Certain careers will fit your personality type better than others. In fact, once you identify your personality, you can determine which types of professions you will be most successful in. If you have taken the Briggs-Myers personality test and discovered that you have an INTP-type personality, the next step is to look into INTP careers.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the traits and preferences that define INTP personalities. We will also cover the best jobs for INTP personality types and which careers should be avoided. Read on and discover the best jobs for an INTP.
What Does INTP Mean?
INTP is one of 16 different four-letter personality types that the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) scale uses. The MBTI was created by the mother-daughter duo of Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, who were determined to develop a test that could help foster mutual understanding after the chaos of World War II.
INTP stands for Introversion, iNtuition, Thinking, and Perceiving. Collectively, they make up the “Logician” persona. These descriptors aren’t always as on the nose as they sound, so let’s break them down.
Being introverted doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t like being around people. It’s more about how you recharge your mental batteries, or what gives you energy in life, which is important to consider when distinguishing INTP careers. According to the Myers-Briggs guide, if you’re introverted, this applies to you:
“I like getting my energy from dealing with the ideas, pictures, memories, and reactions that are inside my head, in my inner world.”
While these individuals may not mind, or may even enjoy, being a member of a team, they are comfortable being alone. In fact, they may find that being with other people can be exhausting while having time to themselves is refreshing. In addition, introverts tend to have a small and tight-knit group of close friends rather than a broad social group.
Intuition is a little harder to define. This becomes clearer when it’s compared to its opposite, Sensing. People that are Sensing tend to focus on the immediate reality of things. In other words, they focus on the look, feel, and even scent of the world around them. They tend to be experiential, visual, and hands-on learners.
Intuition, on the other hand, describes those that read between the lines. They are more concerned with the resulting pattern, meaning, or abstraction of the sensory information around them. People described as intuitive can learn by reading something in a textbook and tend to work better with metaphors. They, to put it simply, look at the big picture.
Falling in the Thinking category means you tend to value or use logic over emotion. This is why INTP personalities are also referred to as logicians. When making a decision, a Thinking person weighs the pros and cons and then picks the most logical solution.
This decision isn’t necessarily devoid of feeling. However, straight facts are the primary factors used by INTPs in their decision-making. Their emotions and the emotions of others are just an additional consideration.
Perceiving is a little difficult to pin down. Essentially, this category has to do with how others see you and how you interact with the world. Perceiving people tend to be flexible and go with the flow. They’re often less organized, maybe even a little messy. Their creativity comes in bursts, and they sometimes, or maybe all the time, find themselves rushing to meet deadlines.
As a complete type, people with INTP personalities tend to be creative and logical, and perhaps a little lost in their world at times. INTPs are often compared to absent-minded professors. To that point, the image of Albert Einstein comes to mind. The German theoretical physicist had an INTP-type personality.
If you’re an INTP, then you probably tend to think of the big picture but miss the small details. You focus on theories and abstract ideas and love to analyze complex problems. Overthinking is a common habit. You may have trouble focusing if you’re doing something you don’t like or if there’s something else you’d rather be working on.
INTP-A vs INTP-T
Within the INTP personality, you will find two distinctive subtypes. These are Assertive Logicians (INTP-A) and Turbulent Logicians (INTP-T). They differ in a variety of areas, including their outlook on life and how they deal with consistency and change. As such, the best INTP-T careers are different from those most suited for INTP-A types.
For example, according to 16Personalities, INTP-A people are more consistent than their Turbulent counterparts. INTP-As have more confidence in their decisions and are less affected by others’ opinions. On the other hand, INTP-Ts tend to change their goals more often. This can make them more flexible problem-solvers. However, they also run the risk of being too flexible.
Best Jobs for an INTP
As an INTP, you’re probably a bit of an innovator, independent, and a little rule-averse. There’s a good chance you’re not a fan of small talk, and a social career doesn’t sound fun. You likely have strong critical and analytical skills, along with a creative streak. Also, you may enjoy coming up with ideas more than actually implementing them. Given all of this, there are certain jobs for INTPs that are better than others.
Best INTP Careers in Tech
Each position is unique, as every company has a different structure and business methodology. However, tech jobs can be some of the best for INTP-type personalities. Many tech occupations allow remote work from home. This means employees don’t have to chat with people every day and there’s no one constantly looking over their shoulders.
In tech careers, planning and solid infrastructure are key. You may find that programming is an ideal mixture of creativity and logical structure. Below are some of the best jobs for an INTP in the tech sector.
