ISTP Careers

The ISTP personality type is probably the hardest to pin down in many aspects of life, but especially in their careers. ISTPs thrive on diversity and unpredictability, on wondering “what’s next?” every morning. This makes ISTPs one of the most mysterious personality types, but also one of the most versatile in the professional world.

ISTPs are born problem-solvers with an unwavering focus on practical solutions (though perhaps not always solutions to practical problems). No other type is quite as fascinated by how things work, how tools can be used, and how facts can be put together to create immediate and satisfying results. This combination of curiosity and hands-on vigor make people with the ISTP personality type excellent mechanics, engineers, graphic designers, and forensic scientists.

ISTP careers
Abstract theory and purely academic work that will never see the light of real use hold little interest for ISTPs.

"Practical" is the word of the day. But it’s not the practicality of routine administration that ISTPs crave – they need variety and action, perhaps even a little adrenaline in their work. Highly structured environments leave ISTP personalities bored and tired. Jobs that focus on crisis response, such as firefighters, paramedics, detectives, pilots and police officers seem made for ISTPs.

Perhaps most important to ISTPs though, is the feeling that they aren’t stuck. The freedom to wander, the freedom to declare their own schedules, their own responsibilities, their own environments – nearly every other consideration pales by comparison to the need to avoid inflexible commitments and stodgy colleagues. While this can be a significant hurdle to overcome in traditional employment, it is the chiefest allure of entrepreneurship.

Do Whatever Makes Your Heart Sing

Nearly any creative or constructive skill or interest can be offered on a freelance basis or on a business-owner’s own terms, be it blogger, systems analyst, athlete or driver. ISTPs need to face down their weak long-term planning abilities and preference for instant results in order to make this path work, but livelihoods can be made selling bits and crafts in their free time. It’s also possible to find more traditional work to satisfy these needs, and forest ranger is a sought-after line of work for many ISTPs.

ISTPs have a natural skill with troubleshooting, a relaxed, self-confident nature and a results-oriented focus. People with this personality type understand that risk equals reward, and as long as they can use that understanding with maturity, rather than just kicking the ant’s nest whenever they get bored, they are highly desirable in any dynamic field or environment.

4 years ago
Dentist. Currently studying to become a dentist and I feel that it fits me perfectly, I'm developing as a person, it's fun to go to the clinic and it also fits the description. So if you're a ISTP, think about working as a dentist!
4 years ago
Pharmacist for 12 years, but I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up!
Gary Brendle
4 years ago
ISTP...Landscape Architect, real estate investor and more recently starting to sell products on Amazon...that sums it up pretty good.
Sam S.
4 years ago
I want to be an orthopedic surgeon. So I can work on peoples bones I really like the hands and feet because they are so complex. Also I had my feet worked on and that's how I found this career.
4 years ago
I'm a GIS analyst. Great for the hands-on, problem solving aspect. Not so great for the repetitive nature of what we study. Going back to school for biomed engineering. We'll see how this goes. I do things because I want to, and that tends to throw people. It's also how I've gotten some of my best memories, from playing rugby to studying Finnish. Not religious and impatient with people in general. They're kind of slow, sorry. I only get one life and I going to live it how I see fit.
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