the Rail Safety and Standard Board requirement that needs you to have the ability to hear warning sounds and radio sounds while at work.

6. Police officers

Similar to the armed forces, you’ll need to pass a hearing test before you can join the police force.

Many states have a national standard for determining the hearing level of a police officer. Failure to meet up this standard due to deafness will disqualify you from getting the job.

7. Pilots

Before you can qualify as a commercial pilot, you must earn your license and medical certificate (which will require you to take a hearing test).

You must equally be able to communicate effectively with the Air Traffic Control, which requires you to hear properly and be attentive.

All the aforementioned requirements make the job of a commercial pilot one of the least ideal jobs for someone suffering from a hearing disability.

8. Coastguards

This type of job will be difficult for a deaf person to handle due to the rigorous nature of the job.

It requires attentiveness and mental alertness where you’re able to watch the sea and give help to sailors whenever they call for help or during emergencies. You’ll also be responsible for stopping illegal activities that might happen at sea.

Therefore, a person with sound hearing is the perfect fit for this type of job.

9. Window cleaners

This is one of the riskiest jobs out there, especially when you have to clean the windows of tall buildings or skyscrapers.

It is even more dangerous when you work with other people and would need to communicate with them during the process.

Even if your co-workers understand sign language, holding a bucket and squeegee in both hands as you work won’t allow you to communicate effectively.

Related: Who Can Park in Handicapped Spaces? (Answered)

10. Bodyguards/security guards

Here is another risky job that is not ideal for a deaf person.

Being a bodyguard requires a lot of physical strength and good hearing. This will enable you to successfully guard those you’re meant to protect and listen to their instruction whenever they need your help.

You’ll also need a good hearing to hear sounds of gunshot or anything or person that might be a threat to you and your client.

Jobs a Deaf Person Can Do

what jobs can a deaf person not do

Irrespective of the limitations that the above jobs offer deaf people, there are still some jobs that deaf people can conveniently do. These jobs make little or no use of the ears when they are being done.

Doing any of the following jobs can be rewarding and less complicated for a deaf person since they don’t require a hearing test before they can be carried out:

  • Social worker
  • Web designer and developer
  • Audiologist/Language Pathologist
  • Author/Freelance Writer
  • Accountant & Auditor
  • Medical Lab Technician
  • Graphics Designer
  • Painter
  • House keeper
  • Software developer
  • Electrician
  • Social media specialist
  • Medical coder
  • Animator
10 Surprising Jobs that a Deaf Person Cannot Do


My love for the disabled community started when I helped a blind man cross the road at around age 6. Fast forward to decades later, I became the caregiver of my grandma, who lost her ability to speak in her 90s. This blog helps me to produce helpful content that aligns with my passion.

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