The 10 Best Careers for INTJs
As an INTJ, have you ever felt like your career choice wasn’t exactly what you were looking for? Maybe you are a young or growing INTJ who doesn’t even know where to start when it comes to careers. Today, I am going to explore some common career choices for INTJs and explain why they tend to choose those fields. My goal today is to just give you a starting point – some insight. Don’t take this list as the only choices viable for an INTJ! Remember, at the end of the day, any type can do anything if they put in the effort.
Let’s get started!
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Table of contents
Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
What INTJs look for in a career
Knowing what jobs appeal to INTJs is crucial, but it’s also important to know why. So, what are the most important things to look for when considering a career path as an INTJ?
1 – Creative Control. INTJs are at their core an intuitive type first and foremost. They want to be able to bring their visions to reality. While they may not have as much spontaneous creativity as some other types (like ENFPs or ENTPs), the INTJ excels when they can develop a long-term vision and stick to it. Due to this they don’t typically like work environments where they don’t get to at least have some final say in a project’s outcome.
2 – Independence. Of all the types, INTJs are likely to value a bit of alone time at work the most. Being an introvert who also values thinking, it can be a struggle to be in an environment where people constantly want to work with you or stop you from being productive. Naturally, most jobs require some socialization, and that is ok, but there is nothing wrong with wanting a solitary career. The peace of mind of just being able to focus on your work and not be distracted is usually listed as a high priority for INTJs looking for their ideal career choice.
3 – A Decent Level of Challenge. The TJ types in particular tend to be the ones who want a little bit of difficulty in their career. They want to be pushed to grow, to explore new horizons, and to reach heights that haven’t been reached before. This doesn’t mean you need a job that is going to work you to death, but the mental stimulation of a challenging job can prevent an INTJ from boredom burnout. One thing to keep in mind is that the challenge must be something the INTJ is interested in. INTJs don’t typically like to do difficult things just because they are hard, but more so because they encourage them to personally grow.
4 – Just Enough Change. INTJs don’t want things to change every day – they like to focus on one task and then complete it. That said, they also aren’t likely to want to do the same task day in and day out for years on end. INTJs tend to shine when they can work on a big project, finish it, and then start a new project that requires similar skills but isn’t exactly the same thing. INTJs also aren’t likely to enjoy jobs that require a strict process that must be followed every single time (like a factory line worker).
5 – Impact. If your job isn’t changing the status quo at least a little, then you might find yourself daydreaming about a job where you can. INTJs naturally see how things can be better, what could be improved upon, and they like jobs where they can flex those mental muscles to create an impact – whether it be on the world or just the specific profession they have chosen.
INTJ Career Strengths
So we know what INTJs like in their career choices, but what strengths do INTJs bring to the table that really compliments these preferences?
1 – Belief in their Vision. When your intuition grants you insight into a potential future that you think is possible, you put all your belief and drive into making it a reality. INTJs tend to dedicate themselves to their work more than many other types if they genuinely believe that their vision can be achieved. Long hours and sleepless nights can actually be refreshing to some INTJs who are working on their future.
2 – Professionalism. INTJs may not be the most…friendly at times, often having a flat facial expression and a serious demeanor. This seriousness actually serves them well in many scenarios though. Business meetings, conferences, and discussions with investors are all situations where you want to make sure that the people there know you aren’t kidding around. Because of their business focused Te (extroverted thinking) most INTJs can easily navigate professional settings without much stress or anxiety.
3 – Mixing Things Up. This applies to most intuitive types, but their ability to think outside of the box and propose ways of doing things that haven’t been done before can help businesses fall out of the habit of staying the same. Stagnation can be one of the greatest reasons a business dies and sometimes all that is needed is a single idea to skyrocket a company to the next level. Because INTJs carefully consider their ideas and sit on them for a long time, the ones they do end up sharing tend to be winners.
4 – Failure Avoidance. One of the greatest strengths of the INTJ is to notice when things are…not going to go well. As a type with a strong ability to predict outcomes and envision the future they are very good at seeing what will happen if you keep going in the direction you are going. The INTJ can often be a great canary in the coal mine of ideas to make sure that a decision that is being made isn’t a terrible idea that just seems great because it hasn’t been thought through.
5 – Focus. If you want an employee who won’t be easily distracted, INTJs are a great choice. Their single tunnel vision mindset can lead them to be almost too focused at times. They aren’t likely to thrive in workplaces with a lot of distractions, whether social or environmental, but when they are allowed the privacy and focus, they desire, few can match their output.
