15 Best Problem Solving Jobs (Highest Paying)

by Erin Schollaert

Updated

Although some would rather have an easy job, many would rather have a job that always keeps them on their toes.

After all, a job that allows you to solve new problems and be creative every day will stay interesting for far longer. Moreover, if you’re clever and interested in problem solving jobs, you’ll be surprised at how well they pay.

These are some of the top problem solving careers, what they offer, and how you can get into them!

15. Social and Community-Service Manager

Average yearly income: $69,600 (U.S. News)

This may be the lowest paying of these jobs for problem solvers, but it will keep anyone busy and taking on challenge after challenge.

Social and community service managers meet with funding providers and community members to discuss programs and organizations that support public well-being.

This could mean targeting your attention towards helping homeless people or by doing general community health and wellness activities that keep people in shape. You may even help people who can not find a job.

14. Accountant

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Average yearly income: $73,560 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Accountants are professionals who take care of bookkeeping, prepare financial documents like balance sheets profit and loss statements, and even perform audits.

Although their main job is to keep and interpret records, they analyze profits and losses and have to be able to problem-solve to help figure out financial plans that can benefit whomever they work for.

This is a highly detail-oriented position and requires skills in law, math, finance, and problem-solving to make this job thrilling.

Make sure you stand out when applying for this role by following these tips for finding a great job.

Tactics for Success

  • Having strong ethics is a must for this role because of the amount of money you’ll be handling: if you’re worried you might be tempted by it, this isn’t a job you should take.
  • People skills are more likely to keep you hired in this role than anything else, be aware of how your interactions with others may affect them.

13. Geologist

Average yearly income: $78,805 (Indeed)

Many may be confused why a geologist would have to be good at problem-solving, but the main part of this job is problem-solving!

Geologists conduct studies that locate rocks containing important metals and plan the mines and methods to remove them from the Earth.

Therefore, they have to be intelligent and clever enough to know where to test, mine, and what minerals and metals they’re working with.

12. Detective

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Average yearly income: $83,170 (Career Explorer)

Detectives are uniformed or plainclothes police officers who collect evidence and gather information related to criminal cases. This is the most obvious choice for someone who wants to solve problems.

Beyond getting to help investigate and solve crimes, they conduct interviews, monitor suspects, examine records, and participate in raids and arrests. This requires a sharp eye and ear for detail and an incredible memory.

Trends on the Rise

Role availability for detectives has risen at a rate of 21% in recent years and is expected to keep growing. However, all detectives have to go through several years as police officers before getting this role, so it’s not something you can apply to.

11. Chemist

Average yearly income: $83,850 (Forbes)

If you love detailed work, this one’s for you.

As a chemist, you’ll investigate the matter at the level of atoms and molecules and then measure reaction rates and proportions to understand how foreign substances behave or even create new compounds that can improve people’s daily lives.

In this role, you’ll have to problem solve why and how substances act, what you can do to duplicate that reaction, and how it can be put to use.

A degree in science opens many doors. Here are some ways to make money with a physics degree.

10. Computer Programmer

Average yearly income: $85,236 (Career Explorer)

Computer programmers test and write code that ensures that software and applications run properly.

In addition, they’re involved in maintaining them: which requires computer programmers to be awesome at debugging and troubleshooting these systems.

Half of the job can feel like solving problems and answering riddles to get the system to work as required. This job takes a lot of patience, but it’s worth it for the high pay and constantly changing job needs.

Working for a startup is a great way to begin your career as a Computer Programmer.

Tactics for Success

  • You don’t need a degree for this job if you’re proficient, but having a degree can increase your pay by twenty to thirty thousand a year.
  • Having an understanding of multiple programming languages can make you far more hirable and will give you a better chance at scoring a job.

9. Psychologist

Average yearly income: $85,340 (Forbes)

If you’re a people person and a problem solver: this is the job for you. Psychologists study emotion, social, and cognitive processes, and behavior by analyzing how people interact with one another and their environments.

They can then use their findings to help improve the processes in place for individuals.

