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ESTP Career Interests, Career Matches, and Careers to Avoid

Learn about typical career interests of the the ESTP personality type, potential career matches, and careers to avoid.

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After a short summary of ESTP career interests, you’ll find 20 potential career fits for ESTPs, along with several poor fits, identified by combining data about ESTP personality patterns with detailed occupational information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table of Contents

ESTP Career Interests

The chart below shows where ESTPs tend to fall on the classic RIASEC career interest dimensions: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional.

Your unique blend of these dimensions dramatically influences how well a career feels like a good fit.

The dark blue areas show where ESTPs are most likely to fall on each dimension.

ESTPs and RIASEC career interests
Patterns of career interests among ESTPs

Most ESTPs tend to have the following pattern of interests:

  • High Realistic interests: People with high Realistic interests enjoy careers that allow them to work with their hands or tools to get a job done, rather than thinking or talking about it. They may also gravitate towards jobs with opportunities for working outdoors, competition, and risk-taking. Examples include police officers, military officers, professional athletes, farmers, builders, mechanics, forest rangers, and woodworkers.

  • High Enterprising interests: People with strong Enterprising interests are often skilled communicators and enjoy influencing, persuading, and leading other people. They actively pursue leadership roles and opportunities to bolster their status and reputation. Examples include sales and marketing directors, politicians and political organizers, and executives.

  • Average Conventional interests: People with strong Conventional interests excel in roles that require categorizing, planning, and systematizing information and processes. Examples include financial officers, budget analysts, office managers, database analysts, and systems administrators.

  • Average Investigative interests: People with strong Investigative interests prefer roles that require observation, researching, and understanding ideas. They tend to prefer working with data and ideas rather than working closely with other people. Examples include medical researchers, chemists, software engineers, scientific reporters, and statisticians.

  • Average Social interests: People with strong Social interests fit well with careers that involve helping, comforting, caring for, and teaching other people. Examples include physical therapists, counselors, clergy, social workers, doctors, and nurses.

  • Low Artistic interests: People with strong Artistic interests prefer jobs that require innovation through artistic and intuitive skills in less structured tasks and environments. Examples include artists, novelists, actors or actresses, musicians, curators, and designers.

However, it’s possible to find ESTPs at any point on any of these six dimensions. While most ESTPs have relatively low Artistic interests, there are still a few ESTPs who score very highly on them. This wide range in interests highlights the problem of using broad personality types to find good career matches.

For a more precise assessment of your unique combination of personality traits, career interests, and much more, try the assessments here at TraitLab.

Most ESTPs have intense Realistic interests, which fit well with roles with opportunities to work with their hands or machinery, work outdoors, and take risks.

Many ESTPs also have strong Enterprising interests, pulling them towards roles with heavy demands for persuading, leading, and managing others.

Other ESTPs tend to lean into Conventional interests, meaning they will gravitate towards roles requiring organization, systems, and well-defined procedures.

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ESTP Career Matches

People who work in the following 20 occupations tend to have similar interests to most ESTPs:

Commercial Pilot

Also known as Captain, Charter Pilot, Check Airman, Chief Pilot, Commercial Pilot, EMS Helicopter Pilot (Emergency Medical Service Helicopter Pilot), First Officer, Helicopter Pilot, Line Pilot, Pilot

Commercial Pilots pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing aircraft on nonscheduled air carrier routes, or helicopters. In addition, Commercial Pilots

  • requires Commercial Pilot certificate,
  • includes charter pilots with similar certification, and air ambulance and air tour pilots, and
  • excludes regional, national, and international airline pilots. * excludes regional, national, and international airline pilots,

Typical pay range: $47,570 - $200,920 (annual)

Learn more about Commercial Pilots ->

Ship Engineer

Also known as Assistant Engineer, Barge Engineer, Chief Engineer, Engineer, Ferry Engineer, Harbor Engineer, Port Engineer, Towboat Engineer, Tug Boat Engineer, Tugboat Engineer

Ship Engineers supervise and coordinate activities of crew engaged in operating and maintaining engines, boilers, deck machinery, and electrical, sanitary, and refrigeration equipment aboard ship.

Typical pay range: $43,440 - $131,570 (annual)

Learn more about Ship Engineers ->

Patrol Officer

Also known as Law Enforcement Officer, Patrol Man, Patrol Officer, Patrolman, Police Captain, Police Patrol Officer, Police Specialist, Railroad Police, Railroad Police Officer, Transit Police Officer

Patrol Officers protect and police railroad and transit property, employees, or passengers.