10 Careers INTJs Excel At
Alright alright, we have talked about their desires and their strengths, now lets actually get into the career fields that INTJs actually like.
1 – Scientist. Scientist is a broad term. Biologists are scientists. So are psychologists, mathematicians, astrophysicists, chemists – the list goes on. The core theme is that the scientist wants to learn more about the world. INTJs make great scientists because they tend to think in a way that starts with an endpoint in mind. This future focused thinking allows them to experiment with new ways of achieving a result. The INTJ differs from the INTP in that the INTP typically is more interested in the “hows” of science while the INTJ is more interested in the “what can be dones” of science. Either way, the end result is a new way of thinking being brought to the world, which is typically very satisfying for most INTJs.
2 – Consultant. Consultants develop professional skills in a field of their choosing and then bring their expertise to other companies to help them achieve results. It is kind of like being a business coach. The INTJ is great at seeing how a goal can be achieved and laying out a plan so it is no surprise that many INTJs end up as business consultants. Because consultants are typically sought after as independent workers, this also means that they get to keep their creative vision in tact by not taking orders from someone else (something INTJs can struggle with).
3 – Programmer. Ah, a job where you get to sit alone at your computer for hours on end and make technological advancements? Sounds like heaven for most INTJs. It is no surprise then that many INTJs go into the computer science field and end up becoming programmers and coders. Technology is also one of the most adaptive and growing fields out there and programmers are needed in almost every single corner of technological sciences so you will never have to worry about your career choice becoming obsolete.
4 – Creative Director. The creative director is the person responsible for making sure a vision becomes what they think it should be. It is often a high-end management position responsible for a large variety of employees in a wide array of skill areas. For example, famous video game director Hidetaka Miyazaki (known for the Dark Souls series) was responsible for writing the games story & dialogue, designing the levels, coordinating the art team, and managing employees in general. To an INTJ, having full creative control is a dream come true, especially if it is relation to a vision they really want to bring to fruition.
5 – Executive. Executive is another career choice that is quite broad. You can be an executive in many fields; retail, technology, or even something more formal like the military as a high-ranking officer. What the INTJ excels at is organizing people and resources to accomplish goals and because of this they tend to excel in higher end work positions as opposed to “worker” ones. Executives typically also require a stoic and commanding personality which are traits that most INTJs can usually relate to. The one downside to this career choice for INTJs is that inherently there will be more social components because to organize people you need to…well…interact with people.
6 – Entrepreneur. At the core of every good entrepreneur is creativity and ideas, something which INTJs tend to have more than enough of. INTJs tend to be a “slow burn” type of entrepreneur as opposed to one who has a lot of ideas and just goes with the one that eventually works. They want to take a single idea and form it over time to such a level that it is very unlikely to fail. It is believed that Mark Zuckerberg is actually an INTJ and a great example of the entrepreneurial heights the INTJ can reach.
7 – Professor. I put professor on this list as opposed to teacher because professor implies a higher level of education, typically college level. INTJs like to dig deep into the things that interest them and their love for knowledge is usually greater than their actual desire to teach. Due to this, teaching higher level courses can be a great way for INTJs to challenge themselves while also developing their own knowledge on the topics that interest them.
8 – Philosopher. Ok, this one is less of a “career”, but it is certainly something that many INTJs in history are known for (including Nietzsche). The philosopher is someone who thinks deeply on whatever their area of interest is and attempts to answer not only the question of how (like a scientist might) but also…why? Many philosophers can earn income through related career choices such as being a writer who shares their insights through books. This is a good choice for INTJs because they love to ponder the behind-the-scenes details of how things work and why events play out the way they do.
9 – UX (User Experience) Designer. A UX designer is someone who anticipates how a product or service will be received by those who engage with it and attempts to make that process as best as possible. Have you ever used a website and just thought the layout was counter-intuitive or just hard to work with? That is when a UX designer comes in to play. Many UX designers are also programmers, but many are also just analysts who give insight into how the programmers can make things better. This is a good fit for INTJs because it allows them to look at data regarding customers and then anticipate what that information means for future services. It is a people focused field without much of the actual people – win win for any INTJ who wants to contribute to others without feelings drained all of the time.
