Jobs for Innovative Thinkers

Jan 18, 2020

People who are innovative thinkers are creative and can use their talents to improve the world around them in a number of ways. Read on to learn about careers in education, design, performing arts and healthcare that benefit from innovative thinking.

Career Options for Innovative Thinkers

Without innovative thinkers, people would still be using feather pens to write on parchment by candlelight. Innovative thinkers are often exceptionally creative; they can change the way that people deal with problems, influence how people think about issues or create products that improve people's lives.

Job Title Median Salary* (2018) Growth* (2018-2028)
Industrial Designers $66,590 (annually) 3%
Medical Scientists $84,810 (annually) 8%
Special Education Teachers $59,780 (annually) 3%
Postsecondary Philosophy Teachers $71,890 (annually for postsecondary philosophy and religion teachers) 10% (for postsecondary philosophy and religion teachers)
Actors $17.54 (hourly) 1%
Fashion Designers $72,720 (annually) 1%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Jobs for Innovative Thinkers

Industrial Designers

Industrial designers can start out in their career with a bachelor's degree. They use their skills to develop new products or to improve existing products. Innovative thinkers can thrive in this type of career because industrial designers aim to make things more functional or appealing by changing their design features. They don't simply focus on what is, but work to see the potential that items have to do more or to perform more effectively.

Medical Scientists

Medical scientists perform a lot of research and tests, but that doesn't mean they aren't innovative. Their work can change how illnesses are treated, and medical scientists who are innovative thinkers may be able to form connections and come up with new theories on disease prevention, as well as new medical devices. Medical scientists must have a doctoral or medical degree, and the work they do can make a significant impact on what people understand about different diseases and treatment options.

Special Education Teachers

Special education teachers can enter this career field with a teaching license and bachelor's degree. Their job is to help educate students with specific issues that affect their ability to learn. Since most of their students may have unique academic goals, special education teachers can take advantage of their ability to think innovatively to develop ways to balance the needs of each individual student with teaching the whole class. They may also want to explore different educational strategies and tools to effectively teach their students.

Postsecondary Philosophy Teachers

Postsecondary philosophy teachers usually need a doctoral degree in philosophy. While educating postsecondary students is their goal, philosophy teachers may focus on innovate thinking as part of their curriculum, because their interest is on how people think and different schools of thought. They also do research and publish papers. It can help them to be innovative thinkers so that they can conceive of potential outcomes for schools of thought that are currently developing or changing.


Actors use their physical and vocal talents to embody roles. They may be in a commercial, or they may star in a movie or play. Innovative thinking can be an asset in this field because actors need to be able to interpret a script and then present their unique interpretation. They must also be able to take direction and change how they see a character or situation in the story so that they can act accordingly. They don't necessarily need a degree, although it's common for aspiring actors to study musical theatre or take acting lessons.

Fashion Designers

Fashion designers may focus on designing footwear, for example, or they may specialize in producing other apparel. They may design clothing for daily wear or highly innovative haute couture pieces. They normally need to have a bachelor's degree, and they use their talents to determine the look, feel and function of their products. They may also be involved with the production of their goods and figuring out the best way to promote them to consumers. Innovative thinkers will find that a career in this field favors their natural creative talents as they come up with original designs and work with emerging materials, like new synthetic fibers.

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