10 Jobs That Require Creative Thinking Skills

Updated March 10, 2023

Creative thinking allows you to find new and unique approaches to everyday challenges. You can demonstrate your creative thinking skills in your resume, cover letter and interview to show the unique value you bring. If you enjoy using creative thinking, you can use that skill in several positions.

In this article, we discuss what creative thinking is and explore a variety of jobs that require it.

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What is creative thinking?

Creative thinking is the act of looking at a situation or issue in a new and different way. It could mean coming up with a unique solution to a common problem, creating a new system for carrying out a task or finding an unorthodox approach to overcoming a challenge. You can use creative thinking to address ongoing problems, resolve conflicts or improve processes or products.

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Jobs that use creative thinking skills

The majority of these positions offer both entry-level as well as senior roles, which means you can gain experience and build a portfolio of work before pursuing a more senior position in the future. While almost every job requires some level of creative thinking, we’ve selected a few examples of creative positions across a variety of levels and industries. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the salary link.

Here are 10 roles that require creative thinking skills in the workplace.

1. Video game designer

National average salary: $12.24 per hour

Primary duties: A game designer is responsible for developing and designing video games and typically specializes in design, art or programming. They may also be responsible for writing code, managing projects or performing quality control. In many cases, they are responsible for creating the storylines for video games, making a strong background in creative writing a valuable skill for this position.

Requirements: These positions often require a bachelor’s degree or certificate in game design or creative writing. If you want to specialize in programming, you may need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, video game development, game and simulation programming or a related field. If you are interested in being a video game artist, you may need a two- or four-year degree in fine art.

Companies hiring for this position:

  • Disney Parks, Experiences and Products

  • Playstation

  • Survios

2. Graphic designer

National average salary: $17.34 per hour

Primary duties: Graphic designers create images for web pages, social media, advertisements, brochures, magazines, logos, books, reports and other marketing materials. Graphic designers work in a variety of industries, including advertising, publishing or in-house within companies that require frequent design work.

Requirements: Typically, graphic designer positions require a bachelor’s degree in art, graphic design or a related field. A portfolio of work is also often required in an application. Some employers may forgo education requirements if you have enough experience.

Companies hiring for this position:

  • Guess, Inc.

  • Epson America, Inc.

  • Ipsy

3. Social media manager

National average salary: $48,311 per year

Primary duties: A social media manager is responsible for creating engaging content — text, images and video — to post on social media. As a social media manager, you could work within an advertising agency serving several clients or within the marketing department for a single business. 

Creative thinking skills are essential because a social media manager often needs to think of new ways to attract and engage with a target audience. This person may also combine creative thinking with data analysis when they measure the results of posted content to adjust the social media strategy accordingly.

Requirements: This position typically requires a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism or marketing, although relevant experience may substitute for a degree in some cases. This position requires proficient writing skills and an understanding of marketing techniques. Strong candidates should also have a good understanding of viral marketing techniques, online advertising and search engine optimization.

Companies hiring for this position:

  • Harp Advertising + Interactive

  • Y&R

  • MBO Partners

4. Copywriter

National average salary: $50,275 per year

Primary duties: A copywriter creates engaging content for a variety of mediums, including social media, digital platforms, television or print. In addition to a strong writing background and communication skills, this role requires attention to detail, the ability to balance multiple projects and creative thinking.

Through written communication, a copywriter may need to connect with the readers’ emotions to convince them to make a purchase or take some other specific action. Copywriters can work within advertising agencies as well as within the marketing departments at single companies.

Requirements: Most employers prefer to hire a copywriter with a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, creative writing, advertising or marketing. Employers typically require a portfolio of writing samples from the writer and may want to see specific experiences, such as writing for advertising, catalogs, speeches or sales letters.

Companies hiring for this position:

  • Hanna Andersson

  • CLEAResult

  • Lucid Motors

5. Public relations manager

National average salary: $53,693 per year

Primary duties: Public relations (PR) managers generally work within PR agencies, helping clients maintain a positive public image. A few of their primary responsibilities include answering media questions, preparing media kits and organizing press conferences. This role requires strong writing skills since public relations managers will likely be writing press releases, speeches, articles or advertising materials.