This job requires you to deep dive into thoughts, emotions, feelings, and behavior in ways that require a lot of problem-solving to understand.

There are plenty of different jobs that use a psychology degree.

8. Statistician

Average yearly income: $92,270 (U.S. News)

Statisticians apply statistical methods and models to real-world problems. This can help companies make huge decisions or could help explain how much someone is entitled to in court.

Statisticians have to be able to handle a huge amount of information, understand the right way to read that information, and know the best way it can then be applied to the matters at hand.

This is a great job for any problem solver.

7. UX Designer

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Average yearly income: $102,000 (Coursera)

Every UX designer must stay focused on all parts of a product’s development, from design, function, and usability to branding and marketing.

This role works from end to end, ensuring that a user’s interaction with the product is what the company wants it to be.

In this position, you’ll need to be able to problem-solve to fix anything that doesn’t serve the company’s needs or is confusing for users.

Trends on the Rise

Only 55% of companies conduct any UX testing: but that number is quickly rising since 70% of customer complaints are currently about their user experience. Positions in this role are growing by 3% every year, with predictions saying they’ll continue to grow.

6. Aerospace Engineers

Average yearly income: $118,610 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

This job requires a strict understanding of math, science and an ability to keep secrets.

As an aerospace engineer, you’ll work to design spacecraft, satellites, missiles, and aircraft, as well as test prototypes to ensure they function according to their designs.

Unfortunately, not everything works perfectly on the first go, and in these instances, you must be a great problem solver so that you can correct the issue.

5. Air Traffic Controller

Average yearly income: $120,830 (Forbes)

Air traffic controllers live in the most stressful job on this list. Every day they make decisions and solve issues that hold hundreds of lives in the air.

Using radar, computers, and visual references, they monitor and direct aircraft movement on the ground and in the sky at airports.

They often manage multiple aircraft at once and have to be able to make quick decisions to ensure everyone’s safety. This isn’t a job for anyone who can’t handle stress.

4. Preventive Medicine Physicians

Average yearly income: $166,074 (ZipRecruiter)

This is one of the most important jobs on this list since it helps prevent illnesses from worsening and seriously harming patients.

Preventative medicine doctors focus on people’s health and define populations to protect their future health. This means setting up plans to help avoid future illness, disability, and premature death.

This can be a heavy job, with a lot of pressure resting on you making the right choices, but it’s a fantastic role that’s always different and continuously surprises.

3. Hospitalist

Average yearly income: $219,989 (Talent.com)

Hospitalist doctors specialize in treating and diagnosing various illnesses and diseases. They can order testing or medications and work to ensure treatments go according to expectation.

In this role, they provide general medical care to hospitalized patients, lead medical teams, and then coordinate care.

You have to have an incredible eye for detail and great problem-solving skills to work in this role.

2. Allergists and Immunologists

Average yearly income: $258,532 (Physicians Thrive)

A medical doctor who works as an allergist or immunologist is specially trained to treat and manage asthma and allergies.

This requires at least nine years of training and needs you to be able to diagnose and know how to treat and solve issues brought to you by patients.

Problem-solving is important since the wrong treatment could be seriously harmful to patients.

1. Radiologist

radiologist

Average yearly income: $485,460 (Health Imaging)

As the highest paying role on this list, it’s no surprise that this is an extremely complicated job.

Radiologists are medical doctors who diagnose and treat diseases and injuries using medical imaging like X-rays, computed tomography, nuclear medicine, and several other types.

You have to be able to problem-solve what each diagnosis may be and work equipment that’s worth millions every single day. This job is a lot of stress and a lot of problem-solving.

Wrapping Up

Smart people tend to get bored more easily, so it makes sense that many intelligent people feel drawn to jobs that keep their minds going.

So whether you’ve always loved problem-solving or you’re aching for a career you’ll never get bored in, any of these fifteen jobs can offer you a chance at something incredible!

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About the Author

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Erin is a business teacher and mother of three. When she’s not in the classroom or fulfilling her obligations as an A+ hockey and lacrosse mom, she’s working on her latest article.