Best careers for each Myers-Briggs type

The following information is provided by Graphiq and CareerTrends.

myers-briggsBy Wade Bruffey

It’s no secret that everyone sees the world a little differently. We all have a unique set of experiences, values and tendencies that have a profound influence on how we think, behave and respond to events in our lives. Knowledge of our personality traits, strengths and weaknesses helps us understand how we interact with others. In turn, this can grant us insight into what careers and work environments we are best suited for.

Since its inception in 1962, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment has established itself as one of the most respected personality tests available. The team at CareerTrends, an occupational data and professional development site that’s part of the Graphiq suite of research tools, combined the MBTI type descriptions with job description data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This meant matching the qualities of each MBTI type to the career paths that value them. This comparison grants us compelling insight into which careers are likely to play to our strengths, and which environments we might want to avoid. This knowledge has the potential to make our working lives much happier.

The assessment consists of a series of questions that analyze the dominant qualities of one’s personality. To do so, it scores four foundational traits. Based on one’s answers to the survey questions in each area, a descriptive letter is assigned. The study frames these traits with four essential questions:


  • Are you outwardly focused or inwardly focused? Scored as either an E for extravert or an I for introvert. Extraverts are focused on the outside world and energized by social interactions, while introverts are inwardly focused and energized by self-reflection.


  • How do you prefer to take in information? Scored as either an S for sensing or an N for intuitive. Sensing people receive information from their senses and are focused on what is real and tangible. Intuitive people receive information from impression and interpretation, and enjoy concepts and ideas for the sake of thought.


  • How do you prefer to make decisions? Scored as either a T for thinking or an F for feeling. Thinking people prefer to make decisions based on objective and logical reasoning, while feeling people prefer making decisions based on subjective, empathetic reasoning.


  • How do you prefer to live your outer life? Scored as either a J for judging or a P for perceiving. Judging people prefer order and planning, while perceiving people prefer being flexible and spontaneous.


Based on one’s answers, a four-letter type is assigned, one letter from each question. There are 16 MBTI types in total. Each is unique; the scientists at the Myers & Briggs Foundation have developed descriptions that generalize how individuals of each type operate given their personality characteristics. Bear in mind that these are only generalizations — nobody is exactly alike. These generalizations serve to inform us in the decision-making process, not to make our decisions.


Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging
Nickname: The Inspector

Though ISTJs are often quiet and serious, they are precise at communicating what’s on their minds and are usually very good listeners. Nicknamed the “Inspectors,” most ISTJs are highly logical and very organized in all aspects of their lives. When they decide what needs to be done, they will often push on tirelessly to accomplish their goals in spite of distraction or difficulty. ISTJs tend to handle conflict well and are usually in control of their emotions.

Strengths: Committed, Conservative with Money, Handle Criticism Well
Weaknesses: Big-Headed, Insensitive, Overly-Structured


Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging
Nickname: The Protector

Known as the “Protectors,” ISFJs tend to be quiet, friendly, responsible and thoughtful. Many value loyalty highly, and are very committed to the people and responsibilities in their lives. ISFJs tend to be primarily interested in the safety and security of those around them, and strive to create a stable and harmonious environment at work and at home. They are likely to be driven, meticulous and authentic in both work and play.

Strengths: Committed, Friendly, Good Listeners, Hard-Working, Organized, Practical
Weaknesses: Closed, Stagnant, Struggles with Conflict


Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging
Nickname: The Counselor

Most INFJs strive to understand what drives people, searching for meaning and connection in ideas and relationships. Called the “Counselors,” they are usually friendly, supportive and highly attuned to the feelings of others. INFJs tend to value organization, and when they have found a clear vision they believe will best serve the common goal, they are committed and decisive in implementing it. They are largely very insightful and strongly committed to their core values.