Typical pay range: $44,520 - $99,050 (annual)

Learn more about Patrol Officers ->

Sales Engineer

Also known as Product Sales Engineer; Sales Engineer; Sales Engineer, Account Manager; Sales Engineer, Engineered Products; Senior Sales Engineer; Technical Sales Engineer

Sales Engineers sell business goods or services, the selling of which requires a technical background equivalent to a baccalaureate degree in engineering.

Typical pay range: $60,730 - $184,190 (annual)

Learn more about Sales Engineers ->

Motorboat Operator

Also known as Boat Operator, Charter Boat Operator, Crew Boat Operator, Launch Operator, Launchman, Pilot Boat Operator, Water Taxi Operator

Motorboat Operators operate small motor-driven boats. They also may assist in navigational activities.

Typical pay range: $27,820 - $77,630 (annual)

Learn more about Motorboat Operators ->

Fire Chief

Also known as Battalion Fire Chief, Engine Boss, Fire Battalion Chief, Fire Captain, Fire Chief, Fire Management Officer, Fire Marshal, Fire Suppression Captain, Forest Fire Specialist Supervisor, Section Forest Fire Warden

Fire Chiefs directly supervise and coordinate activities of workers engaged in firefighting and fire prevention and control.

Typical pay range: $43,640 - $129,470 (annual)

Learn more about Fire Chiefs ->

Security Guard

Also known as Campus Security Officer, Custom Protection Officer, Customer Service Security Officer, Hotel Security Officer, Loss Prevention Officer, Safety and Security Officer, Security Agent, Security Guard, Security Officer

Security Guards guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules. They also may operate x-ray and metal detector equipment.

Typical pay range: $21,930 - $51,600 (annual)

Learn more about Security Guards ->

Athletics Official

Also known as Basketball Referee, Commissioner of Officials, Director of Officiating, Diving Judge, Horse Show Judge, Major League Baseball Umpire, Referee, Softball Umpire, Sports Official

Athletics Officials officiate at competitive athletic or sporting events. In addition, Athletics Officials

  • detect infractions of rules and decide penalties according to established regulations, and
  • includes all sporting officials, referees, and competition judges.

Typical pay range: $18,750 - $63,480 (annual)

Learn more about Athletics Officials ->

Airfield Operations Specialist

Also known as Airport Operations Coordinator, Airport Operations Officer, Airport Operations Specialist, Flight Follower, Operations Agent, Operations Coordinator

Airfield Operations Specialists ensure the safe takeoff and landing of commercial and military aircraft. They also duties include coordination between air-traffic control and maintenance personnel, dispatching, using airfield landing and navigational aids, implementing airfield safety procedures, monitoring and maintaining flight records, and applying knowledge of weather information.

Typical pay range: $28,660 - $98,770 (annual)

Learn more about Airfield Operations Specialists ->

Bailiff

Also known as Bailiff, Baliff, Court Bailiff, Court Constable, Court Deputy, Court Officer, Court Security Officer, Deputy Bailiff, Deputy Court Services Sheriff, Security Officer

Bailiffs maintain order in courts of law.

Typical pay range: $25,680 - $81,360 (annual)

Learn more about Bailiffs ->

Construction Manager

Also known as Concrete Foreman, Construction Area Manager, Construction Foreman, Construction Manager, Construction Services Manager, Construction Superintendent, Job Superintendent

Construction Managers plan, direct, or coordinate, usually through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities, and systems. In addition, Construction Managers

  • participate in the conceptual development of a construction project and oversee its organization, scheduling, budgeting, and implementation, and
  • includes managers in specialized construction fields, such as carpentry or plumbing.

Typical pay range: $56,880 - $169,070 (annual)

Learn more about Construction Managers ->

Police Officer

Also known as Deputy, Deputy Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff (Generalist)-Bailiff, Law Enforcement Officer, Patrol Officer, Peace Officer, Police Officer, Police Patrol Officer, Public Safety Officer, State Trooper

Police Officers maintain order and protect life and property by enforcing local, tribal, state, or federal laws and ordinances. In addition, Police Officers

  • perform a combination of the following duties: patrol a specific area; direct traffic; issue traffic summonses; investigate accidents; apprehend and arrest suspects, or serve legal processes of courts, and
  • includes police officers working at educational institutions.

Typical pay range: $38,420 - $109,040 (annual)

Learn more about Police Officers ->

Forester

Also known as Area Forester, Chief Unit Forester, Environmental Protection Forester, Fire Prevention Forester, Forest Practices Field Coordinator, Forester, Regional Forester, Resource Forester, Silviculturist, Urban Forester

Foresters manage public and private forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. In addition, Foresters

  • may inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber’s worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement,
  • may determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, water quality, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations, and
  • may devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine optimal harvesting schedules. * may devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine optimal harvesting schedules,

Typical pay range: $42,500 - $93,060 (annual)

Learn more about Foresters ->

Private Investigator

Also known as Asset Protection Detective, Field Investigator, Investigator, Loss Prevention Agent, Loss Prevention Associate, Loss Prevention Detective, Loss Prevention Investigator, Loss Prevention Officer, Private Investigator, Special Investigator

Private Investigators gather, analyze, compile, and report information regarding individuals or organizations to clients, or detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment.