Software engineer is a broad term for those who create software programs and is often used interchangeably with software developers, though they are different. Planning, designing, coding, and debugging are the key responsibilities of a software engineer. As a bonus, software engineers make around $109,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Data Analyst/Data Scientist
If you are pretty good with science, analytics, and numbers in general, then a career in data science or analytics might be for you. In fact, it is one of the best matches for INTP types. These professionals require more education, but they get to create their own algorithms instead of using existing ones. Data scientists make a six-figure salary on average, per BLS data.
This is a difficult-to-obtain yet highly sought-after position, but it also happens to be the perfect INTP career. You’d get to design with broad strokes, coming up with systems and gameplay mechanics. Other professionals would then implement your design, although you may sometimes assist in this process. On average, game designers make around $67,000 per year, according to PayScale.
While this isn’t a complete list, it contains several major technology careers for INTPs. Though technological career paths traditionally required higher education, many no longer do. The skills required for these jobs for INTPs can be obtained from a faster and less expensive coding bootcamp or thorough self-study.
There are outstanding data science and data analytics bootcamps, software development bootcamps, and even game design bootcamps. All of these programs can help you land the best jobs for an INTP in just a matter of months. Today, many hiring managers in the tech field care more about your skills than your qualifications.
Engineering/Science Careers for INTP Types
If you are an INTP, you may be interested in technical topics without being a fan of computers. If this is the case, you may be more interested in a science career or in one of the many types of engineering jobs. INTPs love exploring and understanding the world and how it works. Designing things while keeping natural laws in mind is also satisfying.
However, the attention to detail and near perfection required for these jobs may make them less suitable choices. Nonetheless, for an INTP, the best jobs are often those in the field of engineering. Check out some of the engineering and science careers for INTPs below.
Designing things that fly, sometimes into orbit, is pretty exciting. This is a field that requires strong design and a deep understanding of physics and its practical applications. This will appeal to those with a penchant for innovative and technical design, making it a great career for INTPs. The average aerospace engineer earns $122,270 each year, according to BLS.
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If you happen to have the stomach for seeing some less-than-pleasant things, then working as a forensic scientist might be for you. You’ll help solve crimes from the safety of a lab or a crime scene. It’s much like solving puzzles, which makes it one of the best jobs for an INTP. Forensic scientists earn nearly $62,000 a year on average, per BLS reports.
Architects are tasked with designing the spaces that we all use, from shopping malls to grocery stores to even our own homes. Being able to create both something artistically beautiful and structurally functional is right up the INTP alley.
It’s a great career for INTPs because you get to make amazing designs without ever having to build them yourself, but you need to make sure you adhere to building codes and create a sound structure. According to BLS, architects earn an average salary of over $80,000 a year.
Additional INTP Careers
So, do none of the INTP careers above work for you? Maybe science seems like too much work, or you’re not a fan of computers. That’s okay. There are plenty of jobs that appeal to INTP personalities. Here are just a few more ideas for the best jobs for an INTP.
If you enjoy talking to people, then consider journalism. Many people with an INTP personality find writing enjoyable. They like getting to the bottom of a story or finding an interesting lead. Journalists make $48,370 on average, as stated by BLS. Alternatively, you could also focus on being a researcher or a technical writer.
Many INTP types have trouble communicating, so some would assume a job in advertising would be bad. However, having trouble communicating something in person doesn’t mean you can’t or don’t understand how people think, which is at the core of advertising.
Creative directors are the art brain behind adverts and brand campaigns, which involves creativity as much as it does tactical thinking. According to BLS data, these marketing professionals bring home $133,380 a year on average, which may also be important to you when it comes to choosing an INTP career.
Not everyone can go to school for 12 years or attend college, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a satisfying job. Electricians need to be good at troubleshooting and design. They have to solve minor engineering mysteries daily. Mechanics work with some of the most complicated machines in common use, finding and fixing broken components.
These are two great INTP careers that you can start by going through vocational training. According to BLS reports, electricians earn a little over $60,000 a year, while mechanics earn nearly $47,000. However, these figures change quite a bit depending on where you live and your local union.
The INTP in the Workplace: Where Can They Thrive?
INTPs like to work at companies that leave some room for independence, mainly because INTPs enjoy solitude. Logicians spend a lot of time in their own heads, crafting new ideas or brainstorming ways to tackle a problem. This is also why INTPs need to have someone who’ll keep them in check and ensure they execute their ideas.
Overall, INTPs need careers that challenge them intellectually. Based on an INTP’s strengths and weaknesses, it is easy to tell that they will fit into some roles better than others. Take a look at the INTP weaknesses and strengths below to get a better idea of ideal INTP careers.
INTPs have a lot of useful traits that can help them in specific careers. Their strengths help them solve problems and stay motivated. Learn more about some of the top INTP strengths below.
