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Find a job that fits you: What are the best careers for empaths?

Find a job that fits you - What are the best careers for empaths

Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova

  • What is an empath?
  • How can you tell if you’re an empath?
  • 10 Best careers for empaths
  • 1. Therapists and psychologists
  • 2. Librarians and library media specialists
  • 3. Physician
  • 4. Writer/Copywriter
  • 5. Teacher
  • 6. UX/UI designer
  • 7. Craft/Fine artist
  • 8. Web developer
  • 9. Human resources manager
  • 10. Veterinarian
  • Key takeaways

Empaths can connect with other people’s feelings on a deep level, and it’s important to find a career that aligns with this special talent. This article details how to find the best, most fulfilling careers for empaths.

In this often-challenging, fast-paced world, life can get overwhelming and we might have trouble managing our emotions. But some seem to feel things on a deeper level, and have a special insight into other people's feelings. These individuals are called empaths, and their superpower is being in touch with their feelings and the feelings of those around them. This gives them a unique human insight that not all of us have. But how does that affect their job prospects? Are there careers for empaths? 

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • What is an empath?

  • How can you tell if you are an empath?

  • What are the 10 best jobs for empaths?

What is an empath?

When some hear the word empath, they may think of the character Counselor Troi from the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation, who was able to sense everyone's emotions. In real life, the majority of us can feel empathy, which is the concept of understanding feelings in general—we’re able to make an emotional connection with another person and can put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. 

An empath, however, takes empathy to the next level, being intuitive of others' feelings and emotions. They are also prone to being overwhelmed in crowds, taking on the stress of people around them, and understanding and deeply feeling others’ emotions.

How can you tell if you’re an empath?

Most people feel empathy—it's a normal human emotion. But, how do you know if you're an empath? It's more than just feeling deeply. In addition to heightened senses of empathy, empaths possess acute intuition. They are highly caring individuals and  very sensitive to their environment, often picking up on sounds, smells, and colors that others don't notice. 

Empaths have excellent judgment and are particularly perceptive and great listeners.They have a strong sense of inquisitiveness about the world around them. As natural storytellers, they have great imaginations.

Empaths may also have some issues, such as feeling exceptionally tired after prolonged interaction with people, and an inability to establish personal boundaries. But, just as a happy, full life is possible, so are satisfying careers for empaths.

Expert Tip

Is there a test for empaths?

Actually, there are a few! For example, The Empathy Quotient Test (EQ) is a short quiz designed to measure your level of empathy. In addition, psychiatrist Judith Orloff, MD, has studied the concept of empaths and has a 20-question self-assessment to determine if you might be an empath. Figuring out if you’re an empath will allow the insight to develop the skills you’ll need to cope with your abilities and find a way to thrive.

10 Best careers for empaths

No two empaths are the same—some may do well in a fast-paced environment while others might feel more comfortable in one-on-one situations and connect with people on a more meaningful level. Some fields where empaths often shine are healthcare, the arts, business, and “helping careers” like librarian, psychologist, or social worker. The right jobs for empathetic people are as individual as the people working in them,  so they can find success in any field. 

Here are 10 of the best jobs for empaths, along with the median wage and projected employment growth rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

1. Therapists and psychologists

2022 Annual Median Wage: $85,330

Job Outlook 2022-2032: 6%

Therapists and psychologists are mental health professionals who work with clients to improve their mental and emotional well-being. They may work in private practices, hospitals, or mental health clinics. Empaths may do better in a quieter setting, like a private practice. A therapist or psychologist (who will most likely be a PhD), meets with clients regularly to dig deep into their feelings and use their training to provide strategies to help them cope, and offer support and advice.

2. Librarians and library media specialists

2022 Annual Median Wage: $61,660

Job Outlook 2022-2032: 3%

Librarians and library media specialists may work for public libraries, elementary/secondary schools, universities, or museums. They assist the public and students with finding needed information, data, or books to read. If they work for a museum, they may curate and oversee art and antiques, museum catalogs, and rare manuscripts, art, or books. A librarian might be a great job for an empath because they are good at anticipating and interpreting people's needs.

