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ISTJ Career Interests, Career Matches, and Careers to Avoid

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

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

Table of Contents

ISTJ Career Interests

The chart below shows where ISTJs 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 ISTJs are most likely to fall on each dimension.

ISTJs and RIASEC career interests
Patterns of career interests among ISTJs

Most ISTJs tend to have the following pattern of interests:

  • High 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 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.

  • 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.

  • Low 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 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.

  • 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 ISTJs at any point on any of these six dimensions. While most ISTJs have relatively low Artistic interests, there are still a few ISTJs who score very highly on them. This is one of the limitations to using MBTI personality types for career matching. Alternatively, you can find a more precise assessment of your unique combination of personality traits, strengths, career interests, and more here at TraitLab.

Most ISTJs have intense Conventional interests, meaning they will gravitate towards roles with opportunities to organize, systematize, and develop procedures.

Many ISTJs also have strong Realistic interests, pulling them towards roles that involve working with their hands, tools, or machinery.

Some ISTJs have relatively higher Investigative interests, pulling them towards roles requiring for analysis, research, and working with complex ideas.

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ISTJ Career Matches

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

Network Security Analyst

Also known as Information Security Officer, Information Security Specialist, Information Systems Security Analyst, Information Systems Security Officer (ISSO), Information Technology Security Analyst (IT Security Analyst), Information Technology Specialist, Network Security Analyst, Security Analyst, Systems Analyst

Network Security Analysts plan, implement, upgrade, or monitor security measures for the protection of computer networks and information. In addition, Network Security Analysts

  • assess system vulnerabilities for security risks and propose and implement risk mitigation strategies,
  • may ensure appropriate security controls are in place that will safeguard digital files and vital electronic infrastructure, and
  • may respond to computer security breaches and viruses.

Typical pay range: $60,060 - $163,300 (annual)

Learn more about Network Security Analysts ->

Health And Safety Technician

Also known as Advisory Industrial Hygienist, Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), Construction Safety Consultant, Health and Safety Technician, Industrial Hygiene Consultant, Industrial Hygiene Engineer, Industrial Hygienist, Safety Research Professional

Health And Safety Technicians collect data on work environments for analysis by occupational health and safety specialists. They also implement and conduct evaluation of programs designed to limit chemical, physical, biological, and ergonomic risks to workers.

Typical pay range: $33,330 - $89,780 (annual)

Learn more about Health And Safety Technicians ->

Industrial Safety Engineer

Also known as Health and Safety Specialist, Industrial Hygienist, Industrial Safety Engineer, Product Safety and Standards Engineer, Product Safety Consultant, Product Safety Engineer, Safety and Health Consultant, Safety Engineer, Service Loss Control Consultant, System Safety Engineer

Industrial Safety Engineers promote worksite or product safety by applying knowledge of industrial processes, mechanics, chemistry, psychology, and industrial health and safety laws. They also includes industrial product safety engineers.

Typical pay range: $55,390 - $144,800 (annual)

Learn more about Industrial Safety Engineers ->

Quality Assurance Inspector

Also known as Inspector, QA Auditor (Quality Assurance Auditor), QA Inspector (Quality Assurance Inspector), QA Technican (Quality Assurance Technician), QC Technican (Quality Control Technician), Quality Auditor, Quality Control Inspector (QC Inspector), Quality Inspector, Quality Technican, Test Technician

Quality Assurance Inspectors inspect, test, sort, sample, or weigh nonagricultural raw materials or processed, machined, fabricated, or assembled parts or products for defects, wear, and deviations from specifications. They also may use precision measuring instruments and complex test equipment.

Typical pay range: $26,240 - $68,220 (annual)

Learn more about Quality Assurance Inspectors ->

Pharmacy Technician

Also known as Accredited Pharmacy Technician; Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT); Compounding Technician; Lead Pharmacy Tech, Certified Pharmacy Technician (Lead Pharmacy Tech, CPhT); Lead Pharmacy Technician (Lead Pharmacy Tech); Pharmacy Technician (Pharmacy Tech); Senior Pharmacy Technician; Technician, Inventory Specialist

Pharmacy Technicians prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. They also may measure, mix, count out, label, and record amounts and dosages of medications according to prescription orders.

Typical pay range: $25,400 - $50,430 (annual)

Learn more about Pharmacy Technicians ->

Fire Inspector

Also known as Arson Investigator, Fire and Explosion Investigator, Fire Code Inspector, Fire Inspector, Fire Investigator, Fire Official, Fire Prevention Inspector, Fire Prevention Specialist, Fire Protection Specialist, Fire Safety Inspector

Fire Inspectors inspect buildings to detect fire hazards and enforce local ordinances and state laws, or investigate and gather facts to determine cause of fires and explosions.

