A good understanding of math can get you very far in certain fields, even without any other hard skills. People tend to underestimate the usefulness of the subject in their professional development. However, there are also plenty of jobs that don’t require math at all. You shouldn’t feel discouraged if you’re not up to speed at dealing with numbers and want to focus on developing yourself in other areas instead.
Even with math out of the picture, hard skills are still important though. You should strive to find a field that you feel truly comfortable in, so that you can effortlessly build a skillset that puts you in a competitive position on the market.
What Jobs Don’t Require Math?
You don’t have to search far to find high-paying jobs that don’t require math, especially if you already come from certain backgrounds and have built some experience in your field. Even people without any prior experience can still navigate the job market quite well without any math skills though.
Keep in mind that you might occasionally still need to do some basic calculations in many of these jobs. For example, working as a web developer, you should at least have a basic understanding of percentages and proportions. The same goes for illustrators, especially those working with modern design suites like Photoshop and Illustrator.
The work of a graphic designer is a classic example of a field where you can progress far without any math knowledge at all. Even when working with complex shapes, the tools you use will do all the heavy lifting for you. Instead, you need to focus on your creative expression and the ability to understand your client’s requirements in detail.
You still need to take measurements and work with proportions, but you don't necessarily need to be good at math to do that. You can compensate by having a good eye for detail.
Graphic designers earn around $40,000 on average, but this comes with a few caveats. You need to be prepared to work for a long time without seeing any reasonable compensation. Once you’ve made it to big projects though, things start to change very fast.
Keep in mind that this is a highly competitive field. You’ll need to put some work into building an impressive portfolio if you want to make it as a graphic designer. And like web developers, illustrators rely heavily on proper networking too. Perhaps more than most other creative positions.
Unless you’re writing on topics that specifically have to do with math, there’s none of it involved in working as a writer. It’s just you, a blank page, and all the ideas flowing through your head that you’re trying to organize in a meaningful way.
The earnings of a writer can vary depending on what exactly you do. Freelancers tend to have a higher earning ceiling than employees, but this depends on finding good clients. If you’re paid hourly, you can expect to make a little over $50,000 a year once you’ve got some skills under your belt.
This is another highly saturated field with a lot of competition. Many people believe that they can be successful writers just because they can throw down a couple of thousand words on a random topic. But to become truly successful as a writer and make a living off of it, you’ll need to be persistent. There will be ups and downs, and you’ll soon find out that writer’s block is anything but an overblown cliché.
If you’ve got what it takes though, this can be a very lucrative career path that leaves you with a lot of flexibility in your scheduling and good opportunities for progress.
A security guard doesn’t need any understanding of math to do their job. Your exact duties will vary from one position to another. For example, some jobs might have you actively patrolling an area during specific hours, while in other positions, you’ll sit and monitor security feeds most of the time.
Basic security guards without any complicated responsibilities usually earn around $25,000 – $30,000. This can go up fast if you are hired for more specialized tasks that require specific qualifications.
You might also be responsible for letting people in and out of the property and relaying messages to higher-ups. The job requires some degree of physical fitness, though you don’t have to be a trained martial arts expert to succeed as a security guard.
Later on, you’ll usually find yourself managing other security guards and providing training to newcomers. You might have to obtain certain certifications to be allowed to progress through the ranks.
While waiters have to work with money on a daily basis, math is not in the foreground for this position. Most of the relevant details are handled automatically these days anyway. You’ll have the bill calculated by the restaurant’s system, and at the most, you’ll just have to figure out if the tip you received was appropriate for the size of the final bill.
Don’t expect to make too much as a waiter when you’re just starting out. In many places, you’ll barely get anything above minimum wage. Tips are where the real money is for most waiters. In some parts of the country, you can get between $30,000 – $40,000 at classier establishments.
The more important qualifications for a good waiter include the ability to work on your feet for hours at a time with few breaks, and to communicate with customers. You’ll need to work on your personal skills if you want to make it as a waiter, and you should be prepared to occasionally work long hours if the place is packed.
Pet sitting is a great job if you can find viable opportunities for it in your area. As the name implies, it involves taking care of a person’s pet(s) while they’re away. You will usually have to visit the customer’s home on a set schedule, but in some rare cases you might even get to live there temporarily.
