INTP careers

The INTP personality type possesses a unique combination of traits, and typical INTP career choices reflect this as well. We will now discuss the traits that make INTPs successful in their chosen careers – please feel free to suggest any additions or simply leave some feedback in the comment section below this article.

Let us begin with one of the most prominent personality traits shared by all INTPs—their love for theoretical methods and ideas. The best INTP careers turn this unique trait into a major strength as very few other personality types enjoy theories as much as INTPs do. For this particular reason, INTPs are excellent career scientists (especially in highly theoretical fields such as physics or chemistry), mathematicians, technical writers, or system analysts.

Next, INTPs enjoy finding and analysing underlying principles and ideas. Many typical career paths allow INTPs to utilise this trait, even though this often comes with practical applications that do not really interest INTPs. For instance, INTPs can be great corporate strategists, business analysts, video game designers, programmers, or engineers (this career is particularly suitable for INTPs due to their love for theory).

INTPs tend to be very independent (even somewhat eccentric), hold themselves to very high standards, and dislike managing other people or being managed, especially later in their career. These traits are rarely seen as attractive in the modern corporate world, and INTPs should avoid mentioning them in a job interview. However, if their manager proves to be insightful and open-minded enough, the INTP will be a never-tiring generator of brilliant and unique ideas. Some of the best INTP careers making good use of these traits may focus on legal, freelance consulting or forensic or laboratory research routes.

Finally, INTPs are typical “lone wolves” and typical INTP careers revolve around this trait. They live in their own minds, love solitude, and tend to despise small talk and other social necessities. INTPs do not really understand or enjoy emotional exchanges and are unlikely to spend a significant amount of time chitchatting with their colleagues or customers. For these reasons, customer-facing careers are highly unsuitable for INTPs; they would do much better in roles that focus on data and theories rather than people. For instance, INTPs may be excellent lawyers, data analysts, or even journalists, as long as they find the field interesting. These are some of the best career choices for people with this personality type.

Want to read more? Our premium profiles go into more detail about INTP career choices and their professional growth.

Workplace Habits


Your name:
Aug 16, 2014 08:50:14
I agree, one thing I'd like to add or rather present you to consider is the creative and inventive inclination of this character type in career paths. For example, as we like to unearth underlying patterns and connect seemingly detached ideas and people to each other, why not consider a career in literature, or in an artistic field requiring contemplation and presenting the final outcome of this self-questioning, creative process. I would argue acting for example, even though the fear of failure and self-doubt is cleary prominent, still there is a chance for people who are considered in this group to be open in a ready, very organized way to let others see the patterns they INTPs enjoy revealing.
Aug 13, 2014 21:51:57
Completely disagree that my personality type doesn't suit customer facing roles or managing. However, I consider "managing" to mean leadership, coaching, and mentoring rather than commanding and ordering. As for customers, I find that our inquisitive nature lends itself to being good listeners, identifying customer needs (analysis), and guiding them towards a solution that they wouldn't have seen on their own.
Aug 12, 2014 17:07:00
I am a IT for the military (I joined the military to get away from a poor job situation, so I guess that still counts as indipendence, though the military doesn't promote it in large amounts. Thankfully I chose the Coast Guard which is less demanding for followers than some other branches.. at least when it comes to ITs). I am currently an instructor and it has been an interesting experiance for sure. I took the job to try and come out of my shell, so to speak. The job I had before had me as a lone dove for much of it. The human interaction is tiring and I am by no means a natural at it. However, I've discovered that the challange of getting difficult information into my students heads has been a big plus. I't s a problem to try and solve. Easy topics are not fun for me to teach. I thought it was kind of funny/ironic I enjoy the tough classes when I am not a natural teacher, but this page kind of explains it.
Aug 08, 2014 15:29:20
I'm an INTP and I'm a nurse. Whoa!
Jane A
Aug 08, 2014 03:11:28
Well, reading between the lines (ha ha ha) I gather that my former career as a therapeutic massage and bioenergy professional and alternative-medicine-based pain solution advisor was well within the description boundaries. I looked at people in pain as a fascinating problem to be solved by unconventional means - when the conventional means didn't work. I thought of myself as an "organic mechanic" and was very successful with my results. The emotional bit didn't really figure into my work, other than another tool to garner positive results. It was all about intuition, analysis and theory. I loved that career! Math didn't figure into it much, other than the bookkeeping. I've never liked math much, but I am enthralled with physical sciences. Now I'm starting another venture in a completely different field. It remains to be seen if it suits me as well.