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Jobs, Careers and Occupational Trends by MBTI Preferences

Posted 27 September 2016 by
Melissa, MBTI Marketing Manager
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Before we get into this post, keep in mind that this information shows trends and in no way implies which careers anyone should or should not pursue based on MBTI® type. While knowing your MBTI preferences can help you identify your strengths and unique gifts, that doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy a career that’s not popular with, or commonly associated with, your MBTI type.

The more self-aware you are and the better you understand yourself, the better your decisions will be in all parts of your life, not just in your career path and MBTI type information isn’t the only useful source of information about your career. You should also think about things like your skills, your interests, how you like to workwhat motivates you, what inspires you, and your values, as well as factors such as the current economy, what jobs are available in your area, personal and professional growth potential, and if there are specific requirements for pursuing a particular career.

Also remember that to get the most accurate MBTI personality type, you should take the real MBTI assessment—either on or through an MBTI® certified professional. Unfortunately, there are a lot of knock-off personality tests out there, and (as with anything free or counterfeit) you get what you pay for—which could include wrong results, no verification of your true type, and no research to back up the reliability or validity of your results.

Before we start, do you know the difference between a job, an occupation and a career? A job usually refers to a particular place where a person is employed, such as Boeing. What job you do can be part of your occupation, for example your job could be to mow lawns as part of your occupation as a botanical specialist. An occupation (also known as a profession or vocation) on the other hand refers to a specific title, such as engineer or dentist. Lastly, a career specifically refers to an occupation followed as your life work or phase of your life. Often these terms and used interchangeably, but it’s good to know what the meanings actually are.

Take a look below at what one of our MBTI certification experts, Michael, had to say about his experience with MBTI type and his own occupations and career career:

“I think a lot about my own career and my MBTI preferences, and I report a preference for Introversion. I’ve had many different roles at my current company, but my favorite role so far is my current one where I talk and interact with people most of the time as an MBTI® Certification Trainer. Someone might say this is not a good “fit” for my preference for Introversion. But I feel like I’m doing the best work I have ever done in my 24 years with my company in this role. Sure, I need quiet downtime in between programs. However, by the middle of the next week, I’m actually missing being in front of a group sharing this amazing tool. I know that my main driver (in MBTI type terms) is NF (the middle two letters of my MBTI type). And for me, my current role fulfills that need to help people in a wonderful way. Also when you’re thinking about your MBTI type and potential careers or career changes, remember that our preferences don’t necessarily equal our skills. Someone might prefer to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl, but if they had a voice like mine, it would not go over too well.”

We asked our research department to help us find some trends among MBTI preferences over the past decade, and they came back with some really interesting data we wanted to share. Below are some interesting trends we found about people (1.4 million people who’ve taken the MBTI assessment between 2004-2016, to be exact) with certain MBTI preferences in different occupational categories. Originally we wanted to look at specific job titles, but with over 900 job titles in the database it made more sense to look at occupational categories (of which there are 23) of individuals instead of their job titles.

Occupations with highest number of people with extraverted preferences

Sales & related – 71%

Management – 60%

Personal care & personal service – 60%

Occupations with highest number of people with introverted preferences

Architecture & Engineering – 51%

Military specific occupations – 51%

Computer & mathematical occupations – 52%

Life, physical & social sciences – 52%

Occupations with highest number of people with sensing preferences

Protective services – 78%

Production occupations – 77%

Installation, maintenance & repair occupations – 77%

Occupations with highest number of people with intuitive preferences

Art, design, entertainment, sports & media – 64%

Life, physical & social sciences – 50%

Community & social services – 47%

Education, training & library occupations – 47%

Occupations with highest number of people with thinking preferences

Architecture & engineering – 82%

Installation, maintenance & repair occupations – 78%

Production occupations – 76%

Occupations with highest number of people with feeling preferences

Personal care & personal service – 60%

Office & administrative support – 55%

Healthcare support occupations – 54%

Occupations with highest number of people with judging preferences

Production occupations – 65%

Architecture & engineering – 64%

Business & financial operations – 63%

Healthcare practitioner and technical occupations – 63%

Occupations with highest number of people with perceiving preferences

Art, design, entertainment, sports & media – 50%

Food preparation & food service – 49%

Personal care & personal service – 46%

Military specific occupations – 46%