Requirements: Public relations managers are often required to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in communications, public relations or journalism. Strong candidates should have specific training in public speaking, writing and marketing. Internship opportunities in public relations are available with PR firms or PR departments within companies. 

Companies hiring for this position:

  • Seattle Art Museum

  • Nestle Nespresso

  • Laureate International Universities

6. Digital marketer

National average salary: $59,909 per year

Primary duties: A digital marketer is responsible for promoting a company and its products or services online. This person manages marketing campaigns, including writing online advertisements, creating budgets and monitoring and measuring campaign performance. They are also responsible for looking for new opportunities to drive online traffic and identifying new trends. This role relies heavily on creative thinking skills to explore new ways to generate traffic, improve campaign performance and increase conversions for online traffic.

Requirements: This position typically requires a bachelor’s degree in marketing, internet marketing or a related field. A strong candidate should have a good understanding of online advertising platforms, search engine optimization and web analytics. Senior-level positions will typically require a master’s degree in digital marketing or a similar field.

Companies hiring for this position:

  • J&L Marketing

  • WebFX

  • Single Throw, Inc.

7. Lawyer

National average salary:  $70,216 per year

Primary duties: Lawyers are responsible for preparing legal documents and may appear in court on behalf of clients for criminal or civil litigation. Lawyers may work independently, for a large company or a legal firm. While some lawyers practice broadly in many areas, most have a specialized field of law. This person uses creative thinking skills as they interpret the law and legal precedents and applies them to their client’s unique case.

Requirements: This position requires a three-year law degree, called a Juris Doctor, after completing a bachelor’s degree. If you know there is a specialized area of law you are interested in, you may want to consider completing your bachelor’s degree in that area before entering law school. After finishing law school, students must pass the bar exam for the state they are in before they can practice law.

Companies hiring for this position:

  • Zinda Law Group

  • Genova Burns LLC

  • Medical Office Services

8. Research scientist

National average salary: $75,640 per year

Primary duties: Though they may be employed in many professional fields, such as biology, chemistry, medicine, anthropology and environmental science, research scientists often hold professional, non-faculty positions at universities or research institutes. Research scientists perform experiments, make observations and report their findings in detailed papers. This person relies heavily on creative thinking skills as they brainstorm new and even unorthodox ideas for their experiments and research.

Requirements: Research scientist positions typically require a master’s or doctorate in a specific field. Positions at colleges and universities typically require a Ph.D., while a position in the public or private sector may only require a master’s degree. 

Companies hiring for this position:

  • Apple

  • eBay Inc.

  • New York University

9. User experience designer

National average salary:  $86,299 per year

Primary duties: A user experience (UX) designer is responsible for designing software and websites that meet the needs of the consumer while enhancing the user experience. This role typically involves conducting research, testing, developing wireframes and collaborating with a team to create a product. UX designers use creative thinking skills as they think of new, possibly never-tried-before, ways to design a website or software to improve the user experience.

Requirements: A user experience designer position requires a bachelor’s degree, although the preferred degree may vary according to the specific position. Some of the most common degrees for this position are psychology, computer science, visual design and communications.

The candidate must have a familiarity with operating systems and coding languages. Creativity and attention to detail are important for anticipating how a user will interact with a computer program or application and applying that knowledge to create a design that is as user-friendly as possible.

Companies hiring for this position:

  • Bose

  • Benchmark Education Company

  • IBM

10. Software architect

National average salary:  $140,776 per year

Primary duties: A software architect develops and designs software and applications. They may create products for consumers, such as applications or games, or they may create software for specific clients. Some software architects lead projects, creating timelines for key deliverables and managing development teams. This role uses creative thinking skills during the process of designing new software and applications, developing new and unique solutions to solve a problem or meet the goal of the end-user through technology.

Requirements: This position typically requires a bachelor’s degree, usually in computer science, software engineering, information systems or math. Advanced or senior positions may require a master’s degree. 

Companies hiring for this position:

  • Riot Games

  • Questar

  • Trisept Solutions

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