Jobs for People with a Photographic Memory

Jan 18, 2020

A photographic memory isn't mandatory for any job; however, it can be an advantage in many careers that rely on professionals who can recall details clearly. This article discusses some occupations that may appeal to those with a photographic memory.

Career Options for People with a Photographic Memory

People who have a photographic memory have exceptional recall of specific details. They may be able to describe something they've seen thoroughly; however, a photographic memory isn't limited to recalling what a person has witnessed. They may also have the ability to recall something they've read or been told word for word. Having a good memory can be an asset in a lot of career fields; however, there are some specific occupations that may frequently utilize the skills of people with a photographic memory.

Job Title Median Salary* (2018) Job Growth* (2018-2028)
Postal Service Workers $58,760 -21%
Mechanical Engineers $87,370 4%
Physical Therapists $87,930 22%
Veterinarians $93,830 18%
Police and Detectives $63,380 5%
Architects $79,380 8%
Forensic Science Technicians $58,230 14%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for People with a Photographic Memory

Postal Service Workers

Postal service workers are required to have a high school diploma or GED, pass an exam and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Their job involves sorting mail and preparing it for delivery, or actually transporting it from the post office to its intended destination. A photographic memory can be an asset because postal service workers may be required to remember details like whose mail has been put on hold and shouldn't be delivered for a period of time, or whose mail is being forwarded. They may also need to be able to identify suspicious packages and recognize addresses or handwriting or packaging that's similar to other packages that have had illegal substances inside.

Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineers may develop a design plan for mechanical items that they're going to build, and they may construct those items and evaluate how well they perform. A bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering is required, and some may choose to complete a master's degree as well. Individuals who have a photographic memory will find that they are able to recall the proper design structure as they're working on repairs or adjustments to mechanical equipment, which will expedite their progress since they won't need to constantly refer to blueprints or schematics. They'll also recognize issues with test results quickly since they're able to recall the expected results.

Physical Therapists

Physical therapists must be licensed and are required to have a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Since physical therapists observe patients performing movements as part of the process of diagnosing their condition, a photographic memory may be a huge asset, because they will be able to recall exactly how a patient looked when performing different tasks and use those details to correctly identify issues affecting a patient's motor skills. A photographic memory enables them to be more efficient when diagnosing and treating patients, and will also help them determine patient progress effectively since they're more likely to recall how a patient was doing at a prior treatment session and be able to compare it to the patient's current performance.


Veterinarians provide healthcare to animals; since they need to be familiar with the physiology of a number of different animals having a photographic memory would be a tremendous asset. Veterinarians need to be able to recall where muscles or organs are located in different animals and the appropriate treatment options for those different animals. They also perform surgery, and a photographic memory may help them with that part of their work since they'll be able to recall relevant information immediately without needing to check texts or charts. A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree is required, and all veterinarians must be licensed.

Police and Detectives

Police and detectives may be able to enter the field of law enforcement by passing through police academy training, although some law enforcement agencies may require or prefer applicants with a degree. These professionals are responsible for enforcing laws, apprehending suspects and investigating crimes. A photographic memory is an asset for law enforcement professionals because they'll be able to quickly identify and recall people or vehicles of interest or suspects who have a warrant for arrest. It will also help them recall the criminal codes they enforce.


Architects are involved with developing design plans for buildings, and they must incorporate building regulations, budgets and client needs when developing designs. Since they're considering a lot of information during their work process, a photographic memory can help them immediately identify potential issues with a design or details that they need to consider. A photographic memory is also an asset because architects will go to the building locations to ensure that their design plans are being followed and a photographic memory will help them immediately identify things that have been changed and may need to be corrected. A bachelor's degree in architecture is required, and architects must also complete an internship and pass an exam to earn their license.

Forensic Science Technicians

Forensic science technicians include the individuals who go to crime scenes to retrieve evidence, as well as those who run tests on evidence in laboratories. Since they may need to testify in court, having a photographic memory is a tremendous asset, because it will enable them to recall specific, precise details while testifying. They may also need that level of recall to reconstruct the scene of a crime while reviewing all the evidence collected. A bachelor's degree in forensic science or a comparable discipline will prepare individuals for this career.

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