Typical pay range: $31,440 - $96,950 (annual)

Learn more about Private Investigators ->

Detective

Also known as Criminal Investigator, Detective, Detective Sergeant, Fugitive Detective, Fugitive Investigator, Investigator, Narcotics Detective, Narcotics Investigator, Police Detective, Special Agent

Detectives conduct investigations related to suspected violations of federal, state, or local laws to prevent or solve crimes.

Typical pay range: $46,020 - $146,000 (annual)

Learn more about Detectives ->

Construction Manager

Also known as Concrete Foreman, Construction Area Manager, Construction Foreman, Construction Manager, Construction Services Manager, Construction Superintendent, Job Superintendent

Construction Managers plan, direct, or coordinate, usually through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities, and systems. In addition, Construction Managers

  • participate in the conceptual development of a construction project and oversee its organization, scheduling, budgeting, and implementation, and
  • includes managers in specialized construction fields, such as carpentry or plumbing.

Typical pay range: $56,880 - $169,070 (annual)

Learn more about Construction Managers ->

Police Officer

Also known as Deputy, Deputy Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff (Generalist)-Bailiff, Law Enforcement Officer, Patrol Officer, Peace Officer, Police Officer, Police Patrol Officer, Public Safety Officer, State Trooper

Police Officers maintain order and protect life and property by enforcing local, tribal, state, or federal laws and ordinances. In addition, Police Officers

  • perform a combination of the following duties: patrol a specific area; direct traffic; issue traffic summonses; investigate accidents; apprehend and arrest suspects, or serve legal processes of courts, and
  • includes police officers working at educational institutions.

Typical pay range: $38,420 - $109,040 (annual)

Learn more about Police Officers ->

Animal Trainer

Also known as Agility Instructor, Dog Obedience Instructor, Dog Trainer, Guide Dog Instructor, Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI), Guide Dog Trainer, Horse Trainer, Racehorse Trainer, Service Dog Trainer, Trainer

Animal Trainers train animals for riding, harness, security, performance, or obedience, or for assisting persons with disabilities. In addition, Animal Trainers

  • accustom animals to human voice and contact, and condition animals to respond to commands,
  • train animals according to prescribed standards for show or competition, and
  • may train animals to carry pack loads or work as part of pack team.

Typical pay range: $21,550 - $62,040 (annual)

Learn more about Animal Trainers ->

Forestry Support Specialist

Also known as Conservation Officer, Field Laborer, Forest Resource Specialist, Forestry Support Specialist, Geographic Information Systems Coordinator (GIS Coordinator), Park Maintainer, Reforestation Worker, Tree Planter

Forestry Support Specialists under supervision, perform manual labor necessary to develop, maintain, or protect areas such as forests, forested areas, woodlands, wetlands, and rangelands through such activities as raising and transporting seedlings; combating insects, pests, and diseases harmful to plant life; and building structures to control water, erosion, and leaching of soil. They also includes forester aides, seedling pullers, tree planters, and gatherers of nontimber forestry products such as pine straw.

Typical pay range: $23,400 - $48,700 (annual)

Learn more about Forestry Support Specialists ->

Gaming Floor Supervisor

Also known as Casino Manager, Casino Shift Manager (CSM), Casino Supervisor, Floor Supervisor, Gaming Floor Supervisor, Pit Boss, Pit Supervisor, Slot Shift Supervisor, Slot Supervisor, Table Games Supervisor

Gaming Floor Supervisors directly supervise and coordinate activities of workers in assigned gambling areas. In addition, Gaming Floor Supervisors

  • may circulate among tables, observe operations, and ensure that stations and games are covered for each shift,
  • may verify and pay off jackpots,
  • may reset slot machines after payoffs and make repairs or adjustments to slot machines or recommend removal of slot machines for repair, and
  • may plan and organize activities and services for guests in hotels/casinos.

Typical pay range: $28,120 - $74,590 (annual)

Learn more about Gaming Floor Supervisors ->

ESTP Careers to Avoid

Most ESTPs would struggle to enjoy careers that primarily demand Artistic and Social interests. These careers would focus heavily on open-ended creative work and interpersonal caring and helping, leaving little room for ESTPs to do hands-on work or to use their persuasive and leadership strengths.

A few examples of poorer fits include:

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