Strengths: Articulate, Decisive, Dedicated, Sensitive, Warm
Weaknesses: Bad with Money, Impractical, Struggles with Conflict


Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging
Nickname: The Mastermind

INTJs are nicknamed the “Masterminds” for their tendency for original thinking and a tenacious drive to implement their ideas and achieve their goals. They are known to readily recognize patterns in events and are able to explain things from a big-picture perspective. INTJs are usually intelligent, autonomous, independent and skeptical. They tend to hold themselves and others to a high standard of excellence.

Strengths: Confident, Good Listeners, Good with Relationships, Intelligent
Weaknesses: Big-Headed, Closed, Insensitive, Under-Emotional


Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving
Nickname: The Crafter

ISTPs are usually candid, honest, open-minded and adaptable. Nicknamed the “Crafters,” they tend to be quiet observers until a problem appears, but act quickly to find workable solutions when one does. ISTPs usually are able to evaluate what makes things work and quickly analyze large amounts of data to isolate the core of practical problems. Many ISTPs logically organize information at hand to make it accessible to others, and value efficiency in everything they do.

Strengths: Confident, Good Listeners, Optimistic, Realistic, Respectful
Weaknesses: Closed, Inexpressive, Insensitive, Short-Sighted


Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving
Nickname: The Composer

Known as the “Composers,” ISFPs are known to be quiet, friendly, sensitive and kind. They tend to enjoy the present moment, and are focused on the people and events going on around them. Many composers value personal space and prefer to work within their own time frame. They are often very loyal and committed to their values and to people who are important to them. ISFPs usually dislike conflict and refrain from forcing their opinions and values on others.

Strengths: Affectionate, Flexible, Optimistic, Practical, Sensual, Warm
Weaknesses: Cynical, Short-Sighted, Struggles with Conflict


Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving
Nickname: The Healer

Nicknamed the “Healers,” INFPs are often resilient, understanding and strive to help others see the world in a positive light. Many INFPs are dedicated and loyal to those close to them and seek to lead a life that is consistent with their values. They are known to be visionary and idealistic, possessing a strong sense of right and wrong that leads them to see the world as full of opportunity. They tend to be adaptable and accepting of others unless one of their core values is threatened.

Strengths: Driven, Flexible, Loyal, Nurturing, Perceptive, Warm
Weaknesses: Emotional, Overly Critical, Shy, Struggles with Conflict


Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving
Nickname: The Architect

Thoughtful and rational, INTPs are known to develop logical explanations for everything that interests them. Called the “Architects,” they tend to be interested more in ideas than in social interaction, preferring the theoretical and abstract to the concrete and tangible. Many INTPs have the ability to deeply analyze problems in their area of interest and solve them. They are usually quiet, contained, flexible, adaptable, skeptical, sometimes critical and frequently analytical.

Strengths: Confident, Creative, Enthusiastic, Laid-Back, Loving
Weaknesses: Closed, Insensitive, Struggles with Conflict, Suspicious


Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving
Nickname: The Promoter

ESTPs are often resilient, adaptable and accepting. As tactical and bold problem-solvers, they usually prefer to take a pragmatic approach focused on immediate results. Known as “Promoters,” theories and conceptual explanations tend to bore them — they prefer to act energetically to solve problems and learn best by doing. ESTPs are known to live in the here-and-now; they are often spontaneous and enjoy each moment they can be active with others. They usually enjoy life’s material comforts and style.

Strengths: Charming, Clear-Headed, Confident, Enthusiastic, Generous, Popular, Sensual, Witty
Weaknesses: Bored Easily, Insensitive, Issues with Commitment, Overly Generous, Risque, Short-Sighted, Struggles with Conflict


Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving
Nickname: The Performer

Nicknamed the “Performers,” ESFPs are known to be outgoing, friendly and accepting. They are often enthusiastic lovers of life, people and material comforts. ESFPs tend to adopt a practical and realistic approach to their work. They usually enjoy working with others to make things happen, and often try to make work fun. They usually live spontaneously and are accepting of new people and situations. Many ESFPs learn best by trying a new skill with other people.

