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.

5 years ago
I'm an ISTP (obviously) but none of these careers seem to fit me. Maybe it's just because I lack the mathematical/scientific knowledge to want to pursue them--but I'm more interested in Psychology or Library Sciences/Teaching.
4 years ago
Psychology has a lot of squishy theories and that made me change my college major from Psychology to Neurology/Biochemistry. The hardware of the mind just feels more tangible and know-able whereas there are so many theories in Psychology. From its origination, we can't even get the nature vs. nurture thing straight. :)
5 years ago
I am an ISTP, and I do like science and technology, but wouldn't want a career in them. I love to draw (I have been told I'm good at it), and have always been fascinated by 2D animations. With this perfect blend of technology and creativity, could this be a possible ISTP career?
5 years ago
I'm an ISTP and the various descriptions of the type all fit me perfectly. I'm a computer technician, martial artist (swords), ride motorcycles, wish I were a pilot, and can fix things in a few minutes that would leave others confused after a month of trying. Seriously. And true, we do despise theory. Those things are for people with their heads in the clouds.
5 years ago
ISTP, student of hospitality industry; challenging environment and critical decision making position like front line managers suits best.
5 years ago
I'm an ISTP, and i was wondering if something relating to creativity would work? I was thinking about going into graphic design.
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