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
ISTP-Social worker. Has flexibility, I always have an office alone due to confidentiality reasons, I get to investigate and fix problems. Perfect for me.
4 years ago
I got a degree in Bio-Engineering...and hated it. Engineering is definitely ideal, but bioE was just too much science and math, too little practical/hands on aka very little "engineering". I should have done mechanical engineering, but figured that out too late. I'm currently teaching high school science. I worry that it won't be fulfilling enough long-term, but either way it's giving me something I enjoy doing while I figure out where I want to go from here. So far teaching seems to be dynamic enough to keep me satisfied, and when I need to be creative I obsess over lesson plans and planning activities. So while teaching in general is not listed as an ISTP career, and probably for good reason, I think ISTP's could be good teachers and enjoy teaching given the right school/subject/age-level combination. Teaching math or chemistry is like teaching kids to solve puzzles...pretty hands on stuff! I think the important thing for an ISTP teacher is that they are teaching an advanced subject at and advanced level...then its more about the subject as opposed to classroom management etc.
Shaidyn Garces
4 years ago
I am pursuing a career in Mortuary Science, this includes embalming and preparing bodies but also talking to the families in order to put together the funeral. I get to do facial reconstruction using fake body parts and makeup to ensure the bodies look nice for viewing even after severe accidents. I am ISTP and i think this fits perfectly.
Dave M.
4 years ago
This is a sampling of careers that ISTP's might be interested in, or have, already. I am a Network Engineer (computer Networks) and have worked for private companies and Internet Service Providers. I believe the gist of this is to say that ISTP's enjoy independence over strict structure, we are acute observers, thrive on processing available data, are happy to be a coach/mentor/resource for others and, when placed into a stressful situations can rise to the occasion and are able and willing to take charge. We like factual input over emotional; We are curious and reserved. We tend to prefer smaller groups of close friends over larger groups. I was Typed 20 years ago as ISTP... I am what I am... and am happy with understanding this about myself.
Timothy Teo
4 years ago
I'm an Events Coordinator and I feel it fulfils the needs of how things work, freedom, unpredictability, crisis situations, result oriented etc. I have a bachelors in Mechanical Engineering but I just thought it was too dry for me to take it on as a job, so events was the path I chose and I am loving it!
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