Believe it or Not, Your Personality Type Can Predict How Much You’ll Earn, How Far You’ll Rise, and Whether You’ll Love Your Job

A recent infographic from Career Assessment Site showed that the size of your salary might have a lot to do with your personality type. In terms of household income, ENTJs came out on top, while INFPs came in dead last. The graphic sparked our interest, but we wanted to know more. And so we decided to do our own study, using the TypeFinder Research Edition, a free online personality assessment based on the theory developed by Isabel Briggs Myers.

In all, about 12,000 people participated, sharing salient details like their income, their age, and how many people they supervise at work. We took this data and correlated it with our volunteers’ personality test results to see what trends, if any, we could uncover.

Do you have a guess about what we found? Can your personality type really predict how much you earn? How far up the career ladder you’ll climb? Or even how satisfied you’ll be with your job?

Read the full text of the Personality Type and Career Achievement study.

In a word, yes. When we analyzed the data for all 16 personality types, we found drastic differences in everything from income to job satisfaction to number of employees a person manages on the job.

Let’s start with earnings, since we know that’s foremost in everyone’s minds. The results are striking. When we looked at average income by type, we found that the highest-earning types had an average income of over twice that of the lowest-earning types. While the average ESTJ was earning upwards of $75,000 a year, the average ISFP was earning just under $30,000.

The types with the highest income, by a fair margin, were ESTJ and ENTJ. Bringing up the rear were the ISFPs, ISTPs, INTPs, and INFPs. It’s not easy being Introverted, especially if you’re also a Perceiver.

personality type and average income

Note: Our sample included very few SP types. This is to be expected; SP types generally don’t spend much time online exploring their personalities. To create a more representative graph we grouped together ISFPs/ISTPs, and ESFPs/ESTPs.

To look at this another way, let’s compare the income brackets of the ESTJs who responded to our survey, versus the INTPs. For this analysis, we excluded respondents who were under the age of 21 to increase the odds that we were including only people who were fully participating in the workforce.

average income of ESTJ vs. INTP

As you can see, large chunks of the INTP sample earned either no income at all, or under $15,000 a year. These low-earning categories are mere slivers in the ESTJ sample. In fact, over half the INTPs made $30,000 a year or less. The ESTJ graph, on the other hand, looks quite a bit more prosperous.

We wondered if this data might be affected by the different types’ tendency to pursue further education. We often think of the INTP as an absentminded professor type—so what if all the INTPs in our sample weren’t earning much because they were busy getting PhDs? To check in on this, we eliminated respondents who said they were students, and ran the numbers again. They hardly changed. So it seems that INTPs aren’t under-earning simply because they’re staying in school.

There are a few other interesting trends to take note of here. First, the top three types in earnings are Thinking types. This isn’t a huge surprise, given that Thinking types tend to be more competitive, and also more motivated by money in making choices in their careers. Feeling types are more likely to choose a career that’s consistent with their personal values, whether or not it has a lot of income potential.

But it’s not just Thinkers that have an income advantage. We found that all four of the dimensions of personality showed an income differential. Extraverts earn more than Introverts; Sensors earn more than Intuitives; Thinkers earn more than Feelers; and Judgers earn more than Perceivers.

personality type preferences and average income

So why do Extraverts earn more than Introverts? We wondered if perhaps this is because Extraverts might be more interested in managing people, and thus more likely to take on positions of leadership—which are, coincidentally, higher paying. Luckily, we’d also asked our respondents about their management responsibility at work, so we could easily run the numbers and see if this might account for the difference.

personality type and employees managed

And in fact, it did. Extraverts were significantly more likely to be in a supervisory or managerial role, and they were also much more likely to say they were in charge of overseeing large teams of 20+ employees. So it’s not necessarily that Introverts aren’t in career paths that have earning potential, but that perhaps they don’t seek out the higher-profile jobs that really rake in the cash.

Less surprising is the income differential between Judgers and Perceivers. Judgers are organized, structured, and responsible. They are persistent and resist impulses and distractions. They are thus more likely to put in the hard, sustained work required for career success. Perceivers, on the other hand, tend to be more loose, spontaneous and freewheeling.

