Careers that Require Strong
Non-Verbal Communication Skills

See also: Active Listening

Having a clear line of verbal communication is key when it comes to the efficiency and success of a workplace. However, non-verbal communication also has a key role to play in effective communication between team members and clients.

In some professions, non-verbal communication is actually more important than verbal communication. Industries such as aged care or teaching require individuals to have a high level of non-verbal communication. This means thinking about how an individual presents themselves through facial expressions, body language and gestures and how they can read the emotions and feelings that are not expressed through vocal nuances.

In certain careers, these strong non-verbal communication skills become everyday tools to use to understand clients and co-workers when verbal communication may not be strong or an option.


A nurse in the medical field is just one profession that requires an individual to have strong non-verbal communication skills in order to provide the best possible care to a patient in need. Nurses who have the ability to read a patient’s non-verbal cues will be able to better understand their condition, discomfort, pain and emotions in more clarity, which can lead to a better experience and more effective treatments.

Non-verbal communicators should also know when an individual needs privacy or space. A nurse should know when to engage in treatment or conversation with a patient based on their current cues or body language while also giving verbal communication. Nurses who are nonverbal communicators can also be more effective educators and leaders for junior health care professionals passing on their skills to the next generation of health care professionals.


Salespeople often need to have strong non-verbal communication skills in order to close a sale or get a client to make that final push. In this industry, salespeople need to be malleable and understand what their customers and clients are looking for on a daily basis. The ability to read someone's non-verbal cues is crucial as salespeople must make distinctions between when a client needs time to think or when a customer is interested in a product and close to a sale.

By being able to nonverbally communicate with clients and customers, salespeople can create trust, build relationships and close more deals, which yields better results in the long run.

Security Guard

For security professionals such as doormen, security guards, and retail security, mastering the art of non-verbal communication is not merely an additional skill—it's an essential part of their toolkit. According to insights from Working the Doors, non-verbal cues play a critical role in maintaining safety and authority without the need for confrontation. By effectively using body language, these professionals can assert their presence, thwart potential threats, and ensure the well-being of those they're tasked to protect—all without uttering a single word.

Through posture, eye contact, and even the mere positioning of their bodies, security personnel can project an aura of confidence and control that is essential in deterring misconduct. This silent form of communication also extends to their ability to read people's intentions, enabling them to anticipate and diffuse situations that could escalate into conflict. Furthermore, in environments where verbal communication might be impractical due to noise or distance, non-verbal cues become indispensable. Therefore, honing these skills is crucial for anyone in the security sector, underlining the importance of non-verbal communication in building a safer and more secure environment.

Aged Care Workers

Aged care workers often need to be aware of nonverbal communication skills in order to have a successful career caring for the elderly population. Since many aged-care patients suffer from some form of dementia or Alzheimer's disease, nonverbal communication is crucial in their treatment and care.

When non-verbal signals are disrupted, such as when a patient's non-facial gestures or vocalizations become limited due to advanced age, it can be difficult for aged-care workers to understand what the patient needs. These types of events can lead to underfeeding, over medicating or other dangerous situations that put a patient at risk.

Aged-care workers with strong non-verbal communication skills, like those at Kew Gardens Aged Care, can create a safe and supportive environment for their patients. These skills include being able to read body language, facial expressions and emotions; interpreting vocal tones and changes in speech patterns; sensitivity to environmental stimuli; as well as an understanding of the cultural differences that may affect nonverbal communication. At the end of the day, skills like these are for communicating effectively to ensure the best possible outcome for everyone.


Teachers also need strong nonverbal communication skills in order to be effective educators. A good teacher can see when a student is lost or confused and help them through it in a subtle yet effective way as to not make the student feel like they are falling behind.

Non-verbal communication is great skill to assist teachers in recognising when a student is in need of help with their studies, in the classroom or even outside the classroom. By having these skills, teachers can also identify when students are bored or uninterested in the lesson, which can be key when trying to keep students engaged with new learning material and keeping lessons fun.


Psychologists need to have strong nonverbal communication skills in order to properly diagnose and treat their patients. In many cases, nonverbal communication is the only way psychologists can understand a patient's thoughts or feelings. For example, a psychologist may use nonverbal communication to observe a patient's body language and facial expressions when they are discussing traumatic memories; this nonverbal information can then be used to create an appropriate treatment plan.

By having strong nonverbal communication skills, these professionals can create a supportive environment that fosters trust and encourages open conversation about the patient's mental health.

Social Workers

As a social worker, non-verbal communication skills may be needed in order to assess an individual's current circumstances or living situation. For example, social workers may need to non-verbally communicate with a victim of domestic violence in order to understand the extent of their experiences.

In some cases, social workers may also need to nonverbally communicate with a client's family members in order to gain an understanding of the family dynamics and how the client is being affected by them. By having strong nonverbal communication skills, social workers can build trust and help others feel comfortable about opening up about their experiences.

Hospitality & Retail

In hospitality, it can be extremely important to note how you talk to customers and how you treat them while assisting them or serving them. If you have conversations with customers using a sarcastic tone, have intimidating energy, or give an eye-roll to something they do or ask for, it can negatively impact the immediate relationship that you have with that customer. On the other hand, comforting someone with a sympathetic smile if they have a problem with your service or products could change their behavioural pattern in the future making it easier to deal with their frustration and problems.

In this way, non-verbal communication skills require more than just an understanding of words and empathy, rather it is assessing a person’s emotional state based on their actions, tone and expressions. Having non-verbal communication skills are important in these careers, but they can also be a great skill to have across all industries to ensure that your co-workers and clients are being cared for effectively.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Interpersonal Skills eBooks.

The Skills You Need Guide to Interpersonal Skills

Develop your interpersonal skills with our series of eBooks. Learn about and improve your communication skills, tackle conflict resolution, mediate in difficult situations, and develop your emotional intelligence.