The job doesn’t pay as well as some others on that list, but it compensates for that with its flexibility and relatively relaxed requirements. You can expect to make around $25,000 – $30,000 a year, with some parts of the country paying more on average.
Needless to say, being good with animals is a must for this position. This doesn’t just include cats and dogs, as you’ll occasionally have to deal with more exotic species that might require extra care and attention. You’ll not only have to feed the animals, but entertain them as well. Be prepared to spend a long time playing with them to compensate for their missing owners during the day.
Good hair stylists are always in high demand, and if you’ve got skills with a pair of scissors and hair clippers, you should be able to find a job very easily. You can either set up your own salon or start by working under someone else. The latter is recommended if you have no prior experience working as a hair stylist and want to learn the ropes.
Hair stylists earn around $25,000 – $30,000 in most places. In some cases, you can start at around $40,000 if you’ve got experience in specific areas. It’s important to always keep learning on this position, as this will improve your prospects very fast.
The job is generally relaxing, other than the fact that you’ll be on your feet for most of your working day. You will also be expected to exchange small talk with your customers. Although not every person who goes to a hair salon enjoys that, you should aim to please those that do.
If you have a keen interest in your local history and know your area better than the average person, you should also consider working as a tour guide. You’ll be responsible for showing tourists around the area and explaining various parts of local history to them.
Tour guides earn an average of $30,000. The more knowledgeable you are about the history of the places you cover, the better your prospects will be. If you are keen on history and keep learning, you will quickly reach much better compensation.
You need to have good communication skills and the ability to keep a crowd entertained. This can be more difficult than you might expect. You’ll often have a mixed audience – seniors, couples with children, younger adults, students, and people from all walks of life in general. You must also deal with the fact that your group will likely get tired after walking around for a few hours, at which point it can get very difficult to hold their attention.
Despite the growing popularity of artificial intelligence and its heavy use in industries like translation and interpretation, human translators remain a valuable resource for the companies that use them. There’s a lot a human can do that machines still can’t, and things will likely stay that way for the foreseeable future.
Translators who specialize in one foreign language are paid around the same as writers, with salaries of around $50,000 being the average. Once you add just one extra language to the mix though, things start to improve very rapidly.
Being a good translator is about much more than simply understanding more than one language though. You have to read between the lines, understand the main idea behind each piece of text you’re translating, and figure out how to transform that into the target language without losing any of the underlying meaning. This is more difficult than most people assume. Literal translation has very little value in this field, unless you want to specialize in something like technical translations.
A systems administrator is tasked with maintaining and developing the complex digital infrastructure that powers pretty much all modern companies. Even the smallest companies on the market need some IT support, and that’s where you come in. Setting up workstations, updating operating systems, keeping an eye out for potential intrusions, consulting employees about the issues they’re experiencing with the company’s tech – those are all regular parts of what a sysadmin does.
Systems administrators earn between $60,000 – $70,000 in most parts of the country. Some companies pay very little for this type of work, making it important to know how to market yourself. You might also want to look into relocating to maximize your potential.
How fast you can make it through this career depends primarily on your background and your willingness to learn. Good systems administrators usually come from a field that exposes them to some interaction with technology, but that’s not a strict requirement. You can learn on the go if you start in a junior role. The important thing is that you pay attention to the tech world and follow recent developments in it.
How Far Can I Progress in These Careers Without Any Math Skills?
Many of these careers offer a great potential for growth if you’ve got what it takes to handle the workload and stay informed about new developments in the field. Math will never be an issue in any of these careers – but other skills will. As with any career, you need to have a plan of action and know what kinds of skills you need to develop in order to stay relevant in your market field.
If you’re looking for other similar opportunities, these creative jobs that don’t require a degree are also worth checking out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can math still be a requirement for moving up in these fields?
You won’t find any hard requirements for math in any of those careers, but as with most jobs, you may find that knowing know how to perform specific simple calculations will help. For example, earning more money as a hairdresser may require that you take on more clients, invest in equipment, and make decisions about costs vs expenses. So although math isn't “required” per se, it can be beneficial.
What other skills should I invest in instead?
This depends on the specific field you’ve chosen. For a web developer or system administrator, you’ll want to focus on technical skills like programming and hardware. A firefighter needs to always keep their body in good shape. A graphic designer should keep up with trends and be exposed to a variety of art styles. Just because you don't need math, doesn't mean you can slack off entirely!
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