However, we shouldn’t assume that Perceivers simply can’t make it happen when it comes to their careers. Perceivers tend to value flexibility and fun, and are often more protective of their leisure time than are Judgers. It’s entirely possible that Perceivers have no less innate earning power, but have made tradeoffs in their careers that allow them to spend less time grinding away at the office and more time enjoying life.

But that’s not quite right, when you take a closer look. Because although Judgers may be putting in more work, they also seem like maybe they’re actually enjoying it. When asked how satisfied they are with their jobs, Judgers give their jobs higher ratings than Perceivers.

What about the other three dimensions? Do they correlate with job satisfaction as well? In fact, they do.

personality type and average income

For almost all of the dimensions, the preference with the higher average income is also the more satisfied. However, interestingly, this isn’t the case for the Thinking/Feeling dimension. Although Thinkers earn more on average, Feelers are more satisfied with their jobs. We suspect this speaks again to the Feeling tendency to choose a job based on values and purpose. It may not be the path to riches, but it appears to be a more likely path to fulfillment.

Curious which personality types are most satisfied with their jobs? Here are the average satisfaction ratings by personality type. Again, the differences are striking: ESFJs are nearly twice as satisfied with their jobs as are ISFPs.

personality type and average income

It’s interesting to note that while the income powerhouse ESTJs and ENTJs are also pretty high in job satisfaction, they’re outranked by several Feeling types when it comes to being satisfied with what they do. So there you have it: yet another morsel of proof that money doesn’t buy happiness.

In our next post, we’ll dive deeper into the job satisfaction of each of the types, and explore why it is that ESFJs are so gosh-darn happy at work. Stay tuned!

Molly Owens

Molly Owens is the founder and CEO of Truity. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and holds a master's degree in counseling psychology. Since 2006, she has specialized in helping individuals and organizations utilize personality assessments to develop their potential.

In 2012, Molly founded Truity with a mission to make robust, scientifically validated personality assessments accessible to everyone who may benefit from them.

Molly is an ENTP and lives in San Francisco, where she enjoys elaborate cooking projects, murder mysteries, and racing toy cars with her son.

Comments

shiva1005 says...

I don't agree with this at all - this information seems quite dated. I say that because the salaries seem fairly low. Why doesn't the graph go any higher than 80k? My income is higher than the highest income stated and I'm an INTP. I work in scientific computing - there are similar personality types where I work and many of them make more than I do. Biological Research (my area) can be a low paying field. Pharma pays a great deal more. I would imagine you would find a few INTPs in Pharma and their salaries would be off the chart as well - over 100K easily. You would think that an INTP (if the personality analysis is correct) would be more than capable of finding a job that utilizes their talents and pays well. It would be illogical to stay in a sub-optimal position for very long - assuming one has choices. Even where choices are few if one is clever one can always find a way. If I didn't know better I'd say this article is a subtle attempt to drum up income for this site - create a little insecurity so we'll purchase some insight.

Molly Owens says...

Thanks for your comment and some ideas where INTPs might make solid salaries!

We collected this data at the beginning of this year. One reason that average earnings are on the low side is that overall, visitors to our site tend to be young. Our biggest age bracket was people in their twenties. Average salaries did increase if we analyzed people in their 30's and above, but the trends between personality types held steady.

Although making people feel bad about themselves is definitely one business model (witness the diet pill industry), we'd rather help people to appreciate their individuality and recognize their individual gifts. If you're interested, you can read our full analysis of the data for our thoughts on how all types can benefit from what we learned.

Guest (INTP) (not verified) says...

I've read in several sources that INTPs often take longer than other personality types to get their lives in order, especially with respect to careers. If your sample size skews young then it is not surprising to hear that INTPs earning potential is underrepresented.

Of course if my current job search is any indication, INTPs have nothing valuable to contribute to this world. Then again, I'm 27...

Guest (not verified) says...

INTPs have made numerous scientific breakthroughs. INTPs are geniuses like Albert Einstein. How do they not contribute anything? That's very close-minded.

Guest (not verified) says...

Nothing anybody is really willing to place a dollar value on, apparently.

