The jobs that don’t require reading tend to be the same jobs for people that don’t speak English very well in this country, and those tend to be labor intensive. Even medial work like retail still requires them be able to read the keys on the cash register, and searching for jobs requires they be able to read a newspaper or use a computer. It is probably for this reason that Microsoft has experimented with using visual images in assisting illiterate persons in computer job searching.
Factory labor is one of the few positions available that doesn’t require any reading. Because there are so many positions available in factory work, from packing and counting to running machine equipment, there are endless jobs in this job sector to fit anyone’s needs. Most factory jobs are micromanaged down on the floor, so there is always someone there to solve problems and answer questions. This turns out to be a great job source for illiterate workers because most of the job doesn’t require even having to know how to read. Many factory jobs might have a worker doing the same monotonous task over and over, and unlike many office jobs, there is someone to train him on how to do it.
Construction falls into the labor sector, and most labor jobs won’t require a person to know how to read. Although for someone to familiarize themselves with their tools or their safety instructions, they would likely need to know how to read, most construction jobs require individuals to apprentice first. Apprenticeships are like a special kind of training or internship where someone shadows another for weeks on end until they know how to do the job. The goal of apprenticeships are to teach an individual all of the information she needs to do the job, at the end of which time she’ll be qualified to do the work herself. Like many other labor positions, the boss is generally on site to answer whatever questions might arise so individuals don’t have to look up the answer in written form.
Painters tend to do pretty well too, especially if they are unionized. The job is classified as labor although finding someone working construction who would agree with that classification might be difficult. Painters can work either indoors or outdoors prepping and painting houses and buildings and treating materials as needed, often at great heights. Painters tend to need a lot of experience as well, and though occasionally reading might seem necessary when purchasing supplies or reading instructions, it is likely they could get that information from a store clerk or fellow employee just as easily.