If numbers make you sweat, stay cool with one of these math-free careers.
Addition, subtraction, algebra - you'd be happy to never hear those words again. But is it really possible to find a career that doesn't involve some form of number crunching?
We've got good news, math-haters. "There are many careers that don't require math," says Ellyn Enisman, founder of EKS Consultants Inc., a career coaching and consulting firm in Poughkeepsie, New York.
"In my experience, people who dislike math often shine in careers that require good interpersonal communication skills, such as writing and engaging verbally with people," she says. "You will find them in the helping professions, sales profession, media, customer service, law, and more."
Interested in learning more about jobs that don't require tallying up totals or punching in numbers? Read on to discover five math-free careers.
Math-Less Career #1: Paralegal
Hate math, but love reading, writing, and research? A career as a paralegal might be a natural fit.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, paralegals typically help lawyers prepare for cases through conducting research on laws and regulations, writing reports, and digging up facts.
Why It's For Math-Haters: Paralegal work could be a great fit for someone who hates math but loves organizing, says Cindy Heider Kaliff, founder of Career & Life Options in Lincoln, Nebr. According to Kaliff, "You would be preparing correspondence, meeting with clients, gathering and analyzing information, investigating, and coordinating."
Want more proof? Taunee Besson, president of Career Dimensions, Inc. based in Dallas, Texas, calls paralegal work a word-oriented career. Because the focus is on writing and people interactions, this is a field where people who hold those qualities flourish, she says, explaining that being proficient in math doesn't factor in as heavily, she says.
Education Options: If this sounds like the math-free career for you, consider this: According to the Department of Labor, most paralegals have an associate's degree in paralegal studies. Already have a bachelor's degree in a different field? Consider earning your certificate in paralegal studies - the Department says this is another pathway to this career.
Math-Less Career #2: Public Relations Specialist
If you'd rather ham it up with people than numbers, explore a career in public relations.
As a public relations specialist, you'd use communications - such as writing press releases and drafting speeches - to promote a positive image of an organization, notes the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It's For Math-Haters: While all types of communications are vital to this career, math isn't. "[A] public relations specialist's message is through words," Besson says. "They don't have to manipulate numbers to get results."
And Kaliff agrees. She says this field has a heavy focus on creativity and client interaction - not math.
"Your days would be spent creating public relations strategies, and planning and developing communication programs to maintain favorable opinion," she says.
Education Options: To pursue a career as a public relations specialist, a bachelor's degree is usually needed, according to the Department of Labor. Employers prefer candidates who have majored in public relations, communications, journalism, business, or English.
Math-Less Career #3: Graphic Designer
If you lean more toward color, fonts, and layouts than calculators, you may want to pursue a career in graphic design.
As a graphic designer you may create the layout for different types of materials, such as brochures, corporate reports, or advertisements, notes the U.S. Department of Labor. Your work could involve using design software to communicate ideas that capture consumers' attention.
Why It's For Math-Haters: "As a graphic designer, you would be creating designs and concepts, conferring with clients, and organizing graphics, layouts, illustrations, and logos," Kaliff says.
Enisman also notes while this career is light on math, it's heavy on communication. "Graphic designers must provide concepts for their clients and can only do this through communicating with the client to learn what they want."
Education Options: Want to dive into a career as a graphic designer? You'll need to prep with a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related field. According to the Department of Labor, that's what's typically required for graphic design positions. Already have a bachelor's degree in another field? Look into getting technical graphic design training. According to the Department, doing so could help you "meet most hiring qualifications."
Math-Less Career #4: Dental Assistant
Do you prefer people to numbers? If so, a career in dental assisting may let you interact with new people - and avoid number-crunching.
While dental assistant duties will vary from office to office, they typically help dentists clean teeth, process x-rays, sterilize equipment, and keep records of dental treatments, notes the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It's For Math-Haters: "There's not much math in this career," says Besson, who notes that this gig actually revolves mostly around patient care and treatment, as well as equipment preparation.
Besson suggests seeking a patient care-focused position - like helping the dentist clean teeth or sterilizing dental tools - for the best opportunities to avoid any math in this field.
Education Options: Interested in dentistry, not math? You have several options to pursue a career as a dental assistant. The Department of Labor notes that some states may require dental assistants to pass a state exam and graduate from an accredited program, which could lead to a certificate, diploma, or associate's degree. However, other states may not have any educational requirements, says the Department.
Math-Less Career #5: Police Officer
Consider a career in law enforcement if you want to help protect your community - and avoid any requirement to crank out computations.
Police officers usually spend their time patrolling assigned areas, conducting traffic stops, and enforcing the law, notes the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It's For Math-Haters: "Generally speaking, police officers are keeping the peace - talking to and arresting people. They have a lot of paperwork, but it doesn't have much math involved," Besson says.
Kaliff agrees. It is important to have good customer service skills since police officers could interact with many different people each day, she says, but there isn't a need for complex statistics or calculations, she says.
So while you may have to memorize new traffic laws (among other things), showcasing your multiplication skills - or lack thereof - is completely optional.
Education Options: Want to fight crime, not number sets? To pursue a career as a police officer, you must first graduate from an agency's training academy, according to the Department of Labor. Many agencies may also require a college degree or some college coursework, says the Department.
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