Stephen (INTx) (not verified) says...

Einstein may be the poster boy for why INTPs don't make as much. Look at his career. One of the most celebrated minds in the last few centuries, and he took (and kept) a job in a patent office because it paid enough to cover his bills and the duties weren't very demanding. This allowed him the time to develop relativity.

As long as he was making enough and had time to follow his muse, he was satisfied with a job that barely used his talents. I suspect this is a state common to many INTPs.

Ally9889 (not verified) says...

Yes, I agree with this perspective. I'm an INTJ, but my dad is an INTP, and while he has always done well professionally, he doesn't find much 'joy' in his job. However, he is somewhat lazy, which is also the same with 2 other INTPs I know. I think another reason for the low earnings is because they often avoid management positions as well. My dad is a Vice President, but he doesn't actually lead anyone, that is just his title... INTPs (or at least the ones I know) also don't seem to want or need a lot of recognition from others, and a high salary may not be important to them. I don't think its valid to just look at the numbers, because salary doesn't measure success. The SJ society does not think someone is successful unless their idea has been confirmed by the rest of society which most likely would happen at an older age.

Guest (not verified) says...

well, I'm guessing most INTP's are smart enough to do their own tax returns and I'm just wondering if they are really reporting all their income. they also tend to be self employed more and you know that not everything's going to end up being reported. I'm sure there's a lot of cash earnings as well and I think intps game the system better than almost anyone. finally, I've had many estjs work for over the years and every one of them inflated their income when they spoke to other people. they drove high status vehicles but actually had no money in the bank and many were declaring bankruptcy and I'm not exaggerating. I wonder how many Intps declare bankruptcy compared to estjs. total money management is much more important then income

Guest (not verified) says...

An INTP would say this, because I'm an INTP and I thought the exact same thing.

Bob (INTP) (not verified) says...

Sounds like a lot of defensive INTPs. I, too, am an INTP but have remained in a much lower paying position and career primarily due to more valuable family goals. I'm 48 and have an MBA, but have only been making about $75,000 annually for the paste several years. I don't enjoy my job because it offers very little mental stimulation. I work with many knuckle-dragging extroverts who could care less about mental stimulation - only image. I remain where I am because my highest priority is keeping my children on a solid path with their academics and stable friendships. I used to work in far more stimulating environments and was responsible for divisions of more than 300 people. The jobs required an average of relocating every other year. I now supervise no one, but am guaranteed not to relocate. My complete lack of job satisfaction is overridden by my higher value of raising capable well-adjusted children who have a solid sense of "home."

Yes, kids can grow up well-adjusted even if they have to move constantly. My wife and I just didn't believe that would turn out best for our kids. They have solid friendships and are eager to bust out into the world on their own now and do their own exploring. As soon as my kids are out of the house I'll be busting out of my current job and pursuing something much more INTP appropriate.

ameliaruby says...

Nuckle dragging extraverts?!? Woah! They're people too, you know. Many Extraverts are smart people too, in fact most of them are smart enough not to say stuff like that. As an introvert, I do sometimes find E's annoying, but as it turns out they find us pessimistic and cocky. Funny how things turn out!

JosephV (not verified) says...

Regrettably, I agreed with the knuckle dragging introvert statement myself. I work in an office, with seemingly most, who are extroverted, spending valuable time, chit chatting about the most mundane things- kill me now. This time, wasted, that's better spent say navigating around Cape Horn in a full masted tall ship! *sigh* When I've tried to engage, the conversations invariably devolve into circular logic and fuzzy thinking. I find myself dumbing myself down, or simplifying just to complete a conversation. It's torture.

It's said that Ignorance is bliss. I wonder...

Guest ISTJ (not verified) says...

