Why Creative Careers are Perfect for Autistic People

Creative expression. a young graffiti artist painting a design on a wall

Last Updated on

April 30th, 2024 10:24 am

At some point in our lives, we’re all familiar with the feeling of being stuck. And for the 85% of Autistic people unemployed , that struggle is all too prevalent. The other 15% don’t have it easy either, as being an autistic employee comes with its own challenges.

One reason people can’t progress in life is that they can’t find work or training programs that match their skills, abilities, and preferences. Others can feel stuck with our lack of social skills and an inability to take the next step, despite possessing a wide range of cognitive abilities way beyond their peers.

But whether you’re already an autistic employee or looking for a job, it’s our creative abilities that drive us to progress in life and make a difference. People who possess creative abilities tend to be more emotionally sensitive and more likely to be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As a result, making the transition from everyday life to a creative career path can seem like a great deal to undertake.

Here are some creative careers for autistic people that will give you a sense of purpose and drive you toward success.

The Benefits Of Autistic People In Creative Careers

The benefits of creative people in general are well-documented, but so often autistic people are excluded from the workplace through no fault of their own. Here’s why you should consider a creative career or field of study if you’re on the autism spectrum:

More Empathy

People with Autism often have difficulty reading non-verbal cues, which can make them seem unfriendly or distant. In reality, they may just not be the best at this skill.

But for many creative autistic individuals this is a myth, since empathy is often learned through life experiences in neurodivergent people. There’s more to understanding others than eye contact and active listening.

If you’re autistic and try to read body language or facial expressions, you’ll find it easier to empathize with others and understand their needs better. If you’ve never tried this before, you may be surprised by how much it helps.

Creative Connection

Creative people often feel isolated—they don’t always know how to connect with others socially. However, they often have a unique set of interests, which can help them form connections with others who share their interests.

If you’re autistic, this is probably one of the first things you’ll notice about the people around you—and it can be very motivating.

Divergent Thinking

It’s assumed that autistic children and adults alike often struggle to follow instructions and can become overwhelmed with too much information. However, with creativity in autism, this isn’t necessarily the case.

Autistic children and adults have heightened cognitive abilities. They’re often able to engage in creative thinking, thinking outside the box, and come up with creative solutions that others may not have thought of before. This divergent thinking combined with their gift for logical thinking gives them an advantage in many creative fields and can help them succeed.

Increased Focus

Creative minds tend to have more attention focus than most people. This comes from their ability to focus on detail and think about multiple things simultaneously. This attentional focus helps them solve problems efficiently and find innovative solutions.

It also helps them with their individual skills and interests. So when they find something that really excites them, they tend to focus on it even more. Creative tasks need focus and concentration because it’s tough to feel excited about something if you can’t pay attention to it!

Better Memory Recall

Adults with autism tend to have better memory recall than most people thanks to their heightened cognitive abilities. This can make them especially good at remembering facts or details that they need for their work or hobbies. As an architect, having a good memory can be useful to remember the characteristics of building materials and how they can be combined.

This may also help autistic people remember personal details like names and other identifying information that they need for their work or personal life. Suppose your job requires you to communicate frequently with other people, such as an accountant writing up an invoice for you –  your memory may help you remember their names over time!

Increased Attention Span

Autistic individuals actually tend to be more focused than most people! This may come from their inability to filter out distractions that others might take in too quickly. But it also comes from their ability to concentrate on one thing at a time for longer periods of time.

Combined with their creativity and passion for their special interests, this can have similar attention-focused benefits for creative careers, such as writing or editing online content.

Awareness of Emotions

People with autism can have a high ability to perceive emotions. This may be why their creative minds are attracted to careers in art therapy, music therapy or dance therapy, in order to help like-minded people.

For example, they may notice how a friend’s sadness feels different from his happiness; or how different sounds affect them differently. Autistic people may even prefer not to feel emotion directly—which makes music therapy or dance therapy especially beneficial for them!

Types Of Creative Careers For Autistic People

Let’s explore some creative careers that would be a good fit for individuals with autism who are looking for a fulfilling and successful occupation. We’ve already discussed the positive impact that creativity can have on autistic individuals in the workplace, and now it’s time to consider some specific careers.

Visual Arts

Visual arts careers for people on the Autism spectrum provide a way for them to express themselves creatively and see it come together into something tangible. These careers often require specialized equipment or materials that don’t match up with typical job openings. But there are always exceptions! As long as your skills match what employers are looking for, there is hope for a career in visual arts!

For example, if you’re a creative person who enjoys the technical side of things, then filmmaking may be the perfect career for you! Whether you’re creating commercials, movies or documentaries, you’ll have to find ways to tell stories visually, edit footage and choose the right equipment. All of these tasks require creativity and technical skills—which are both skills that many neurodivergent people often have.


Autistic people are often good at writing, which in itself is a type of art. Even if a job posting doesn’t mention it, employers still appreciate good writing skills. There are many different types of writing careers that you can pursue as an autistic person—from journalism to fiction writing and poetry.

