ISTP Careers to Avoid

Jan 18, 2020

ISTP stands for introverted, sensing, thinking and perceiving. The ISTP Personality Type not only prefers to work independently or in small groups, but also enjoys perfecting hands-on skills through practice. ISTP Personality Types will want to avoid career options that lack the opportunities to master their talents or careers that require a lot of social interaction.

Career Options for ISTP Personality Types to Avoid

ISTP Personality Types enjoy hands-on work opportunities; they're also analytical, and they value taking the time to master their skills. They do have the ability to respond to situations quickly, which means that they can do well in careers that involve responding to emergencies. They are less likely to find routine jobs stimulating, and as introverts they are not likely to thrive in careers that involve a lot of interaction with a number of different people throughout their day.

Job Title Median Salary* (2018) Growth* (2018-2028)
Receptionists $29,140 5%
Librarians $59,050 6%
Historians $61,140 6%
Private Detectives and Investigators $50,090 8%
Judges and Hearing Officers $117,190 3%
Postsecondary Philosophy and Religion Teachers $71,890 10%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Information for Careers that ISTP Personality Types Should Avoid


Receptionists are often trained once employed. A high school diploma is the standard educational requirement, although training in the use of computers is an asset. Receptionists perform duties like greeting people when they arrive at a business, or answering the phone. They spend a lot of time interacting with clients throughout the day, and ISTP Personality Types may find that this job involves too much social interaction to appeal to them. Many of the other tasks that receptionists perform, such as taking messages or filing documents, are rote tasks, which are less likely to appeal to the ISTP Personality Type's preference for skill development.


Librarians purchase and organize materials in libraries. Part of their work involves determining what materials they should purchase, and part of their job involves assisting people who are looking for specific types of materials. This career doesn't offer the type of hands-on skill development that ISTP Personality Types enjoy, and it also involves a lot of social interaction with the public, which is something that does not typically appeal to ISTP Personality Types. A master's degree in library science is required to be a librarian; those that work in schools may also need to have a teaching license.


A master's degree is needed to begin a career as a historian, although some positions require a doctoral degree. ISTP Personality Types may not find this to be a good career choice because historians spend a lot of time researching, and they do not have the opportunities for hands-on work and skill mastery that ISTP Personality Types enjoy. Historians spend much of their time researching subjects, and they may also be involved in educating the public about historical topics; as introverts, that type of task may not appeal to ISTP Personality Types.

Private Detectives and Investigators

Private detectives and investigators work for individuals who hire them to find specific information. For example, they may be hired to determine if a spouse is cheating. Private detectives and investigators usually need to have a license, and although it isn't necessarily required, many have prior law enforcement experience. This career can involve long periods of surveillance or research, and it can also involve questioning people. It may not be a good fit for ISTP Personality Types because it doesn't offer the opportunities for the type of consistent hands-on work that they prefer, and there can be prolonged periods of social interaction required, which is something ISTP Personality Types are unlikely to enjoy.

Judges and Hearing Officers

Judges and hearing officers normally have prior experience working as lawyers. This means that they must have a law degree and law license. Their job involves listening to cases in courts and ensuring that proper procedures are followed. ISTP Personality Types will lack the opportunities to hone their skills and work with their hands if they pursue work as a judge or hearing officer. They may also have to interact with a large number of people if they're overseeing a jury trial that has media interest, and ISTP Personality Types won't enjoy that because they prefer independent or small group work.

Postsecondary Philosophy and Religion Teachers

Postsecondary philosophy and religion teachers instruct postsecondary students in classes in religion and philosophy. The focus of these studies is on subjects that are theoretical and lack practical application; while an ISTP Personality Type may be able to appreciate opportunities for hands-on work in disciplines such as engineering, the purely theoretical aspect of subjects such as philosophy and religion will deny them opportunities for hands-on skill development and mastery. Postsecondary teachers can sometimes start out in an entry-level position with a master's degree, although they typically need to have doctoral degree in their field.

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