Jobs that Require Good Observational Skills

Jan 18, 2020

All kinds of jobs require good observational skills to notice little details or changes that may impact a particular project, experiment, test and more. Learn about some of the jobs that require these skills, as well as their education requirements.

Career Options for People Who Want Jobs that Require Good Observational Skills

There are a wide variety of jobs that require good observational skills and/or attention to detail. These careers are available in many different fields, but may be particularly beneficial in the field of science and medicine. Here, we look at just a handful of the possible jobs that require good observational skills.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Registered Nurses $71,680 12%
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians $71,680 19%
Sociologists $71,680 9% (Decline)
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers $61,380 5%
Environmental Scientists and Specialists $61,380 8%
Childcare Workers $23,240 2%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for People Who Want Jobs that Require Good Observational Skills

Registered Nurses

Registered nurses (RNs), as well as most physicians and healthcare professionals, need to have good observational skills as they work with patients and observe their condition. Good observational skills in this area can lead to better patient care, and possibly a speedier recovery for the patient. RNs help administer medication, perform diagnostic tests, answer the patient's questions and/or concerns and provide emotional support to the patient and their family during procedures and treatments. Some RNs may also help educate the public through health outreach programs. RNs can obtain their position with a diploma, associate's or bachelor's degree, but they must have a valid license.

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

Similar to RNs, veterinary technologists and technicians assist veterinarians in the diagnoses and treatment of their patients, but their patients happen to be animals. These workers must carefully observe the condition and behavior of an animal to help diagnose its illness or injury, as well as observe it after treatment for any potential side-effects and improvements. They also feed and exercise the animals, collect lab samples as needed, run medical tests in a laboratory, administer medication and vaccinations to animals, prepare animals for surgery and more. Most veterinary technologists have a 4-year degree, while technicians have a 2-year degree. However, both positions typically need to be registered, licensed or certified within their state of employment.


Sociologists need good observational skills in order to help them study various groups of people. They conduct research and collect data pertaining to society and social behavior. Their data usually consists of observations, interviews and surveys. They may examine social institutions, cultures and other ways that people interact and work together in order to prepare reports and presentations on their findings. Many sociologists have a master's or Ph.D., but some entry-level jobs are available for those with a bachelor's degree.

Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers

Police and sheriff's patrol officers use their good observational skills as they protect lives and property in their communities. Their job consists of patrolling areas and enforcing laws, which requires observing and investigating the actions of others. They also respond to emergency situations that need to be assessed quickly through observations before action is taken. These professionals may also collect evidence at crime scenes, arrest suspects and testify in court as needed. Police and sheriff's patrol officers must complete a training academy program and have practical experience, but usually have a high school diploma as well. They must also meet the physical and personal standards of the police force.

Environmental Scientists and Specialists

Environmental scientists and specialists protect the environment and human health by carefully monitoring various environmental conditions. Their work requires fieldwork and careful observations as they visit different sites to check for things like air, water and soil quality. They may take samples of these things to test for pollution and other contamination back in the lab. When an environmental issue is found and presented through reports and presentations, these professionals will also provide possible solutions, implement them and observe the area for improvements. Most of these scientists have at least a bachelor's degree in a natural science.

Childcare Workers

Childcare workers need good observational skills on a couple of different levels as they care for children when their families are unavailable. These workers must be able to observe children and keep them safe as they play with them, feed them and bathe them. Childcare workers also carefully observe children for any emotional or developmental problems so that the children can get the help that they need as quickly and early as possible. Childcare workers may also help develop a schedule for children in their care, assist them with good hygiene and help with any school work they may have. Education requirements vary with state and employer, but these workers could have certification in the field or no formal education but some experience.

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