Typical pay range: $39,860 - $100,780 (annual)

Learn more about Fire Inspectors ->

Medical Transcriptionist

Also known as Clinical Medical Transcriptionist, Documentation Specialist, Medical Language Specialist, Medical Transcriber, Medical Transcription, Medical Transcriptionist, Radiology Transcriptionist, Transcriptionist

Medical Transcriptionists transcribe medical reports recorded by physicians and other healthcare practitioners using various electronic devices, covering office visits, emergency room visits, diagnostic imaging studies, operations, chart reviews, and final summaries. In addition, Medical Transcriptionists

  • transcribe dictated reports and translate abbreviations into fully understandable form, and
  • edit as necessary and return reports in either printed or electronic form for review and signature, or correction.

Typical pay range: $21,790 - $55,220 (annual)

Learn more about Medical Transcriptionists ->

Geospatial Analyst

Also known as Aerotriangulation Specialist, Engineering Technician, Geospatial Analyst, Mapping Editor, Mapping Technician, Photogrammetric Compilation Specialist, Photogrammetric Technician, Stereoplotter Operator, Survey Technician, Tax Map Technician

Geospatial Analysts perform surveying and mapping duties, usually under the direction of an engineer, surveyor, cartographer, or photogrammetrist, to obtain data used for construction, mapmaking, boundary location, mining, or other purposes. In addition, Geospatial Analysts

  • may calculate mapmaking information and create maps from source data, such as surveying notes, aerial photography, satellite data, or other maps to show topographical features, political boundaries, and other features, and
  • may verify accuracy and completeness of maps.

Typical pay range: $29,110 - $77,480 (annual)

Learn more about Geospatial Analysts ->


Also known as Lab Liaison Technician, Mobile Examiner, Patient Service Technician (PST), Phlebotomist, Phlebotomy Technician, Registered Phlebotomist

Phlebotomists draw blood for tests, transfusions, donations, or research. They also may explain the procedure to patients and assist in the recovery of patients with adverse reactions.

Typical pay range: $26,690 - $50,740 (annual)

Learn more about Phlebotomists ->

Civil Engineering Technician

Also known as Civil Designer, Civil Engineering Assistant, Civil Engineering Technician, Design Technician, Engineer Technician, Engineering Assistant, Engineering Technician, Transportation Engineering Technician

Civil Engineering Technicians apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.

Typical pay range: $34,230 - $82,960 (annual)

Learn more about Civil Engineering Technicians ->

Computer Systems Analyst

Also known as Applications Analyst, Business Systems Analyst, Computer Analyst, Computer Systems Analyst, Computer Systems Consultant, Information Systems Analyst (ISA), Information Technology Analyst (IT Analyst), System Analyst, Systems Analyst

Computer Systems Analysts analyze science, engineering, business, and other data processing problems to develop and implement solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. In addition, Computer Systems Analysts

  • perform systems management and integration functions, improve existing computer systems, and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and schedule limitations, and
  • may analyze or recommend commercially available software.

Typical pay range: $56,510 - $152,060 (annual)

Learn more about Computer Systems Analysts ->

Geological Technician

Also known as Core Inspector, Environmental Field Services Technician, Environmental Sampling Technician, Geological E-Logger, Geological Technician, Geoscience Technician, Geotechnician, Materials Technician, Physical Science Technician, Soils Technician

Geological Technicians assist scientists or engineers in the use of electronic, sonic, or nuclear measuring instruments in laboratory, exploration, and production activities to obtain data indicating resources such as metallic ore, minerals, gas, coal, or petroleum. In addition, Geological Technicians

  • analyze mud and drill cuttings, and
  • chart pressure, temperature, and other characteristics of wells or bore holes.

Typical pay range: $28,210 - $109,300 (annual)

Learn more about Geological Technicians ->

Software Test Engineer

Also known as Application Integration Engineer, Computer Consultant, Information Technology Analyst (IT Analyst), Product Assurance Engineer, Quality Assurance Analyst (QA Analyst), Software Quality Assurance Engineer (SQA Engineer), Software Quality Engineer, Software Test Engineer, Systems Engineer, Test Engineer

Software Test Engineers develop and execute software tests to identify software problems and their causes. In addition, Software Test Engineers

  • test system modifications to prepare for implementation,
  • document software and application defects using a bug tracking system and report defects to software or web developers,
  • create and maintain databases of known defects, and
  • may participate in software design reviews to provide input on functional requirements, operational characteristics, product designs, and schedules.

