"Extreme" jobs for the color blind?

Hey there, guys. My brother in law is having a bit of an identity crisis it would seem. Guy’s only 28 and already he’s burned out on the desk-job (I.T.) world.

So now he’s hellbent on doing something more manly, more extreme, if you will. Problem is he’s color blind. He tried to join the army but they won’t take em. Likewise with the police and the FBI. He could be an Army medic, but that doesn’t appeal to him. He also doesn’t want to be a mercenary or a bounty hunter.

Seemingly his chest-thumping ambition does know some bounds, thank god.

He considered being a firefighter, but I’ve found some color blind stuff saying that that’s right out, too.

So what vocation would you suggest for a guy who wants to work away from a desk, have some adventure and not be excluded for his color-blindness?
–Bonus points if it includes jumping out of planes, I’m told. :rolleyes:

Peace Corps?

First of all, how colorblind is he?

Seriously, there are different types of colorblindness and different levels of impairment. Not to mention a lot of misinformation out there.

As an example, a LOT of sources say the colorblind can’t be pilots – but in the US, at least, it is possible for the less-impaired colorblind to be professional pilots. It’s a disadvantage, yes, but if he does get into something like banner-towing, sky-writing, agricultural applications (what used to be called “crop-dusting”) or flies bush planes in Alaska it may not make much, if any, difference. And I can’t, for the life of me, see how even severe colorblindness would rule out being a jump-pilot - you know, the guy who flies the airplane skydivers jump out of. As a pilot who is both civilian and colorblind, and having a slight familiarity of what is required of jumpplane pilots, even if he has a severe impairment, as long as his vision otherwise corrects to 20/20 he should be able to get work doing that job, even if he’s not allowd to fly at night (skydiving is a daytime activity, outside of the military)

Likewise, it would be in his best interest to ask directly with, say, fire departments what their specific requirements and restrictions are in regards to color vision. Don’t just read “some stuff” on colorblindness on the web or even in a book - ask directly because requirements vary all over the place. There is more and more recognition that some tests of color vision - such as the Ishihara test - identify as “impaired” some people who really aren’t disadvantaged unless you’re dealing with extremely close color-matching.

I would suspect there are plenty of “daredevil jobs” out there open to the colorblind. He has to be agressive and keep asking.

How color blind is he? I’m pretty bad. I have trouble telling red lights from yellow. I rely on the position of the light rather than the color.

My color blindness test for the Army (after I couldn’t see the numbers in the circles of dots) involved a doctor holding up two squares of paper. One was bright red the other bright green. (Even I could tell them apart) He said which is green. I pointed. He said OK. I took numerous license tests and the yearly physicals each time failing the color blindness test. There were no issues.

It did get a bit dodgy when I had to tell the difference between an LED glowing green and LED glowing red but there are always other clues.

Hey guys, thanks for the replies. As to how colorblind he is, it’s hard to say.

I know he has issues with reds vs greens, though it may be more involved than that…

As to the vague “stuff” I mentioned having read, I appologize for not being more specific. I was referring to several articles I came across in a search on color blindness and jobs. I found at least 3-4 citings where they mentioned fire fighting as being an example of jobs you couldn’t have being color blind. Glad to hear that this may not be a universal requirement.

Likewise surprised that he could be a pilot.

As far as other “extreme jobs”, I thought of “stuntman”, though I imagine it’s probably a lot harder to get into than one would think. Especially for a guy currently based in DC (though willing to move).

Any other wild suggestions are appreciated. Poor guy’s pretty despondent, being in the thick of this quarter-life crisis of sorts.

Maybe it’s just an urban legend, but didn’t the military actually prefer color blind people for some jobs? The story I heard was that they excel at reading aerial reconnaisance photos.

Okay, so that rules out auto body painter…hummmmmm

During WWII the British employed colorblind men for use in detecting camoflaged items from the air. Camo is designed to fool the normal eye and worked quite well on pilots with normal vision, but was less likely to fool the colorblind eye. The more severely colorblind, the better the spotters were at this. However, these men were employed only for that purpose and had no other jobs open to them in the military as far as I know.

Nowadays, with infrared cameras and various other forms of equipment, I don’t think this niche is filled by human beings any more, but it might be.