- Logical and sees the big picture. You have the ability to look at many working pieces and see a whole machine. You can also apply straight logic to situations.
- Analytical and honest. You’re able to examine concepts, products, and even beliefs. You can produce a straightforward and unbiased analysis, whether the result is positive or negative.
- Creative and open-minded. You light up at new ideas and enjoy coming up with innovative solutions to problems.
- Passionate and awed. You’re interested in discovering new things or finding results, and you’re willing to pursue an interest deeply.
Just as knowing your strengths is valuable, having an understanding of your weaknesses is crucial as a professional. With that, being aware of the core INTP weaknesses will help you navigate your limitations and minimize their impact on your work.
- Difficulty focusing and sticking to one idea. You often find yourself jumping from idea to idea. That’s perhaps because you follow inspiration rather than holding down a single idea. As a result, you end up having more ideas than you can hold on to.
- Critical, insensitive, and condescending. You sometimes run the risk of focusing on only the facts and missing the emotion. You often deliver criticism because it makes sense before considering the emotional impact. This criticism is also often complex or high-minded and comes across as condescending, whether intentional or not.
- Self-doubting and unconventional. You tend to break the rules in favor of creativity but also doubt the final products and often revise work.
- Inconsistency and messiness. You work better in bursts and whenever creativity strikes, often at the risk of chronic disorganization.
Many people find the results of their personality test surprisingly accurate. Personality tests can give us deeper insights into how we behave and why. However, it’s good to remember that personality tests, in general, describe us but do not define us.
These tests, like the Briggs-Meyer personality test, are simply suggestions and should be taken as such. Just because you are an INTP doesn’t mean you won’t be successful in a certain career field. It just means that there are some INTP careers that this personality is more predisposed to.
What Careers Should INTP Personalities Avoid?
Just as there are some roles best suited for INTPs, there are some careers for INTPs to avoid. INTP personalities are called logicians for a reason. Since they’re often inside their head, it’s important for INTP personalities to have room to experiment and be creative.
This makes jobs that are monotonous and repetitive, such as being an accountant or a data entry clerk, a struggle for INTPs. Sales jobs may also be difficult for the less sociable INTPs. Below are four INTP careers to avoid if you have this personality type.
- School teacher
- Office clerk
- Construction worker
A Summary of the Top Career Matches for INTPs
Here’s a bulleted list of the nine top INTP careers that will make the best use of your unique skills:
- Software Engineer
- Data Analyst/Data Scientist
- Game Designer
- Aerospace Engineer
- Forensic Scientist
- Creative Director
This list, like personality types, is just a suggestion. If your dream is to be a pilot, a sword fighter, or a doula, don’t let this article stop you. However, if you don’t know which career path you should follow, this list can help guide you to some of the best INTP career choices.
What Is the Best INTP Career for Me?
The best INTP careers range from software developer to architect to mechanic and cover a wide range of skills. Which of the top INTP careers is best for you will depend on your own interests and lifestyle. These traits are unique to you and are not determined by your broader INTP personality type.
When choosing the best job for yourself as an INTP, you should not only consider your Briggs-Meyer type but also your own passions. If you love automobiles, then perhaps you would enjoy being a mechanic. However, if you are into gaming, then why not create your own worlds while working as a game designer? Carefully consider all of the jobs in this article to find which one matches up with what interests you most.
INTP Careers FAQ
Your MBTI personality type can serve as a guide for you to know yourself better. An assessment of your MBTI personality type can help pinpoint your weaknesses and your strengths. This, in turn, will give you a significant deal of insight into the careers that suit you best.
Being logicians, INTPs are motivated by solving challenges and problems that require a lot of thinking. To say that an INTP has a thirst for intellectual stimulation is an understatement. This is why an INTP thrives in roles that require a lot of brainpower and sleuthing. If you’re an INTP, consider being a computer programmer, a business analyst, or even an information security analyst.
Being logicians, an INTP is motivated by solving challenges and problems that require a lot of thinking. To say that an INTP has a thirst for intellectual stimulation is an understatement. This is why an INTP thrives in roles that require a lot of brainpower and sleuthing. If you’re an INTP, consider being a computer programmer, a business analyst, or even an information security analyst.
The best job for a female INTP is something that relies on logic but allows creativity, such as software developer, data scientist, architect, or journalist. These are the same top jobs for any INTP, as both male and female INTPs share the same traits.
High-paying INTP careers include software developer, data scientist, aerospace engineer, creative director, and architect. All of these jobs rely on logic but also leave room for innovation and creativity. Many of these INTP careers will allow you to reach a six-figure salary.
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