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Careers for INTP Personality Types

By Brenda Ellis,

Whether you're a young adult trying to find your place in the world, or a not-so-young adult trying to find out if you're moving along the right path, it's important to understand yourself and the personality traits that will impact your likeliness to succeed or fail at various careers. It's equally important to understand what is really important to you. When armed with an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, and an awareness of what you truly value, you are in an excellent position to pick a career that you will find rewarding.

The following traits are generally found in INTPs:

  1. Love theory and abstract ideas
  2. Truth Seekers - they want to understand things by analyzing underlying principles and structures
  3. Value knowledge and competence above all else
  4. Have very high standards for performance, that they apply to themselves
  5. Independent and original, possibly eccentric
  6. Work best alone, and value autonomy
  7. Have no desire to lead or follow
  8. Dislike mundane detail
  9. Not particularly interested in the practical application of their work
  10. Creative and insightful
  11. Future-oriented
  12. Usually brilliant and ingenious
  13. Trust their own insights and opinions above others
  14. Live primarily inside their own minds, and may appear to be detached and uninvolved with other people

INTPs have a special gift with generating and analyzing theories and possibilities to prove or disprove them. They have a great deal of insight and are creative thinkers; this allows them to quickly grasp complex abstract thoughts. They also have exceptional logical and rational reasoning skills, which allows them to thoroughly analyze theories to discover the Truth about them. Since the INTP is driven to seek clarity in the world, we have a happy match of desire and ability in this personality type. INTPs will be happiest in careers that allow them a great deal of autonomy in which they can work primarily alone on developing and analyzing complex theories and abstractions, with the goal of their work being the discovery of a truth, rather than the discovery of a practical application.

The following list of professions is built on our impression of careers that would be especially suitable for an INTP. It is meant to be a starting place, rather than an exhaustive list. There are no guarantees that any or all of the careers listed here would be appropriate for you, or that your best career match is among those listed here.


Possible Careers Paths for INTP

Strategic Planner
University Professor
Computer Programmer
Systems Analyst
Technical Writer
Forensic Research
Park Ranger