Everyone has a unique set of talents and skills, and none can be the master of everything. For some people, math is just not their cup of tea, and working with numbers can be cause for a headache. Whether you are fresh out of college or considering a career change, this guide to "math-free" careers can help you identify your perfect career path.
To find promising careers that don't require lots numbers or calculations, we looked at job descriptions and employment data from O*NET. After that, we tallied up the jobs that relied mostly on skills other than math, then picked the careers with the most potential.
Agricultural Equipment Operators
- Education Required: High school diploma or equivalent
- National Annual Mean Wage (2015): $29,380
- National Anticipated Growth (2014 - 2024): 5-8%
Love the outdoors as much as you dislike math? Consider working as an agricultural equipment operator on a small scale or large scale farm. These workers drive and control the farm equipment that plants, tills, and harvests a wide range of crops. Other farm duties, such as hay bucking or crop baling, may also be expected. Further, some agricultural equipment operators are charged with repairing and maintaining machinery, a responsibility which requires some mechanical knowledge and technical skill. You won't need to rely on math for this job, but you do need to feel comfortable working with your hands.
- Education Required: Completion of a state-approved cosmetology program, state licensing
- National Annual Mean Wage (2015): $29,140
- National Anticipated Growth (2014 - 2024): 10%
Barbers perform a wide range of tasks that have to do with the beauty and hair care industry, none of which require any math. Instead of crunching numbers, these workers inspect and style hair to meet their client's expectations. They also wash, cut, trim, or color hair to help clients find their ideal style. Since barbers work with mostly male clients, they may also offer shaving or beard trimming services. Some barbers work in large retail hair salons, while work in small shops. Some barbers are self-employed and work in their own small shop, often overseeing other barbers or hairstylists as part of their job duties.
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors
- Education Required: High school diploma and certification
- National Annual Mean Wage (2015): $40,970
- National Anticipated Growth (2014 - 2024): 8%
Fitness instructors create and plan unique exercise drills and routines that help their clients get into shape. Aerobics instructors generally exercise alongside their clients, showing them the moves as they go along. Fitness trainers, on the other hand, may take on a more supervisory role of their clients as they ensure each exercise is performed correctly. Both fitness trainers and aerobics instructors help their clients build muscle, improve their cardiovascular health, and improve overall flexibility. Most fitness trainers and aerobics instructors work in gyms or for athletic departments.
- Education Required: Postsecondary certificate
- National Annual Mean Wage (2015): $35,720
- National Anticipated Growth (2014-2024): -3%
Medical transcriptionists are also known as health care documentation specialists, and they're responsible for writing and editing written reports based on audio recordings from doctors. In most cases, it's best to have some postsecondary education to learn all of the medical terminology that you'll be interpreting every day. And typically, there is not too much math involved in the job. The skills you do need are typing, computer skills, and expert knowledge of grammar and editing. Keep in mind that while the medical field has typically been a high-growth industry as of late, medical transcriptionists do not have a strong growth outlook, because many parts of the job are now automated.
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
- Education Required: Bachelor's degree
- National Annual Mean Wage (2015): $54,080
- National Anticipated Growth (2014 - 2024): 4%
As part of the criminal justice system, probation officers and correctional treatment specialists deal with criminal offenders who have served jail time in the past. Probation officers are charged with following up with parolees to make sure they are meeting any requirements of their parole and staying out of trouble. Correctional treatment specialists, on the other hand, work to create rehabilitation plans that help former criminals ease back into society. Since both probation officers and correctional treatment specialists work as part of the criminal justice system, they tend to work for their state or local municipality.
- Education Required: High school diploma to bachelor's degree
- National Annual Mean Wage (2015): $40,280
- National Anticipated Growth (2014 - 2024): 3%
Photographers are hired to capture special moments in our lives. Commonly booked for weddings, family get-togethers, senior photo shoots, and portraits, these workers use their knowledge of photography and lighting to catch the perfect shot. Since many photographers also edit their photos, most know how to use a wide range of software programs. Photographers might use software to improve the lighting in a photo or edit out imperfections. While many photographers worked for corporations, more than half were self-employed in 2015.
Automotive Specialty Technicians
- Education Required: High school diploma or postsecondary certificate
- National Annual Median Wage (2015): $37,850
- National Anticipated Growth (2014 - 2024): 5-8%
Automotive specialty technicians use their in-depth knowledge of cars and engines to keep cars in tip top shape. They inspect automobiles for problems, perform tests to diagnose those problems, the suggest repairs to fix any problems they find. While a lot of their work involves troubleshooting fuel, ignition, and emissions control systems with advanced equipment, these workers also work on braking systems and other components of a car.
As new technology comes into play, these workers have begun relying on computer testing and programs to find and diagnose specific automotive problems. As a result, automotive specialty technicians with knowledge of computer systems and automotive software programs are highlight sought after. While many automotive specialty technicians work for small shops, some work for national automotive repair chains or own their own small car garage.
- O*NET Online, http://www.onetonline.org/
- Agricultural Equipment Operators, O*Net OnLine, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/45-2091.00
- Automotive Specialty Technicians, O*Net OnLine, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/49-3023.02
- Barbers, Hairdressers, and Cosmetologists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2015-16 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/barbers-hairdressers-and-cosmetologists.htm
- Fitness Trainers and Instructors, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2015-16 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm
- May 2015 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm
- Photographers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2015-16 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/photographers.htm
- Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2015-16 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/probation-officers-and-correctional-treatment-specialists.htm