Occupational satisfaction

The idea of satisfaction is common in many areas of life. People who are more satisfied with something (for example, their job, a friendship, or their college major) are more likely to stay motivated and be more effective.

Occupational satisfaction is the level of satisfaction someone has with their chosen career. The Myers-Briggs Company has measured occupational satisfaction for many years. We measure occupational satisfaction to separate the impact of the organization someone works for (job satisfaction) from the work they do in that job (occupational satisfaction).

Predicted satisfaction and how it works

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken the MBTI assessment and responded to questions about their occupation. These questions include the type of occupation someone does (such as loan counselor) and their level of satisfaction in that occupation.

We use this deep database of MBTI responses to create statistical models that predict satisfaction levels for each occupation. These models calculate the probability of someone being very satisfied, satisfied, somewhat satisfied, or dissatisfied in each occupation based on their personality preferences. This information provides both a sense of how satisfied someone is likely to be in that occupation, and an idea of the uncertainty in the prediction itself. We need to know the level of uncertainty because there are many factors besides personality that influence someone's occupational satisfaction.

Where your predicted satisfaction level is higher than the average for people in the occupation sample, you're likely to find that occupation more satisfying.

Occupational chart graphic
Occupational chart

Note: This data is presented in terms of probabilities—how likely is it that you will be very satisfied, satisfied, somewhat satisfied, or dissatisfied in a particular career. Probabilities add up to 100 (or nearly 100 to allow for rounding). Because these are probabilities rather than certainties, there is no guarantee that you will be satisfied in a particular occupation. However, applying predicted satisfaction levels to career opportunities in this way is an excellent starting point for your career search.

How is it calculated?

Satisfaction predictions were computed for over 330 occupations based on a database of over 560,000 employed adults. In the US, over 900 different or unique occupations are currently recognized. Both the number of occupations we predict and the number of occupations in the US change over time as the world of work changes and evolves.

For each occupation we've made a prediction on, there were at least 200 people in the sample. This means at least 200 people who completed the MBTI assessment, specified their occupation, and indicated their level of satisfaction in that occupation. All the samples that met these criteria were then used to predict occupational satisfaction based on their MBTI results. The level of precision in these predictions varies from occupation to occupation, but the entire distribution of satisfaction probabilities is reported.

Self-selection ratios

The self-selection ratio compares:

the proportion of people that are a given type in an occupation

the proportion of people that are a given type in the general population

Self-selection ratios provide a broad sense of how much each MBTI type is over- or underrepresented in an occupation, compared to the general US population. For example: People with ESFP preferences make up approximately 5% of the US population. If 10% of people in an occupation have ESFP preferences, the self-selection ratio for that occupation would be 2.0. This means ESFPs are twice as common in that occupation than they are in the general population.