Careers That Require Patience

Working with children puts patience to the test.
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Got the patience of a saint? If so, you might be just right for careers that make an ordinary person burst a blood vessel with impatience. Whether it's dealing with challenging people, or simply concentrating on tiny details for a long period, many jobs call for composure. And if you can keep your head where most people lose their cool, you could find lots of career opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes a few careers where patience is a must-have.

Customer Service

    If patience is a virtue, customer service representatives are a saintly breed. Handling complaints and requests all day can test anyone's patience. But, if you have a calm way with people, handling customer calls could be an ideal job. Helping someone out with a genuine problem is often its own reward. However, your patience might have to extend to your pay packet. The mean hourly wage for a customer service representative was $15.92 in 2011, according to the BLS, which was $5.82 less than the national average of $21.74.


    Teachers get to see young minds blossom. Yet, despite this inspiring feeling, teaching requires cast-iron patience. Problem students, discipline issues, late assignments -- they can all cause extra pressure. Keep your patience and you'll earn the respect of your students. Lose your composure and teaching can become a serious challenge. If you're naturally patient, you already have a head start. The median salary for a high school teacher in the United States was a respectable $56,760 per year in 2011, according to the BLS -- over $11,000 more than the national average.


    Are you happy sitting for hours working out a problem? Can you apply logic and critical thinking to the most complex mathematical problems? If so, mathematician could be the career for you. Patience is a must. Lose focus and you could get a decimal point in the wrong place -- changing an entire formula. If you've got the patience, mathematicians are well-rewarded. The median pay in America was $101,320 per year in 2011, a cool $56,090 more than the national average.

Social Work

    Social workers deal with people in difficult situations. Clinical social workers, in particular, need to have real patience. They help to diagnose, identify and treat people with emotional and behavioral problems. Needless to say, this can be a very challenging career. But the rewards for a job well done are huge. You're changing lives for the better, after all. The average social worker was paid $54,220 per year in 2011. It's also a career that the BLS thinks will be in higher than average demand in the years up to 2020.

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