Typical pay range: $65,210 - $170,100 (annual)

Learn more about Software Test Engineers ->

Building Inspector

Also known as Building Inspection Engineer, Building Inspector, Building Official, Code Enforcement Officer, Combination Building Inspector, Construction Inspector, Elevator Inspector, Home Inspector, Plumbing Inspector, Public Works Inspector

Building Inspectors inspect structures using engineering skills to determine structural soundness and compliance with specifications, building codes, and other regulations. They also inspections may be general in nature or may be limited to a specific area, such as electrical systems or plumbing.

Typical pay range: $37,850 - $101,170 (annual)

Learn more about Building Inspectors ->

Audio Engineer

Also known as Audio Engineer, Board Operator, Broadcast Engineer, Broadcast Maintenance Engineer, Broadcast Operations Engineer, Broadcast Technician, Control Operator, Production Engineer

Audio Engineers set up, operate, and maintain the electronic equipment used to acquire, edit, and transmit audio and video for radio or television programs. In addition, Audio Engineers

  • control and adjust incoming and outgoing broadcast signals to regulate sound volume, signal strength, and signal clarity, and
  • operate satellite, microwave, or other transmitter equipment to broadcast radio or television programs.

Typical pay range: $21,570 - $83,620 (annual)

Learn more about Audio Engineers ->

Food Science Technician

Also known as Central Lab Technician (CLT), Food Science Technician, Laboratory Assistant (Lab Assistant), Quality Analyst, Quality Assurance Analyst (QA Analyst), Quality Control Technician (QC Technician), Quality Technician

Food Science Technicians work with food scientists or technologists to perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products. They also includes technicians who assist in research and development of production technology, quality control, packaging, processing, and use of foods.

Typical pay range: $28,650 - $66,620 (annual)

Learn more about Food Science Technicians ->

Commuter Pilot

Also known as Airline Captain, Airline Pilot, Airline Pilot (Captain), Airline Transport Pilot, Captain, Check Airman, Co-Pilot, Commuter Pilot, First Officer, Pilot

Commuter Pilots pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing aircraft, usually on scheduled air carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo. In addition, Commuter Pilots

  • requires Federal Air Transport certificate and rating for specific aircraft type used, and
  • includes regional, national, and international airline pilots and flight instructors of airline pilots.

Typical pay range: $80,920 - $208,000+ (annual)

Learn more about Commuter Pilots ->

Field Service Technician

Also known as ATM Technician (Automated Teller Machine Technician), Computer Repair Technician, Computer Technician, Copier Technician, Customer Service Engineer, Field Engineer, Field Service Engineer, Field Service Technician, Field Technician, Service Technician

Field Service Technicians repair, maintain, or install computers, word processing systems, automated teller machines, and electronic office machines, such as duplicating and fax machines.

Typical pay range: $27,140 - $64,630 (annual)

Learn more about Field Service Technicians ->

Nuclear Technician

Also known as Auxiliary Operator, Equipment Operator, Licensed Nuclear Operator, Non-Licensed Nuclear Equipment Operator (NLO), Non-Licensed Nuclear Plant Operator (NLO), Nuclear Auxiliary Operator, Nuclear Equipment Operator (NEO), Nuclear Plant Equipment Operator (NAPEO), Operations Technician, Systems Operator

Nuclear Technicians assist nuclear physicists, nuclear engineers, or other scientists in laboratory, power generation, or electricity production activities. In addition, Nuclear Technicians

  • may operate, maintain, or provide quality control for nuclear testing and research equipment, and
  • may monitor radiation.

Typical pay range: $53,570 - $116,680 (annual)

Learn more about Nuclear Technicians ->

Biological Technician

Also known as Biological Science Laboratory Technician, Biological Science Technician, Biological Technician, Laboratory Technician, Marine Fisheries Technician, Research Assistant, Research Associate, Research Specialist, Research Technician, Wildlife Biology Technician

Biological Technicians assist biological and medical scientists. In addition, Biological Technicians

  • set up, operate, and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment, monitor experiments, collect data and samples, make observations, and calculate and record results, and
  • may analyze organic substances, such as blood, food, and drugs.

Typical pay range: $30,440 - $74,600 (annual)

Learn more about Biological Technicians ->

ISTJ Careers to Avoid

Most ISTJs would struggle to enjoy careers that consistently demand Artistic and Enterprising interests. These careers would involve more open-ended creative work, management, and leadership in relatively unstructured environments.

A few examples include:

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