The 8 Best Jobs for ISTP Personality Types
Air Traffic Controller | Zoologist | Computer Systems Analyst | Economist | Electrical Engineer | ER Physician | Firefighter | Police Officer
ISTP stands for Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, and Perceiving. ISTPs are detail-oriented, enjoy solitude, and prefer logical reasoning to abstract thinking. People with this personality type make up about 5.4% of the population.
ISTPs work well autonomously and at their own pace. They often enjoy figuring out how things work. Being results-oriented, they tend to look at a problem objectively and use logic and technical knowledge to generate a solution. ISTPs often gravitate toward hands-on work that exposes them to new and exciting experiences.
The 8 Best Careers for ISTP Personality Types
Air Traffic Controller
Air traffic controllers maintain airport safety by coordinating air transportation. They guide takeoffs and landings and oversee the movement of planes. Their main focus is on keeping planes at a safe distance from one another, but they also work to reduce delays and help keep flights on schedule as much as possible.
Air traffic controllers need concentration and efficiency, qualities that many ISTPs possess. While being responsible for the safety of others is stressful to some, ISTPs might view this as a welcome challenge.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that air traffic controllers' employment will grow 1% from 2019 to 2029. Despite the projected increase in air travel in the coming decade, the demand for air traffic controllers will likely decrease because of satellite-based technologies.
Applicants with military backgrounds might fare better than others in the competition for jobs. According to the BLS, these professionals make a median annual salary of $122,990.
Air traffic controllers should obtain an associate or bachelor's degree from an Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative program with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval. Additional requirements include passing a medical exam and drug screen. Applicants must also submit to background checks, pass the FAA and Air Traffic Controller Specialists skills tests, take an FAA Academy training course, and hold U.S. citizenship.
Zoologists and other wildlife biologists investigate animals and learn how they coexist with their environments. They study animals' behaviors and physical characteristics, as well as how human activity affects their existence. Daily tasks might include collecting biological data for analysis, looking at migration or reproductive patterns, and determining the impact of humans' invasive actions on their habitats.
Depending on the project at hand, zoologists may work in the outdoors, offices, or laboratories. Zoology fits well with ISTP personalities because it incorporates objective observation and figuring out solutions to environmental and other problems.
The BLS projects 4% employment growth for zoologists between 2019 and 2029, which is on par with the average projected growth for all occupations. Prior work experience and internships might make an applicant more attractive in a competitive job market.
According to the BLS, zoologists earn a median annual wage of $63,270. Those working for the federal government earn a higher median salary, taking home $78,090 a year.
Zoologists in entry-level positions typically need a bachelor's degree in zoology, wildlife biology, or a life science field like ecology. They typically need at least a master's or doctorate to hold a university position and lead independent research teams.
Students take classes in anatomy, wildlife management, ecology, and cellular biology. They also learn about a specific group of animals, such as birds or aquatic life. Zoological researchers should be familiar with statistical software and computer programming.
Computer Systems Analyst
Computer systems analysts work to improve the functionality and efficiency of an organization's computer structure or architecture. They study a system to identify its inefficiencies and limitations. Job functions may include designing new system elements, testing the current structure, and training users.
These professionals also work with management to determine information technology's role in the organization and how it can meet members' needs. Many ISTPs who work as computer systems analysts welcome the challenge of finding solutions to technical problems.
The BLS projects that employment for computer systems analysts will grow 7% between 2019 and 2029 — faster than the average for all occupations. Job candidates might consider a position in the healthcare industry, which should increasingly rely on electronic medical records and other types of IT.
According to the BLS, computer systems analysts make a median annual salary of $90,920, which is slightly higher than the median annual salary of $88,240 for all computer occupations.
Most aspiring computer systems analysts must have a bachelor's degree in a computer-related discipline; however, not all positions require an applicant to possess a technical degree. Professionals with computer programming or IT experience — such as experience earned through a bootcamp — can qualify for work with a liberal arts or business degree.
Higher-level technical jobs often require a master's in computer science. Some organizations may prefer to hire candidates with an MBA and a specialization in information systems.
Economists work in various fields, such as education, environmental studies, healthcare, and business. They use quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the production and distribution of services, goods, and resources.
Economists collect and analyze data, research and evaluate economic trends, study costs, and review employment statistics. They also keep an eye on inflation, interest rates, and tax-related issues. Forecasting economic trends and generating financial solutions requires attention to detail and logical thinking — both common characteristics of ISTPs.
The BLS projects that employment for economists will grow an impressive 14% between 2019 and 2029. The demand for these positions is likely to expand due to the increasing complexity of the global economy and large companies' need for big-data analysis.
Economists make a median annual salary of $105,020. Those who work in scientific research or finance and insurance can earn even higher salaries.
