Careers for Abstract Thinkers

Jan 18, 2020

Abstract thinkers are interested in concepts; they may be thought of as living inside their minds because they spend a lot of time thinking about the topics of interest to them. Careers in art, mental health, communication, design and education that are suited to the abstract thinker's strengths are discussed further here.

Career Options for Abstract Thinkers

Abstract thinkers don't necessarily need to see something to be able to visualize or categorize it. To them, concepts are as real as a physical structure. They're good at forming connections, and may be drawn to careers that require a lot of thought and provide opportunities for the creative application of their ideas.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Industrial Designers $66,590 3%
Landscape Architects $68,230 4%
Writers and Authors $62,170 0%
Postsecondary Philosophy and Religion Teachers $71,890 10%
Multimedia Artists and Animators $72,520 4%
Psychologists $79,010 14%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Abstract Thinkers

Industrial Designers

Industrial designers apply their creative and technical skills by designing products. When cars take a different shape or a new product is released, that product started as an idea in an industrial designer's mind. Industrial design is a career abstract thinkers may appreciate because it will cater to their ability to think about ideas and apply their ideas to develop new products or to change the way that existing products are designed or function. They need a bachelor's degree to work in this field, and benefit from having artistic and creative skills.

Landscape Architects

Landscape architects make design plans for outdoor spaces. This is a career option that might appeal to abstract thinkers because landscape architects need to consider a client's needs as well as factors concerning the land available, then visualizing how the space could be developed. They use their ideas to develop design plans, which are then produced with computer programs. Once the client approves the plans the landscape architect oversees the work involved in developing the outdoor area to meet the client's needs. A bachelor's degree is required to become a landscape architect, and most states require these professionals to be licensed.

Writers and Authors

Writers and authors produce the content for printed materials or websites. They could write lyrics for a song or write a novel. While some authors and writers work on technical topics that involve research, others may focus on creating elaborate stories to entertain audiences. Abstract thinkers may appreciate the opportunity to form connections with information or develop their own characters, worlds or events for movies or books. Writers and authors who aren't self-employed usually need a bachelor's degree.

Postsecondary Philosophy and Religion Teachers

Postsecondary teachers are professionals who usually have a doctoral degree, and are involved in the instruction and assessment of college and university students. While not all careers in postsecondary education may appeal to abstract thinkers, a career as a postsecondary philosophy or religion teacher may be a good fit. Abstract thinkers may enjoy focusing on concept-based topics, such as educational philosophies or religious beliefs. Postsecondary educators are also typically involved in research in their field of specialization, which may also appeal to abstract thinkers who want to test theories or explore new ideas they have about philosophy or religion.

Multimedia Artists and Animators

Multimedia artists and animators use their creative talents to develop characters, effects or landscapes for visual materials. They have to consider the concepts related to the client's project and then apply their creative talents to a design that fits those concepts. Since a lot of their work involves converting concepts into visual images, abstract thinkers may find this is a good career fit because they are able to visualize concepts in a way that may be more challenging for concrete thinkers to visualize. A bachelor's degree in art or a similar discipline is required for a career in this field.


Psychologists usually need a doctoral degree, and they may also need a license. They focus on how the brain works and factors that may affect a person's behavior or mental state. This career focuses on understanding processes that can't be seen, so psychologists must tap into abstract thinking in order to develop theories about how a person's thought processes are affecting them, and offer possible explanations for certain behaviors.

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