Colour blindness is not a major concern for most occupations. However there are some areas where it could be a significant drawback, and even completely restrictive.
Colour blindness can make some jobs difficult, and others impossible. Working with fashion and art can be extremely difficult as you will be unable to differentiate between some of the colours you’ll be required to work with as an everyday part of your job. Likewise, jobs such as interior design or lighting engineer can be quite challenging.
There are some areas of engineering that will pose difficulties for those with colour blindness. Areas where difficult may arise include:
Electrical / Electronic Engineering Space and Computer Engineering - people with colour blindness may experience some minor difficulties, such as an inability to read colour code on resistors, to major handicaps such as an inability to distinguish different circuit tracks for drawings of multi-layer circuit layouts.
Material Science / Engineering - people with colour blindness may be disadvantaged as they could be required to identify microstructures using different colour etching.
Chemical Engineering - some field jobs require the ability to differentiate between color-coded pipelines, sign-posts and equipment. Some duties such as process design may require the use of colors and may present severe obstacles to an employee with colour-blindness.
Civil Engineering - engineers are required to read computer-generated drawings which may come with different coloured lines.
Colour vision is essential for recognising aircraft position lights, light-gun signals, airport beacons, approach-slope indicators, and chart symbols, especially at night. As a result all pilots have to undergo colour vision testing prior to obtaining a license. Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers are particularly disadvantaged, although many do succeed in these professions.
Eyesight Reference Data - Sight standards for occupations in Ireland
Colour Vision Defects - Factfile [pdf]