Understanding Intelligence and Occupational Success

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter


Intelligence plays a crucial role in determining our success in different areas of life. Whether it’s in our personal lives or professional careers, being aware of our intelligence levels can help us make informed decisions and avoid unnecessary challenges.

Intelligence and Job Performance

In the workplace, intelligence is a significant factor in job performance. If you find yourself in a position that requires more intelligence than you possess, it can lead to dissatisfaction and difficulty in handling your responsibilities. As you move up the ladder of competence, the demand for fluid intelligence increases.

Understanding Your Abilities

It is essential to assess your intelligence, conscientiousness, creativity, stress tolerance, and agreeableness to determine the best occupational fit for you. Identifying your strengths and weaknesses can help you avoid placing yourself in a position where your weaknesses become a fatal flaw.

Finding the Right Fit

To maximize your chances of success and overall well-being, it is advisable to aim for an occupation where your intelligence places you in the upper quartile. Being the smartest person in the room may not always be ideal, as it could indicate that you have mastered that environment and need to seek new challenges elsewhere.

Factors to Consider

When choosing a career path, it is crucial to consider factors such as conscientiousness, stress tolerance, and work-life balance. If you are not naturally hyper-conscientious, a job that requires 70+ hours of work per week may not be the best fit for you. It’s important to find a balance that aligns with your personality and values.

Occupational Intelligence Requirements

The intelligence required for different occupations varies. Here is an overview of the intelligence range for several job roles:

High Intelligence Requirements (IQ above 130)

  • Attorney
  • Research Analyst
  • Advertising Manager
  • Chemist
  • Engineer
  • Executive Manager

Above Average Intelligence Requirements (IQ between 110 and 130)

  • Copywriter
  • Accountant
  • Sales Manager
  • Sales Analyst
  • General Manager
  • Purchasing Agent
  • Registered Nurse
  • Sales Account Executive

Average Intelligence Requirements (IQ between 90 and 110)

  • Store Manager
  • Bookkeeper
  • Credit Clerk
  • Lab Tester
  • Telephone Sales
  • Accounting Clerk
  • Computer Operator
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Technician
  • Clerk Typist

Below Average Intelligence Requirements (IQ below 90)

  • Messenger
  • Factory Production Worker
  • Assembler
  • Food Service Worker
  • Nurse’s Aide
  • Host/Hostess
  • Custodian
  • Janitor
  • Material Handler
  • Packer

Addressing the Needs of Lower IQ Individuals

It is important for society to recognize that individuals with lower IQs face significant challenges in finding suitable employment opportunities. Jobs for people with IQs less than 85 are rare, and this issue needs to be addressed.

Increasing Demand for Cognitive Power

With the rise of high IQ tech-based professions, the demand for cognitive power is increasing. Traditional jobs that were once considered simple, such as being a cashier or working at fast-food restaurants, now require higher levels of intelligence due to technological advancements.

The Dilemma for Lower IQ Individuals

While some may argue that individuals with lower IQs should work harder or receive more training, it is not a simple solution. The reality is that not everyone possesses the same level of intelligence, and training can only go so far in compensating for cognitive limitations.

Avoiding Structural Problems

The complexity of the modern world requires cognitive abilities to navigate successfully. Failure to address the disparity in job opportunities for individuals with lower IQs may lead to structural problems within our societies.

Emerging Employment Trends

The rise of automation and technology has already had a significant impact on the working class, and now it is starting to affect the lower end of the white-collar class. Professions that once required extensive legal expertise are being replaced by online resources and self-service options.


Understanding and acknowledging the role of intelligence in occupational success is crucial for individuals, employers, and society as a whole. Recognizing the diverse range of intelligence levels and finding ways to provide opportunities and support for individuals with lower IQs is essential for fostering a fair and inclusive society.

Job Search Networking Like The Big Boys and The Big Girls


People hire Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter to provide No BS Career Advice globally because he makes many things in peoples’ careers easier. Those things can involve job search,Jeff Altman hiring more effectively, managing and leading better, career transition, as well as advice about resolving workplace issues. 

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2700 episodes. 

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You will find great info to help with your job search at my new site, ⁠⁠JobSearch.Community⁠⁠ Besides the video courses, books and guides, I answer questions from members daily about their job search. Leave job search questions and I will respond daily. Become an Insider+ member and you get everything you’d get as an Insider PLUS you can get me on Zoom calls to get questions answered. Become an Insider Premium member and we do individual and group coaching.

Also, subscribe to ⁠JobSearchTV.com⁠ on YouTube and No BS Job Search Advice Radio, the #1 podcast for job search with more than 2700 episodes over 12+ years.in Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon Music and almost anywhere you listen or watch podcasts.

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