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Careers That Require the Highest IQ

Having a career that’s below your IQ can be boring. It is not challenging at all. Employees feel they are professional, and personal competencies do not improve. Also, people with high IQ would not stay committed to getting their job done with quality results. They can’t relate to their colleagues easily, too.

So, which careers do the smartest people (with the highest IQ) go into? There are many professions that smart people choose, but it is mostly engineering, computer-related occupations, science, legal occupations, college professorship, and medical occupations.

Whether you excel in Science or Mathematics, you could be a doctor or an engineer someday. 

Are you searching for careers that match with your cognitive faculties and interests? Don’t look further than this comprehensive guide! In this article, we will discover the top 10 high IQ careers. So, without further ado, let’s get started! 

10 Careers that tend to have people with the Highest IQ

Doctors (Especially Surgeons)

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Medical professionals, particularly doctors, bagged the number one spot. A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin indicates that doctors have the highest IQ on average.

Before individuals can practice medicine, they need to undergo years of schooling. After a relevant baccalaureate degree, aspiring doctors have to take the medicine course of their preference. It would take years to finish.

Then, they have to pass a different licensure examination. To increase the chance of passing, they should undergo an intensive and expensive review class.

As they get hired, they continuously study to be updated with the new trends in the profession. They have to attend seminars, training, and other forms of career development for the welfare of their patients. 

Professors in Colleges and Universities

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For the second spot, the college professor is next to doctors. Similar to medical professionals, professors in universities and colleges need to study for years. After their baccalaureate degree, they have to take their master’s degree and Ph.D. 

Aside from the challenge of honing students to become leaders of the future, the salaries for college professors are enticing. Full professors, for example, can earn as much as $136,506, according to a study performed by the American Association of University Professors. Associate professors can earn $93,133 per year. Assistant professors can enjoy a salary of at least $80,289. Part-time faculty members, on the contrary, can only receive $3,894. But it depends on the university or college you work in.


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Lawyers typically represent clients in courts, conduct research/analysis of legal problems, interpret laws for businesses, present facts in writing, and file legal documents. These require abstract thinking and are perfect for those who have a high IQ

Folks specialize in environmental law, tax, intellectual property, family, securities, and more.

When it comes to salaries, lawyers are one of the highest-paid professionals in the U.S and other parts of the world. In 2019, alone, lawyers can receive at least $122,960—also, the compensation changes according to industries. According to a recent study, legal counsels who work in the federal government can enjoy $144,300. Attorneys who serve in the local government can receive a maximum of $95,870. 

Engineers (Electrical, etc.)

Engineering is another profession for those who have a high IQ. Similar to other specialized fields, electrical engineering requires a lot of education.

People with the ability to think abstractly have the advantage to succeed. According to research, the average IQ in electrical engineering is around 126. So, individuals who excel in Mathematics and Science can have a fulfilling career in electrical engineering. 


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Another high IQ career is becoming a scientist. Many would only think of those who work at NASA. The truth is that there are other types of scientists. These include botanists, cytologists, epidemiologists, geneticists, geologists, marine biologists, geographers, microbiologists, physicists, seismologists, and more. 

Now, why do many people decide to become a scientist? There are various reasons, including the thrill of a new discovery, high paying salaries, world exploration, and more. But before becoming a scientist, be sure it’s your first passion. If not, look for other courses to suit your interests and needs. Then, decide what field of science you want to study, take as many courses as possible, earn a master’s degree, pursue a doctorate in your field, and don’t stop learning. 

Materials and Design Engineers 

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Materials engineers are responsible for developing, processing, and testing materials to create biomedical devices, aircraft wings, and computer chips. They devote their time studying properties and structures of metals, nanomaterials, composites, plastics, and ceramics. With these duties, people with average IQ won’t excel. 

Despite the complexity of the profession, material engineers hold at least 27,700 jobs.

For transportation equipment manufacturing, there are over 16% of material engineers, 10% in engineering services, 9% in electronic product manufacturing, and 8% in primary metal manufacturing.

For those who are interested in studying materials engineering, take a relevant bachelor’s degree. You can also take a graduate degree to do further research and development in the field. 

IT Professionals 

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Another high IQ career would be Information Technology. While it is perfect for smart professionals, the field has been evolving and growing for the past years. Security analysts, web developers, and network architects, for example, are seeing double-digit growth according to

Information technology has also been popular because of job diversity. Sectors like aerospace, healthcare, energy, banking, retail, insurance, and design have incorporated information technology into their system. For that reason, IT has open multiple job opportunities for every capable applicant out there. 

IT professionals receive an annual salary of $90,000. Of course, entry-level employees are a different case. Their compensation is lower than this salary level. But learning new skills, earning valuable certifications, gaining work experience, and advancing their careers can play a critical role. 


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The financial sector serves as the biggest contributor to the national economy, according to the Australian Treasury. In 2016, alone, the financial industry contributed a total of $140 billion. The number is expected to grow in the future, giving employment opportunities to more than 500,000 people. For that reason, the financial sector is a lucrative field for professionals to enter

But wait, there’s more. The financial industry is dynamic, provides jobs across the globe, ensures long-term growth, opens educational opportunities, and guarantees high salary potential. 

Popular finance jobs include risk manager, private equity analyst, private wealth advisor, finance director, hedge fund manager, portfolio manager, investment analyst, financial analyst, and financial advisor. 

Real Estate

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As more people pursue a career in real estate, employment in the industry is expected to grow 7% from 2018 to 2028. It’s no surprise as the sector gives real estate professionals enough freedom. They can set their own hours, make decisions for themselves, and manage their priorities. 

What are the career opportunities in real estate? Common and high-paying solutions include managing broker, commercial real estate agent, real estate investor, residential appraiser, property manager, leasing consultant, foreclosure specialist, real estate attorney, and corporate real estate manager. 


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Who would have thought that sales could be a high IQ career? Generally, you don’t have to be smart to work in sales. But the job would be easier when you’re smart. You could create an effective strategy for a small, medium-sized, and large business to thrive. Also, you could have a deeper understanding of a product/service. 

Now, why should you pursue a career in sales? Unlike technical or administrative skills, you could make more money in sales. What else? The field offers other possibilities. These include job security, personal control, and excitement. 

Choosing a Career that Matches with Your Intelligence

Yes, choosing a career seems a simple thing to do. The truth is that the process can be a headache. Don’t worry! Here are a few factors to consider: 


What are your interests? Do you love Mathematics or Science? You can pursue a career in engineering or medicine. If you don’t know your interests yet, it’s worthwhile to seek the help of a career consultant. 


Since you already know your interests, reflect on your skills. Do you excel in numbers? If yes, a career in medicine, engineering, accounting, and finance will be your best. If you love discovering new things, you could be a scientist. 


Attitude is another factor to consider. Whether you are self-motivated or have a positive attitude, a high-stress job is an ideal choice for you. To succeed in every profession, a person’s cognitive faculties are essential. But attitude should not be overlooked. You have to be patient, eager, persistent, dedicated, optimistic, helpful, fast, and versatile. Having these qualities will help you thrive in whatever path you choose in the future. 

Job Availability

Aside from attitude, identify if a profession has a high demand. Information technology, for example, continues to be popular. Becoming a lawyer is also a trend because of a high-paying salary, fun working environment, and opportunities for continuous professional development. 

Your Happiness

When choosing a career, your happiness is another top priority. Don’t dream of becoming an accountant if you hate Math. Instead, pursue something that would make you smile and passionate every day. Don’t think of what people say. Follow your heart. Grow in the profession you want. Be passionate and live a fulfilling life.