If you’re a genius wondering which profession will fit you like a glove, look no further than our list of 10 professions with the highest average IQ per employee.
While IQ scores are often used as standardized numbers to evaluate someone’s intelligence, the question is: is a high IQ all you need to attain the prosperous life you’ve always dreamed of? Do smart people just have it easy? Well, to put it in one sentence, the answer is yes, people with extraordinarily high IQs are generally more successful than those of average intelligence. But that is certainly not all there is to it.
Let’s look at Terman’s Study of Gifted Children , for example, a popular study in which Lewis Terman selected a group of 1,500 children exhibiting genius level IQs, and followed them all throughout their adult lives. Suffice to say, the subjects were brilliant in school: academic success chased them all. However, as they grew older, there seemed to be an imbalance within the group. While some of the selected children grew up to be excellent in their chosen field, earning even more success than one could have imagined, some actually ended up in unremarkable and tedious lives, for lack of better words.
Therefore, it’s clear that although IQ plays a huge role in determining the level of your success, it is most definitely not the only factor involved. Persistence, self-belief and ambitiousness were qualities highly prominent in the ones from Terman’s group who rose to fame and riches, proving, to a certain extent, that your personality, attitude and behavior may be as important as the brains you so admire.
As Terman so aptly put it , in the 1947 volume of his study: “we have seen that intellect and achievement are far from perfectly correlated.”
This long lasting study which has still not concluded itself since other psychologists have taken it upon themselves to continue following the subjects even after Terman’s death, was carried out in America and I can’t help but wonder how different the results would have been if other nations were also considered. The US could not make it to our list of the 15 Countries with the Highest Average IQ in the World , but other countries on the list might hold a high IQ in higher regard. Maybe IQ and success are more closely related in such areas. Then again, maybe they are more dependent in areas where people generally have low intelligence. Nonetheless, I’m sure the geography would have had an impact on the outcome of the test.
That being said, there are some professions that require more intelligence than others or simply attract smarter people. In short, these occupations tend to hold within their realm individuals with higher IQs than other jobs. To compile a list of such fields, we referred to IQ Comparison Site , where professions have been arranged in order of the median IQs of their participants, using data from a study carried out by The University of Wisconsin – Madison. Admittedly, the study is pretty old but it can still be considered fairly reliable, as IQ distribution is not likely to change. I mean, smart professions will always be smart professions, in my opinion. So with that in mind, let’s get started.
A career in sales requires an assertive personality, unparalleled communication skills and most of all a clever mind. A sales worker can never be successful if he or she is unable to be convincing. To reel in innocent bystanders and persuade them to purchase the product you’re selling is sure enough quite a challenging task. But sales workers manage it without breaking too much of a sweat. Why, you ask? Their shrewdness and high IQ levels are major reasons, considering that the median IQ level of a sales worker is just a little bit below 110.
If you ask a group of people to describe an engineer in one word, “smart” will be the word you will hear the most, although “nerds”, “geeks” and “socially awkward” may make it to the forefront too. I can’t vouch for whether the latter three qualities are indeed true for engineers, but smart definitely fits their profile, as according to our source engineering happens to be one of the smartest professions. But to be clear, the ninth spot is held by engineers other than electrical engineers and material & design engineers. These two specialties are yet to make an appearance on our list. All other specialties can be clubbed here.
Technology is sprinting at such a fast pace these days, it’s impossible to keep up but somehow, programmers, system analysts, software developers and so many others with their jobs in computers and information technology, manage this impossible feat. Not only does the field of IT employ some of the smartest people in the country, it also presents an opportunity for immense growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer related occupations are expected to grow by 12% between the period 2014 and 2024.
Material and design engineering represents a very specific form of engineering where professionals study all sorts of substances, in order to, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts it, “create new materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements.” These engineers have to be creative and fond of research in order to be successful in their respective area. No wonder people with high IQs tend to go into this field.
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These scientists deal with the physical world and hence have an extremely extensive field that is broadly divided into physical science and life science. There are literally hundreds of topics that you could study and then work under if you happen to be a natural scientist. It’s astounding really, the wide array of subjects that have expanded into fields of their own over the years. People like the amazing Stephen Hawking are part of this profession, leaving no doubt in my mind of the quality of people that enter it.
Social science is another diverse field on our list, a field that includes economics, political sciences, education, linguistics and other similar fields. The one question that comes to mind when hearing the words social and science together is whether or not social science really is a science. Like most debates of course, it is not the simplest question to answer. Some argue that the profession involves research and systematic processes, just like natural science, except it involves social relationships rather than nature. Others, however, cannot comprehend how science can be applied to societies. Whatever you may agree with, you cannot deny that social scientists are indeed very brainy!
Lawyers argue for a living and to formulate a cogent argument, one needs quick wits, something an average lawyer certainly does not lack. Law schools and bar exams are demanding, hurdles that only people with above average IQ can conquer. For a good reason too. A lawyer who does not possess the ability to present a smart argument will be unable to be successful, and that is why this occupation sits at the number four spot on our list of 10 professions with the highest average IQ per employee.
Engineering is an enormous field and electrical engineers seem to be its smartest members. This fact may not come as a surprise since even the job title sounds like the job will entail nothing less than the most exacting tasks. Electrical engineers deal with all sorts of electronic devices, whether it be fixing problems, testing them or developing new ones altogether. It’s safe to say that electrical engineers hold some extraordinary intelligence, considering that their median IQ falls between 110 and 115.
College professors exude intelligence and now we know why: their IQs are through the roof. Not only are they clever, but they are also analytical, knowledgeable and brilliant problem solvers. Granted, we all had a couple of professors in college we could not stand because of how inept they seemed at their job, but believe it or not, a vast majority of them are still much smarter than an average US citizen.
Doctors are considered the elite of the country, no matter what specialty they belong to. And it’s no surprise either. One would need some serious brains to be able to first gain admission into and then endure years of grueling medical school. The median IQ of an average doctor is almost touching an incredible 120.
It could be argued that an impressive level of emotional intelligence is as important a trait among doctors as being extraordinarily smart. While a high IQ helps doctors get to the bottom of their patients’ physical suffering, emotional intelligence may help them enhance their level of care. Whether or not doctors in the USA exhibit this quality is a different debate, but the fact remains that medicine tops our list of professions with the highest average IQ per employee.