Strengths: Clever, Creative, Enthusiastic, Flexible, Generous, Practical, Sensual
Weaknesses: Materialistic, Noncommittal, Self-Neglecting, Sensitive


Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving
Nickname: The Champion

ENFPs are usually optimistic, charismatic, warmly enthusiastic and imaginative, seeing life as full of possibilities. Referred to as the “Champions,” they are known to readily make connections between events and information, and proceed confidently based on the patterns they see. ENFPs tend to seek a lot of affirmation from others, and generously reciprocate with appreciation and support. They are often spontaneous, flexible and generally rely on their way with words and ability to improvise when they encounter a sticky situation.

Strengths: Affectionate, Articulate, Fun, Inspirational, Loyal, Perceptive
Weaknesses: Bored Easily, Sensitive, Smothering, Struggles with Conflict, Unrealistic


Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving
Nickname: The Inventor

Known as the “Inventors,” ENTPs are characterized as clever, intelligent, spontaneous and entrepreneurial. They are known for their innate talent for developing conceptual possibilities and the ability to analyze them strategically. They are often resourceful in solving new and challenging problems. Bored by routine, ENTPs tend to avoid repetition, ready to turn to one new interest after another. They are often especially good at understanding other people.

Strengths: Articulate, Charming, Confident, Enthusiastic, Flexible, Imaginative
Weaknesses: Argumentative, Noncommittal, Risque, Unreliable


Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging
Nickname: The Supervisor

ESTJs are usually pragmatic, responsible and matter-of-fact. Called the “Supervisors,” they tend to be decisive and move quickly to implement their decisions, organizing projects and people to get things done with an emphasis on efficiently obtaining results. ESTJs are known to closely follow a clear set of logical standards and want others to do the same. They generally are adept at handling routine details and operations, but many tend to be forceful in implementing their plans.

Strengths: Confident, Enthusiastic, Good with Money, Responsible, Stable
Weaknesses: Big-Headed, Controlling, Impatient, Insensitive, Materialistic


Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging
Nickname: The Provider

Nicknamed the “Providers,” ESFJs are often warmhearted, outgoing and loyal. They tend to prefer working with others, and work tirelessly to create harmony in their work environment so they can complete tasks accurately and on time. Many ESFJs are highly attuned to the needs of others and try to provide for them. They are known to seek affirmation from others and appreciate recognition for who they are and what they do.

Strengths: Friendly, Good with Money, Hard-Working, Traditional
Weaknesses: Uncomfortable with Change, Manipulative, Self-Sacrificing, Struggles with Conflict


Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging
Nickname: The Teacher

ENFJs are usually warm, empathetic and goal-oriented, often associated with organization and decisiveness. Known as the “Teachers,” they tend to see the potential in everyone and want to help them fulfill it. ENFJs are usually highly attuned to the feelings, needs and motivations of others. Many are personable, take on leadership roles in a group and inspire those around them. They hope to facilitate both individual and group growth, though they are often sensitive to criticism themselves.

Strengths: Affectionate, Articulate, Caring, Humorous, Inspirational, Loyal, Perceptive
Weaknesses: Close-Minded, Controlling, Critical, Sensitive, Smothering, Struggles with Conflict


Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging
Nickname: The Fieldmarshal

Nicknamed the “Fieldmarshals,” ENTJs are known to assume leadership readily and are often natural problem-solvers. They are usually quick to catch irrational and inefficient procedures and policies, eagerly developing and implementing comprehensive solutions to organizational problems. ENTJs are known for their skills in long-term planning and preparation. They are characterized as well-informed and well-read; many enjoy expanding their knowledge so they can pass it on to others. ENTJs are usually persuasive but can be forceful when presenting their ideas.

Strengths: Articulate, Confident, Curious, Direct, Enthusiastic, Genuine, Reliable
Weaknesses: Argumentative, Bad Tempered, Controlling, Critical, Insensitive, Intimidating

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