Top Careers for Myers-Briggs Personality Types: ISTP

A series devoted to Myers-Briggs personality types and recommended jobs for each type. This edition: ISTP (introversion, intuition, thinking, perception).

CollegeXpress Student Writer

Originally Posted: Apr 20, 2018
Last Updated: Oct 5, 2018

This series of articles is devoted to Myers-Briggs personality types and recommended jobs for each type. Up next: ISTP (introversion, sensing, thinking, perception). 

To learn more about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, click here. And remember: this is a fun, non-scientific assessment that hopefully gives you some insights about yourself and potential careers you may enjoy. Also, any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

About ISTP personalities

ISTPs are known as virtuosos, mechanics, and craftsmen. They’re adventurous types that love to do new things.

As introverts, they’re not much for small talk. They would much rather do exciting things than talk to people all day. With all the adventurous things they do, they make friends anyway; they just appreciate the adventure more.

With the S and P combination, they’re considered “artisans.” ISTPs like to work with their hands, worry about the practical, and do whatever they want. ISTPs have little patience for what isn’t immediately practical. They like to see their ideas come to fruition in the physical world.

As thinkers, ISTPs are not good with expressing emotions or dealing with others' emotions. Their thinking abilities are rivaled by few. They like variety in their problems, but when they get wrapped up in one, it’s a battle of wits between the ISTP and the problem.

ISTP wish list

When it comes to careers, every personality type wants to sync their career with themselves. An ISTP’s wish list would probably look like this:

  1. Excitement
  2. Hands on
  3. Problem solving
  4. Light atmosphere
  5. Autonomy
  6. Change of venue 

Top ISTP careers

Trade jobs (6/6)

ISTPs are great fits for many trade jobs, from carpentry to machining. They are very clever and would rather use that quality in the real world than between the bricks of a university. Careers like farming and forestry heavily draw those with ISTP personalities.

Related: What Is an Institute of Technology?

Surgeon/coroner (5/6—tied for second)

ISTPs like the hands-on approach to medical careers, especially when the patient is either anesthetized or dead. It’s purer problem solving for them to wrap their brains around. Of course, few ISTPs would want to stay in school for that long, but if they see the trade-off as worth it, they’ll find a rewarding career on the other side.

Engineer/technologist (5/6—tied for second)

ISTPs are both smart and practical, which is already halfway to becoming engineers. The other half is hard work, accreditation, and dismissing the chance of a social life in college. Technologists need less accreditation and social sacrifice, so they’re more like 75% of the way there.

Detective (4/6)

While ISTPs may have fun being beat cops, their prize title is detective. The excitement and problem solving involved is unparalleled. The structure of police departments may be a little rigid for ISTPs, but they get over it when they’re wrapped up in cases. Particularly divergent ISTPs can find solid careers as private investigators.

Related: What to Expect in a Criminal Justice Career

Pilot (3/6)

Pilots may be a little too prone for cabin fever for ISTP tastes, but their day-to-day work fits the ISTP personality pretty well. Pilots go to exciting places, but the flight can often get boring. Until it gets super exciting, of course: ISTPs are quick and decisive under pressure.

Other notable careers

Military (3/6), accountant (3/6)

Nightmare award

Writer (1/6)

As a writer, you always imagined yourself exploring the world instead of typing on a computer. Of course, such imagination makes for a successful writer. You don’t see it as inspiration, though. You just experience longing, like Rapunzel looking out of her tower into a woodland mountain view. But you’re a little more doubtful a prince will come to save you.

Come to think of it, that isn’t a bad story prompt. Better write that one down.

Do you agree with this assessment? Let us know in the comments! And look out for the next installment: top careers for ISTJ personality types.

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aeronautics careers criminal justice engineering ISTP jobs jobs based on personality MBTI medicine Myers-Briggs personality psychology STEM trade school

About Dawson Vore

Dawson Vore is a student at Michigan Technological University. He enjoys reading, writing, and beating people at chess, Boggle, Scrabble, and trivia games. You can find him on campus inside, hiding from the three feet of snow and sub-freezing temperatures, either studying, hanging out with friends, or writing. He hates writing in the third person. It makes him feel uncomfortable.


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