In order to earn more money, most people get an education or work longer hours. Sometimes, though, you need a bit more – like a higher IQ, according to a study by researchers at the University of Florida. Unfortunately, some things you’re just born with.
The researchers tracked Department of Labor data from more than 12,500 people since 1979, when they were between 14 and 22 years old and just entering the work force. Each participant took an aptitude test to assess their general intelligence.
Although initially intelligent people earned an average of just $1,575 more per year, the gap widened to $16,474 a decade later. By 2006 the smarter employees were making an average of $38,819 more annually, a difference at least 20 times that of when they started, says Ryan Klinger, a UF graduate student in management and one of the study’s researchers. The reason: "Because of the ease and flexibility with which people with greater mental ability learn and apply knowledge to complex situations, they enjoy much steeper growth in their occupational success over time."
But don’t lose heart if you weren’t endowed with a high IQ. Klinger notes there were exceptions on both ends of the spectrum. Some employees with high intelligence never fulfilled their career expectations, while those with lower intelligence were able to compensate and achieve what he called "tremendous levels of career success." Earning power and success, after all, are determined by many factors.
Is intelligence rewarded in the workplace? Are hard work and experience more important than IQ? Share your thoughts.
— Leslie Stevens-Huffman