Entry-level economist jobs, which are commonly found in government agencies, require a bachelor's degree in economics and a solid mathematics background. Positions in business, research, and academia typically require a master's in economics or doctorate and work experience.
Students should take statistics classes and acquire proficiency with statistical software. Doctoral students often accumulate several years of study and research in a specialty area. Individuals who complete an internship that features data analysis and writing research reports can set themselves apart on the job market.
Electrical engineers design, test, and oversee the production of electrical systems in power station generators, computers, motors, communication and navigation devices, aircraft, cars, and other equipment. These professionals work in engineering firms or other sectors, such as manufacturing.
ISTPs may be drawn to this field because of the mechanical and technical skills required to succeed. Some ISTPs find it thrilling to produce new systems and machines.
The BLS projects that employment in the electrical engineering field will grow 5% between 2019 and 2029. Current technological innovations should increase the demand for electrical engineers in solar energy, communication, and other new technology fields.
According to the BLS, electrical engineers earn a median annual wage of $98,530. Professionals working in research and development in engineering and life sciences make $113,050 per year.
Most electrical engineers need a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering or a related field. Four-year programs typically offer classes in differential equations, electrical circuit theory, and digital systems design. Students usually complete a combination of coursework, labs, and field experiences.
Professionals new to the field might take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam and work under a licensed engineer. Subsequently, engineers may need to pass the Principles and Practices of Engineering exam. An electrical engineering license can help professionals expand their employment opportunities.
Emergency room (ER) physicians assess and treat patients who enter the ER. They also stabilize patients' conditions and make decisions regarding their care, including admitting them to the hospital or referring them to specialists for long-term care.
To succeed in an ER setting, workers need strong problem-solving and logical skills. These professionals must also pay attention to details in order to prescribe the right medication and treatment.
ER and other physicians are among the highest-paid professionals in today's workforce. According to the BLS, physicians and surgeons earn a median annual salary of more than $208,000. The BLS projects 4% growth in employment for these workers between 2019 and 2029, which is similar to the average projected growth rate for all occupations.
The growing numbers of older adults should lead to an increase in chronic conditions, which will likely drive the demand for more ER physicians in the coming years.
While medical schools accept applicants from various majors, most students take chemistry, biology, and physics classes in college. They might also gain experience by working or volunteering in a healthcare setting.
After earning a bachelor's degree, individuals must obtain an MD degree, which takes four years to complete. After earning their doctorate, students choose a specialty and spend 3-7 years in internship and residency programs. They also take continuing medical education throughout their career.
Firefighters work in the fire science field along with rescue service providers and other professionals. They respond to active fires in various settings and assist during medical emergencies, car accidents, and other crises.
These individuals typically drive fire trucks or other emergency vehicles, use hoses and other equipment to extinguish fires, rescue people from burning structures, and treat injured people. The expectation to perform under pressure and engage in practical decision-making might suit ISTPs who seek adventure in their work.
The BLS projects 6% employment growth for firefighters between 2019 and 2029. Despite improvements in building materials and fire codes, fires and medical emergencies still occur and require firefighters' services. Wildfires in the nation's forests also contribute to ongoing demand. Firefighters make a median annual salary of $50,850.
Entry-level firefighters need to receive training from a fire academy after graduating high school. Most also need emergency medical technician training. Fire science professionals may increasingly find that employers require a bachelor's degree. Firefighters who want to pursue leadership positions or become specialists (e.g., arson investigators) often earn master's or other advanced degrees.
While employed, these professionals must continue their education and fitness training to maintain their knowledge and response readiness.
Police officers belong to the broader category of criminal justice professionals who protect people and property, enforce the law, gather evidence of illegal activity, and advocate for crime victims. These individuals also patrol areas to spot suspicious activity, issue citations for traffic violations, testify in court, and arrest criminal suspects.
Police officers should have an eye for detail because their job involves writing and submitting reports. This characteristic, as well as the potential for exposure to new and exciting situations, makes this career suitable for some ISTPs.
The demand for police officers and other criminal justice professionals continues to grow because of the increased attention to border security and threats of terrorism. The BLS projects that employment for police officers and detectives will increase 5% between 2019 and 2029.
According to the BLS, police officers make a median salary of $65,170. Criminal investigators and detectives earn a median salary of $83,170 per year.
Aspiring police officers need a high school or GED diploma. Some departments and federal agencies require a bachelor's degree. Officers must also receive academy training from the department that employs them, after which they typically work under the supervision of an experienced officer.
Federal agents receive instruction from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center or the U.S. Marine Corps base in Virginia. Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents need at least two years of law enforcement experience or an advanced degree.
Additional ISTP Career Options
Feature Image: Monty Rakusen / Cultura / Getty Images