10 – Clinical Psychologist. A clinical psychologist is a bit different from a therapist or other mental health professionals. They work with interventions for complex disorders using data driven and scientifically backed methodologies. Their goal is to help people with complex mental disorders to develop a mindset and plan to live a manageable and even productive life. They are also almost always scientists as well, conducting research in laboratories and with patients to better understand mental processes. Yes, they do work with people, but it is almost always one on one as opposed to with large groups. This is a good choice for INTJs because it allows them to actually use their deep knowledge of the mind as opposed to just studying these things for the sake of knowing.
What about you?
Are you an INTJ who is in one of the above career fields? Or maybe you are in a different field altogether and have some great insight about your experiences. We’d love to hear your opinions down below in the comments!
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About the Author:
Hey there, I’m Chris and I run the YouTube channel AsuraPsych. I am a post-bac student of psychology involved in academic research as well as a part time life coach and writer to help fund my academic goals. I am also a certified MBTI® practitioner and I like writing about and studying personality theories in my free time. You can see more of my writing at my web site ChrisGPsych.com
I’ve done most of those careers in the IT background as well as graduating in biosciences. I’ve excelled at them but hated the politics and eventually got burn out. I now develop property as self employed. I have an ingrained knowledge of the property markets, have the creative freedom and vision to revamp empty neglected houses into homes for people. I have freedom to work when and with who I like and do technical building work. As an INTJ, I can see the pros and cons of a place and see potential where other people can’t. I know what to invest in and what to avoid.
I also graduated in Biosciences; biochemistry and bioinformatics to be specific. And I also didn’t like the politics in said areas of research/work. So inefficient and outdated, with everyone begging for the same grants and the only real goal being to publish, rather then making discoveries that will actually be applied to real world problems, at least in my lifetime. I found it quite disheartening because everywhere you read on INTJs science is like top 5 careers and though I was quite good at it, I really did not enjoy it, it brought very little satisfaction. So much so that now after 6 years of university degrees in Biochem I’m looking at changing careers completely (hence why I’m on this site to begin with). I’m actually thinking Lawyer even though it’s not on the list here or writer. Anyhow, it’s a a bit reassuring to know another INTJ also had a similar issue with Biosciences and IT (I also worked in tech support at one point).
Soy INTJ y estoy interesada en carreras relacionadas a las bellas artes, específicamente al teatro, el cuál pienso estudiar para posteriormente especializarme en el doblaje y posiblemente en la locución. Mi meta personal es contribuir de manera significativa a esta industria para que se le dé el reconocimiento que se merece.
Al parecer este tipo de carreras (actuación) no es muy usual para mi tipo de personalidad, pero los que forman parte de esta rama me resultan interesantes.
I am in the aircraft industry, specifically quality control at an old fashioned, yet effective, manufacturing plant. I love this career because I love airplanes and I get to use my smarts to figure out blueprints and other challenges of old fashioned processes. The thing that is not so fun is dealing with very inexperienced people who “don’t get” the proper mindset in this industry, also they think they know everything.
I am an INTJ and work in a special service as someone similar to a police officer (think FBI, Finnish Supo, German BfV, Russian FSB). I conduct big investigations, arrest people, conduct search warrants, interrogate people etc. Almost none of the websites list career in police as a good choice for INTJs, but I find this to be a fantastic job for INTJs! There is everything we need: great deal of independence (you’re the master of your investigations, you gather knowledge and choose its directions, you envision who did what crime – you’re simply allowed to envision/predict things!), a lot of challenges (every investigation is different – one time you need to learn about taxes, next time about drugs, next time about building industry, next time about buying and selling gold etc.; also, every crime has different evidence, and it’s a challenge to figure it out and secure it), just enough change (you conduct new investigations every few months), and your job has an impact on people’s lifes and society in general. Moreover, it’s a rigid and very professional working environment, and I thrive in this. Really, I highly recommend this. However, typical police work (a lot of small, very similar investigations) might be tiresome, but working on big cases in specialized police units or special services is really great and very suiting for us INTJs.
Spot on. I’m a professor and I work in faculty development. I work on various large projects (ad hoc 6Sigma committees, event planning, etc) and move on to the next thing once a project is completed!
I’m also working on a degree in psychology. I found it fascinating that clinical psychologist is on this list!
Secondary school teacher here and I hate everything about it. I don’t want to force kids to learn or make things entertaining for them so they can learn. I don’t want to deal with their spoiled behavior or their know it all parents. Ive always dreamed of teaching college level but it’s hard to get in