What are the best jobs for empaths?
It’s one thing, after all, to feel what others around you are feeling; it’s a whole other thing to make the most (or at least the best) of that ability.
It can, however, make you more suited to some jobs than others.
We’ve rounded up 13 good careers for empaths to help you find work you’ll enjoy.
Is It Rare to Be An Empath?
Elaine Aron coined the term Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) to describe people who make up 15 to 20% of the population.
Generally speaking, highly sensitive people are more easily affected by the following:
- External sensory stimuli — light, touch, noises, vibrations
- Internal sensory stimuli — physical pain, hunger, heat/cold
- Violence, tension, and discord (lack of harmony is emotional torture)
- Emotions — theirs and those of the people around them
An empath is someone who is not only highly sensitive but also highly attuned to the emotions of others. While empaths are rarer than HSPs, the real superpower isn’t empathy so much as the ability to regulate it — i.e., make it a power rather than a liability.
Your choice of career and your ability to thrive in it will largely depend on your ability to rule your own empathy rather than be ruled by it.
13 Perfect-Fit Jobs for Empaths
If you’re looking for the perfect job for an empathic person, the following list can help you identify specific career fields that appeal to you (or someone you love) more than most. Each of those warrants a closer look.
NOTE: Put subheadings in H3, unbold, and number them.
Psychologists help people suffering from mental and emotional pain (from past trauma, mistakes, etc.) by leading them through the healing process and helping them grow.
They study both normal and abnormal behavior to assess their patients’ challenges and needs better. They may work independently or as part of a team.
Average salary: $60,000 to $120,000 annually
Education: a Master’s or Ph.D. in Psychology
How to Get Started: You’ll begin by earning a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, then pursue your master’s or a doctorate. Once you’ve obtained your Ph.D. or an internship, you’ll apply for a license. The license requirements depend on the state you live in but usually involve passing the ASPPB exam.
2. Guidance Counselor
In this career, you’ll be helping and mentoring children by assessing their needs and leanings and guiding them toward better paths.
You might help older students to identify jobs they’d enjoy, or you might help students of all ages deal with academic stress, emotional struggles, or social challenges.
Average salary: $29,597 per year
Education: a bachelor’s degree in any educational field, followed by a master’s in counseling
How to Get Started: Once you’ve earned your degrees, you’ll need to pass any exams required for licensing and certification in your state.
Empaths are natural caregivers, and the medical field offers plenty of opportunities to be there for those who need help. Nurses may work alongside therapists, medical doctors, or other professionals working in treatment facilities.
Average salary: $48,690 to $104,100 annually
Education: Nursing degree plus license and certifications
How to Get Started: Earn a nursing degree and pass the board examination to become a registered nurse (RN). From there, you can obtain a license and find employment. You can later choose to specialize and move up to Nurse Practitioner (CNP).
4. Veterinarian/Animal Rescue
Empaths love nature and often connect with animals, tapping into what they feel about their surroundings and helping them feel more comfortable as you diagnose and treat animal diseases and provide regular veterinary care.
Average salary: $73,580 to $122,180 annually
Education: a degree in veterinary science and a license to practice
How to Get Started: Once you’ve earned your degree, you’ll need to obtain a license, which means passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam.
Empaths have a strong desire to help others learn, grow, and thrive. As a teacher, you educate your students (using the curriculum provided) and teach them skills, mindsets, and strategies to serve them well after they graduate.
Average salary: $14.79 per hour
Education: a bachelor’s degree in Education and a teaching license
How to Get Started: Once you complete your teaching degree, which often involves specializing in one or two fields, you’ll take the necessary exams for your teaching license and specialty areas. An internship is often a required part of your education degree.
6. Life Coach
Empaths love to have a hand in making lives better. Working as a life coach exposes you to various people and life situations, all of which can challenge you to grow so you can better serve your clients.
Average salary: $46,678 to $92,000 annually
Education: No strict degree requirements for this career, though you may choose to obtain a degree in psychology, counseling, or business. It’s beneficial to get a coaching credential through a coach training program certified by the International Coach Federation.
How to Get Started: After earning your credentials, you need to meet your state’s requirements to obtain a business license to begin practicing. It’s also a good idea to get business insurance for your own protection.
7. Social Worker
As a social worker, you help people improve their overall well-being. In most cases, you’d be serving the most vulnerable and oppressed members of your community, helping them access the resources and services they need to live better.
Average salary: $61,230 – $90,800 annually
Education: a bachelor’s degree in social work, followed by a more specialized graduate degree
How to Get Started: After earning your graduate degree, the next step is to complete an internship with a social organization or government agency. Then you’ll need to pass whatever tests are required in your state to earn a license.
