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
I have a degree in Zoology to pursue a career as a Zoo Keeper, the job requires working on your own or in pairs mostly and is very practical in the basic care (cleaning, feeding) of the animals, but has the creative outlet for the enrichment (toys, hiding food, training, etc) part of animal care. I later want to switch into wildlife management for a government agency, since I want to be able to retire with enough money to go play and travel.
4 years ago
I am an ISTP, and I am going into film. Film, in general, is very creative and always changing. You never know what you're going to expect; whether you want to be a director, actor, screenwriter, sound design...a career in film will keep your artistic senses flowing, but at the same time it spontaneous and random enough to keep you enthralled so you'll never get bored. So it would be safe to say that ISTPs would enjoy careers in communication (journalism, film, radio, etc)
4 years ago
I like thinking about the future, I find it uncomfortable to think about long term career planning(when much schooling is needed). I also feel I respect others personal space, that I step on sometimes. But theories in science have application so I values theories sometimes. And have a love/hate for crowds.
5 years ago
I am a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) and love the freedom that gives me to pursue personal (but practical) hands-on hobbies such as sewing, knitting, graphic arts, et cetera. I'm also a fan of the pursuit of knowledge and understanding about the world around me, and as such scientific books, activities, and programs fill our home. The freedom of being a SAHM also means that I have the freedom to explore different home-based money-making opportunities. I have my own business that utilizes my hands-on, artistic, and creative hobbies. If I worked outside of the home, with a boss and all that... I think I would feel confined by rules, policies, and well... stupid people. I enjoy some structure, but it's a structure designed by me FOR me. I don't like to enforce what works for me on others. Because of this, I like being my own boss... and not having to be a boss to others. The only thing I think doesn't describe me here is the preference for risk and being good in crisis situations. I'm kind of the opposite there. I prefer the safe and reliable route and if I were to pursue a career outside of the home, I'd prefer one that wasn't dangerous and competitive, and I'd prefer one that provided stability... but without the rules and structure, haha. I'm a confusing person.
5 years ago
I'm a graphic designer/artist, and I actually know a lot of artists who are ISTP or similar. They tend to do hands-on work that's more engineering-based, or, like me, work with a practical application. Conceptualizing is obviously a bit of a struggle for us!
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