Good Careers for Perfectionists

Perfectionists strive for perfection and order, which can be pursued in many different careers. Learn about some of the ideal career options for perfectionists, their median salaries, expected job growth rates and education requirements.

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Career Options for Perfectionists

Perfectionists can perform very well in just about any career, but may enjoy and/or prefer a career that involves organization and attention to detail and contains levels of predictability. Perfectionists may excel in numerous careers across many job fields, and here we take a look at a small sampling of the different possible career options for perfectionists.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Accountants and Auditors $68,150 11%
Interpreters and Translators $46,120 29%
Physicians and Surgeons $208,000 or more 14%
Operations Research Analysts $79,200 30%
Administrative Services Managers $90,050 8%
Editors $57,210 -5% (Decline)
Physicists $115,870 8%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Good Careers for Perfectionists

Accountants and Auditors

Perfectionists who like working with numbers may pursue a career as an accountant or auditor. These professionals must pay great attention to detail as they examine financial records, check taxes for accuracy and organize records. Accountants and auditors also look at accounting systems and other financial operations to help organizations perform the most efficiently, as well as make suggestions for ways to improve profits and reduce costs. They need at least a bachelor's degree in the field and may find better positions if they hold professional certification.

Interpreters and Translators

Interpreters and translators must perform their duties with the highest level of accuracy, which may appeal to perfectionists. Interpreters convert one spoken language into another, including sign language, while translators convert written material. Both positions must speak at least two languages fluently and be able to communicate clearly, accurately and relatively quickly; all while relaying the proper tone and style. These professionals typically have a bachelor's degree and learn on the job, but they must speak at least two languages.

Physicians and Surgeons

Almost any career in the medical field, including physicians and surgeons, may appeal to perfectionists as they require great attention to detail and care to prevent misdiagnosis and provide the proper treatment for various injuries and illnesses. In addition, surgeons often must perform very small, detailed and precise movements and procedures while operating on various parts of the body. Physicians and surgeons also answer their patients' questions, update medical histories and order any necessary medical tests. They must complete a 3- to 7-year residency in their area of specialty after successfully completing 4 years of medical school.

Operations Research Analysts

Perfectionists may be drawn to a career as an operations research analyst to use numbers and data to solve problems and help organizations run more efficiently. Numbers do not lie, and perfectionists may enjoy collecting information from databases, customer feedback and more, and then analyzing the information with statistics, models or other advanced math. They report their findings in detailed documents and use their work to suggest real solutions to various issues. Operations research analysts usually need a master's degree for research positions, but may find work with a bachelor's degree in a related technical field.

Administrative Services Managers

Perfectionists may also excel in a career as an administrative service manager, who must multi-task and be highly organized as they oversee a wide variety of supportive services for an organization. Depending on the size of their organization, they may specialize in a particular area, but in general administrative services managers distribute supplies, maintain records and plan budgets. They may also be involved in developing new procedures for improving operations and making sure the organization complies with any and all government regulations. Most of these managers hold a bachelor's degree and related work experience, but some may only have a high school diploma.


Similar to jobs that work with numbers, the English language has many rules that need to be adhered to in formal writing, which editors check for in their work. Perfectionists may enjoy checking for spelling and punctuation errors, verifying facts and rewriting sections to be more relatable or understandable, as an editor. Editors also make publication decisions, approve final copies of pieces and help writers come up with new and creative ideas for pieces. These professionals need at least a bachelor's degree in English, journalism, communications or a related field, as well as experience.


Although the realm of science can be unpredictable, a career as a physicist, or any other kind of scientist, may appeal to a perfectionist because of the required level of precision needed to perform experiments and conduct detailed research. Physicists' work can dwell a lot in theory, but is also regulated by predictable and stable natural laws that can be measured and predicted using numbers, models and computer software. These scientists design experiments, may raise funding for the necessary equipment and publish their results in scientific papers. Physicists generally need a Ph.D. for research positions, but may find jobs that only require a master's or bachelor's degree in the field.

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