What do lawyers, auditors and engineers have in common? It's not the opening of a really bad joke. These professions top the list of INTJ-friendly careers. And along with just about all the suggested careers for INTJs, they require many years of education and killer hours to boot.
So what do you do if college isn't an option? Here are five careers with INTJ written all over them - no college degree required.
As an INTJ, it is unlikely that you have visions of yourself sitting at your kitchen table with a hot cup of Joe, nonchalantly tapping out the latest steamy thriller on your Macbook Pro. You're too analytical and structured to hold such romantic notions. Writing, however, is a great fit for the inquisitive INTJ. You just need to tap into a niche that triggers your creative and inventive function (N), as well as your logical, concise and system-oriented function (TJ). Business writing, technical authorship, copywriting and non-fiction publishing should be right up your street.
Freelancing is a good option for escaping the 9-5 grind, and INTJs earn more, on average, when self-employed. The minimal repetitive work associated with this career is appealing, too. No formal education is necessary to launch a career as a freelance writer, and the average salary comes in at around $65,000 per year.
Digital Marketing Strategist
Digital marketing strategists are progressive yet detail-oriented thinkers who use market research, SEO analytics, consumer psychology and big data to improve a company's online presence. Their job is to identify what customers want and need, and to define a strategy for satisfying those unmet needs that a company's creative team can then work with to drive business growth. As such, a digital marketing strategist needs foresight, intuition and the ability to generate competition-beating ideas based upon the smallest pieces of statistical evidence. The job description could have been written for an INTJ.
This career is a good choice for the education-light INTJ as there are no barriers to entry. Any self-taught person with a good grasp of digital marketing strategies can potentially get a position in a company. One thing you will need, however, is a strong personal brand - you'll struggle to convince a company that you can raise their visibility if you haven't managed to raise your own. Once employed, the average salary comes in at a very respectable $79,508 per year.
Airline pilots need at least a bachelor's degree to get off the runway. A commercial pilot, on the other hand, can take off with just a high school diploma. The only difference is that instead of transporting people, you'll fly aircraft for other reasons such as firefighting, rescue operations, crop dusting and aerial photography.
For an INTJ who enjoys the sensation of flight, this career is a good option. There's a lot of things to learn - weather technology, radar, aerodynamics, aircraft maintenance, instrument panel visualization, VOR and tower controls, to name just a few. You must be able to think on your feet and quickly spot signs of trouble as mistakes in flight can be costly. This can be very satisfying for an INTJ.
On the downside, you'll have to put up with a lot of rules. Aviation, by necessity, is a heavily regulated industry. You'll also need to spend a lot of time in the sky - at least 40 hours with a certified flight instructor to get your pilot's license, then another 250 hours to get a commercial pilot's license. The investment can pay off, however, with the average salary clocking in at $82,430 per year.
Unless you choose to work in an uber-cool collaborative office (hello Googleplex), life as a web developer means you won't have to deal with people right in front of you. The majority of the work is remote. You spend your time solving problems and working on process improvements in relative isolation. For the autodidactic and introverted INTJ, it's like working in your own intellectual bubble - just you versus the code.
The average salary is $68,670 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hop over to Silicon Valley and the salary can easily top six figures.
Power Line Installer
New housing developments and business parks require new power grids. It makes sense that an analytical and investigative personality type, like the INTJ, is a great fit for installing and maintaining them. If you're practically minded, this career plays right to your strengths. It demands troubleshooting skills (establishing the causes of operating errors and figuring out what to do about them), critical thinking skills (using logic to weigh up a number of alternative approaches to problems) and complex problem solving (reviewing data to develop options and implement solutions). It is also one of the few engineering jobs where you can work alone and largely unseen - although the combined elements of height and high voltage electricity may be a greater risk than some cautious INTJs can handle.
The starting point is an apprenticeship which typically lasts up to five years, but you don't need a college education. Demand is set to grow by 13.7% by 2024 according to Kiplinger, which makes power line installation one of America's fastest growing jobs. The salary is pretty desirable too, coming in at an average $64,990 per year.