If art is your chosen medium for exploring your emotions and those of the people around you, this is a promising field for you. Just be sure you know how to turn your work into money by learning the business side of your career. Many artists supplement their income by having another part-time gig.
Average pay: $13.95 per hour
Education: No required education, but you may choose to obtain a degree in art.
How to Get Started: Develop your artistic skills, create a space to showcase your best work, and provide contact information for those interested in purchasing some of it. You’ll also need to know how to run a business of your own, so consider taking a small business course.
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While an artist chooses visual media to explore emotions, musicians choose music to do the same. As with artists, your income depends on what others are willing to pay for it.
If you want to do this for a living, it’s not enough to simply put your work out there and hope that it brings comfort or inspiration to some of its listeners. You’ll need to learn how to market and sell your music and approach it as a business.
Average pay: $47,771 per year
Education: No required education, but you might choose to earn a degree of arts in music. You can also benefit from training in specific musical instruments.
How to Get Started: Along with education, you’ll need to decide whether you’d prefer to create music under a major music label or as an independent performer. Music is a business, and you’ll need to create a brand of your own to stand out and gain a following.
If you love plants and enjoy spending hours a day caring for them, gardening and landscaping are careers worth considering.
You might work as an independent contractor or as part of a larger business. You’ll learn which plants thrive in specific environments and how to plant and care for them.
Average pay: $44,140 per year
Education: No required degree, but a degree in landscape design can lend credibility and help you stand out when you’re seeking employment.
How to Get Started: Intern or apprentice yourself to an experienced gardener or landscape technician to learn the ropes and familiarize yourself with all the situations you’re likely to encounter in this job.
Empaths often see writing a helpful outlet for their emotions, and this appreciation can develop into something more. You can specialize in writing for publications, blogs, or newspapers. Or you may want to write books that you self-publish or publish through a traditional publishing house. If you’re hoping to earn a living as a writer, you’ll need to learn how to sell your skills.
Average pay: $26.38 per hour (in the U.S.)
Education: No required degree, but it can’t hurt to have a degree in English, Communications, Journalism, or a related field.
How to Get Started: Develop your skills as a writer and create an online portfolio with writing samples.
12. Graphic Designer
Some empaths with an artistic flair and technology skills lean more toward the graphic arts — desktop publishing, website design, etc. Graphic designers combine their interest in art and technology to create promotional materials for clients or an organization.
Average pay: $47,369 per year
Education: Most graphic designers have a bachelor of arts (or fine arts) degree in graphic arts, graphic design, or something related.
How to Get Started: Training is ongoing since graphic designers need to keep their skills and software knowledge updated. Organizations like the American Institute of Graphic Arts offer professional development opportunities.
As an empath who often finds dealing with crowds overwhelming, spending hours a day in a quiet library, shelving books, and assisting patrons might be your idea of a dream job.
While interpersonal skills are still necessary, the variety of tasks involved in a librarian’s job can make the social aspect less taxing. Serving patrons one at a time also helps.
Average pay: $59,243 per year
Education: Most librarians hold a Master’s of Library Science (MLS) degree, though some libraries will hire you with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a different field.
How to Get Started: After earning your bachelor’s degree, an MLS degree program typically takes 1-2 years to complete. You can also obtain on-the-job training as an intern, volunteer, or part-time library employee.
FAQ about Empath Jobs
Now that you’re closer to finding an excellent job for the empathic person you have in mind, let’s tackle some of the questions you might have.
What careers are good for empaths?
The careers listed above are an excellent place to start. Speaking more generally, you’ll want to focus on careers that allow you to do the following:
- Help others improve their lives in some way
- Inspire others to take meaningful action
- Encourage those who need support and building up
It’s not weird if you’re looking for a career that would have you doing what you wish someone had done for you.
What jobs should empaths avoid?
There are a few careers best avoided by empaths, particularly those who haven’t yet learned to shield themselves from others’ negative emotions:
- Management / Executive Work
- Technical Support (unless coding is your happy place)
Are empaths good in business?
They can be, though they may want to outsource the most social parts of running a business.
It’s not that an empath can’t be sociable. But if they haven’t learned how to shield themselves from the emotions of others, hours of contact with the public is likely to exhaust them more quickly than it would others.
Have you found your perfect career as an empath?
Now that you’ve looked through the list of careers for empaths, which ones stood out for you? Which can you see yourself doing every day?
If you’re the empath in question, you know what your leanings are. Trust them. Then learn all you can about the careers that appeal to you most. The info here is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more to learn.
What will you do today to get closer to a career you’ll love?