Some jobs require knowledge about writing styles used in different cultures, but there are also many writing jobs where employers value good writing regardless of cultural biases! Even if your work doesn’t have an exact name, finding jobs is much easier than learning new skills—so keep trying!

If you’re an autistic person who enjoys writing, you can pursue a career as a web content writer, copywriter or even as a freelance writer! All of these jobs involve creativity, problem-solving and attention to detail—all of which are skills that autistic people have. Plus, they offer more freedom and flexibility than many jobs out there, allowing you to work from home or in a variety of locations.

Man with beard typing at a typewriter with a smoking pipe on the desk

Did you know many famous authors and writers are autistic, including Helen Hoang?


Music can be an extremely powerful way for an autistic person to express themselves creatively—especially music therapy and music composition. Both fields require advanced skills in music theory and composition – which is what makes these fields so attractive to autistic people who want jobs that allow them to use their creativity without limits!

Of course, becoming an accomplished composer or musician requires years of practice. So unless you have established connections in these fields already, finding a job won’t be easy! But if you love music and have thought about pursuing music as a career at some point in your life? Then you should definitely consider doing so!

A great music career for those looking to avoid the limelight is teaching music. You can find work as a music teacher either in person or through virtual classes. This job is perfect for those who are looking to share their knowledge and help others.


Autistic individuals may prefer design to painting, as it allows for easier expression of creativity. Design is considered a visual art form that can offer more accessibility for expression than other forms such as drawing or painting.

Design jobs go beyond just designing. There are also jobs for web designers who use HTML5 to create websites, logo and graphic design, and interior designers who create furniture and décor for indoor spaces.

creative girl designer with notepad looking at 3d printer working

Careers in design and technology are great for stimulating the Autistic mind!

If you enjoy designing things that others will enjoy using (whether its clothes or cars), then design could be a good fit for you! Just make sure your portfolio shows off your best designs first, so employers get a clearer idea of what kind of designer you are!

When choosing a creative career, it’s essential to stay true to yourself and find a job that allows you to express your creativity in ways that bring you joy. So, follow your passion and prioritize your happiness! As a neurodivergent person, there are plenty of options open for you—so why not explore them?

Preparation For Creative Careers

If you’re interested in pursuing a creative career as an autistic person but aren’t sure where to begin, consider taking these steps first:

Exploring Interests and Skills

What kind of work do you like? What kind of things do other people say when they talk about what you do?

Try thinking beyond your own unique interests. What would make a great job? Imagine being able to solve problems with technology used by other industries? Finding your passion might take some time—but it will definitely help when looking for creative jobs!

Building a Portfolio

The more creative work you put out there for people to look at, the better job opportunities you’ll have! If you’re interested in pursuing design work, try designing something for someone else—then they can model your work. If you’re interested in writing, start a blog or a collection of short stories that other people could read. You never know who might be interested in hiring you if you build a great portfolio!

Finding Resources and Support

What do you need to get started? For web design, do you need software to learn HTML5? What about Photoshop or Illustrator? Do you need a special computer to open up .PSD files? Is there a community of people learning what you’re trying to learn? Find out what resources you need and how to access them!

Finding Opportunities

How do you go about finding opportunities? Do you check your email every day, hoping to find a job offer? Do you check online jobs sites daily? Do you check the newspapers regularly? Try using all the different sources mentioned above to see if any of them work better than others!


When looking into your options, don’t underestimate the power of networking! A lot of people don’t think of this as a necessity, but it’s actually one of the most important things that you can do to find a job. Networking with other autistic people can help you find great jobs for people on the spectrum and everyone else.

Education and Training

As mentioned earlier, learning new skills takes time. Taking classes at a local college or university is a good way to improve your skills as a designer or writer. It can help you gain experience in your field.

To become a music therapist or composer, you can take classes at a local school or online through a community college or university. Take classes that teach how to use the skills that employers may be looking for, and practice until you get good at it!

Leg shot of man in suit playing cello in orchestra

Classical music has been proven to have many benefits for Autistic individuals

Start Your Creative Career Today!

Starting your creative career as an autistic person can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! With the right resources and support, you can make your dreams a reality.

Find out what you’re interested in and good at, create a collection of your best work, and seek out help and tools to improve your abilities. Network with other autistic people in similar fields, and take classes or get training to help you develop your skills.

With a little bit of effort and dedication, you can find the perfect job for your creative abilities!

Disclosure: Every time you click on a link on our site, we may get a small commission paid to us. We do this to keep the content free-to-read. If you're privacy focused, you can support the site by using Brave Browser and BAT tokens - We're verified creators! Thank you for helping us showcase the future of neurodivergent talent.

What is your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure
Rob Butler
30-Something Millennial with ADHD and suspected Autistic and Dyspraxic. Thought leader behind this website. Big visions of a better future for everyone, but forgets where he is half the time.Loves Rugby, his kids, and anything silly. Hates U2 and Marmite.

You may also like

Comments are closed.

More in:Career