3. Physician

2022 Annual Median Wage: $229,300 

Job Outlook 2022-2032: 3%

There are two types of doctors: medical doctor (M.D.) and doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.). They work with patients to take medical histories, order tests, diagnose injuries or illnesses, and perform preventative care. They may specialize in general surgery, oncology, pediatrics, or internal medicine. An empath would most likely make an excellent physician as they are good listeners and value the patient’s emotional well-being.

4. Writer/Copywriter

2022 Annual Median Wage: $73,150

Job Outlook 2022-2032: 4%

Writers create content for ads, magazines, and websites. They write novels, or write for television, stage, or film. They can work in a variety of environments such as agencies, marketing firms, and production companies, or on a freelance basis in several fields. Writing is one of the good jobs for empathetic people as it requires an understanding of the human condition and the ability to make a personal connection with an audience.

5. Teacher

2022 Annual Median Wage: $62,360 (high school teacher with a master’s degree)

Job Outlook 2022-2032:  1%

Teachers are responsible for the education of their students. Depending on the grade level, they specialize in a subject area (math, science, e.g.), plan lessons and make modifications to those based on individual needs. Communicating with parents and establishing positive classroom management are essential too. Empaths often make great teachers because they make a personal investment in their students’ learning, growth, and well-being, and can better understand their ever-changing emotional needs.

6. UX/UI designer

2022 Annual Median Wage: $80,730

Job Outlook 2022-2032: 16%

A UX/UI designer’s job is to make a product, service, app, or website user-friendly. They research to support design concepts and make sure the customer will be able to use the product. This is a good job for empaths because a UX/UI designer has to understand the feelings of the user or customer and implement those into an effective product design.

7. Craft/Fine artist

2022 Annual Median Wage: $53,140

Job Outlook 2022-2032: 4%

Artists express their ideas through any number of media, such as painting, sculpture, or computer-based design. They may work on their own to produce commercial products or individual commissions and may sell their work in art galleries, online, or at art exhibitions. Art is often a great career for empaths as they are creative thinkers who can tap into their emotions and create works that generate an emotional response in the viewer.

8. Web developer

2022 Annual Median Wage: $80,730

Job Outlook 2022-2032: 16%

A web developer is responsible for creating and maintaining websites, overseeing tech operations, and creating content. They design the look and usability of the website. They meet with clients, examine traffic, create prototypes, and write code to turn the client's ideas into reality. If they have a technical aptitude, empaths can see their work from other people's viewpoints and have a good understanding of how the user will feel while navigating their website.

9. Human resources manager

2022 Annual Median Wage: $130,000

Job Outlook 2022-2032: 5%

Human resources managers are in charge of the HR department in a company, which means they deal with the people side of things. They oversee employee onboarding, benefits management, workplace policies, and handle staffing issues like conflict resolution. What makes this a good job for an empath is that they build relationships with employees and find ways to support their job performance in a corporate setting. Some aspects of this job might be too much for empaths, such as firing employees, as they might become emotionally overwhelmed by the traumatic process.

10. Veterinarian

2022 Annual Median Wage: $103,260

Job Outlook 2022-2032: 20%

People usually have an emotional investment in their pets and consider them family, so a veterinarian is charged with not only treating the animals but interacting with their owners. A veterinarian diagnoses and treats illness and injury as well as performs routine and preventative care. They may work with domesticated animals, birds, wild animals, or livestock. Empaths might do well in this career, as they can care for animals in need, build relationships with the animal's people, and offer comfort to those grieving for a lost pet.

While everyone is different, empaths tend to excel in jobs that let them use their compassion and emotional awareness to create straightforward and meaningful results. Favorable and fulfilling careers for empaths allow them to tap into their innate abilities to provide assistance and guidance and help other people succeed.

Need help finding the right career for you? Try Career.io’s Job Search Strategy to get clear strategies, tools, and expert guidance to navigate today’s job market with confidence.

Key takeaways

  1. An empath is someone who is acutely tuned in to how the people around them are feeling, often at a profound level.

  2. In addition to their heightened empathy, empaths possess keen intuition, are caring, and highly sensitive to their environment. 

  3. Some fields where empaths often shine are healthcare, the arts, business, and helping careers like librarian, psychologist, or social worker.

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