Well....most conversation can't be edited or worded as eloquently as we can write it (even when ppl THINK they sound brilliant). I think MOST people dumb themselves down when it comes to small talking because they don't want to bombard each other with brain busting conversation ON TOP of all the work they are already trying to avoid. When people are talking about the kids or the new recipe they tried or something that stood out to them in the news, they often are simply trying to remind themselves that they aren't alone on this planet...nor are they alone in their need for a break from thinking. I kind of envy how extroverts aren't afraid to look dumb and speak their minds. When some introvert thinks they singlehandedly came up with a brilliant idea, it probably came on the coattails of hearing an extrovert get it wrong when taking the first crack at conceptualizing a solution out loud. One thing I have never liked about introversion is constantly feeling the need to edit and verify my thoughts. "I" could almost stand for "Insecure" as much as "Introvert". Strength and weakness can be found in all types so I think its wise to respect differences than condemn them or you limit what u can learn from them.

Guest (not verified) says...

I don't know what's wrong with you guys with the Extraverts! I mean like what has been explored and studied, you turn it oppositely and make the one who reads, starting to feel curious about his/her self. And as an ESTJ, well sorry but I don't agree with whatever you guys are arguing about, because from what I know is that INTPs are just not enough to be set as a leadership or something involves controling people or having many responsiblities, they don't have the ability, the prospect, possibility, because they are the ones who prefer their own time alone and not with others they are fine with being by them selves and that's a good think of you think of it positively, on the other hand, we, Extraverts, are more open with people and can handle such things. I mean it says (I)NTP not ENTP. Introverts not Extraverts, so if you have any problem with my comment, go and read as much as you can about yourselves until you make sure that what you are about to say is correct, and not what you think.

Guest-ENFP (low on the F) (not verified) says...

Way to go on your INTP goals.

I totally get "knuckle dragging extroverts" even though I am classified as an extrovert. That Introverted Thinking you have provides a good deal of inner ability to stay in your head in a sort of --closer to Spock-like manner than most extroverts can. Certainly more than most Extroverted Feelers who are driven to connect emotionally.

I find that even if INTPs make quips like you did, the point is there beyond just the judgement. In your classification of how your brain works, it must be difficult to be paired in with people who are driven to seek social instead of driven to fly mentally--inwardly--a whole universe in your head and the world for the taking.

To be true, I'm sure that you've run into Extroverts with high IQs. Just the ones you are around are frustrating.

Way to go for sticking it out at your mind numbing job.

My own INTP parent was absolutely the best as a parent. I'm grateful and thrilled God/luck/chance chose her for me. :)

Extrovert (not verified) says...

Hey, that's a little harsh. Extroversion and Introversion have to do with how people gain/lose energy, not IQ levels. Did you ever stop to think that extroverts find introverts annoying in their own ways? Everybody has ups and downs to their personality and it's not fair to call someone stupid based off of something like that. As an extrovert I have one of the highest GPAs at my highschool; I know plenty of introverts who are at the lowest scale GPA rank and vice-versa. Don't be mean just because you don't understand someone.

KililaTheNeko (not verified) says...

I am a INFJ but I have plenty of smart extrovert friends! I agree. Though I don't think that being introverted or extroverted decides everything in your personality. Just because I prefer to play video games then partay doesn't mean I'm a pessimist. My nickname is "happy pill". Not cuz I'm on drugs, it's cuz my mom is a vet so I am kinda a science know it all.

Extrovert (not verified) says...

Hey, that's a little harsh. Extroversion and Introversion have to do with how people gain/lose energy, not IQ levels. Did you ever stop to think that extroverts find introverts annoying in their own ways? Everybody has ups and downs to their personality and it's not fair to call someone stupid based off of something like that. As an extrovert I have one of the highest GPAs at my highschool; I know plenty of introverts who are at the lowest scale GPA rank and vice-versa. Don't be mean just because you don't understand someone.

Nacho (not verified) says...

The most insightful thing that I have read about INTPs is that the most powerful aspect of their personalities is an overwhelming fear of failure. This holds the INTP back in their professional lives more than anything else. I am an INTP (tested 4 times over 15 years) and I closed my eyes and quietly nodded to myself when I read that. I am working to change this.

Cathy (INTP) (not verified) says...

Well said Bob.

Guest (not verified) says...

I would say, the graph will go much higher than 80k if you line up all incomes for a single personality type... 80k is the average (!). Also, regarding incomes I think, the median income and the distribution are more interesting that the average.
How can somebody with so little knowledge in maths persue a career in scientific computing and earn so much money? Earning is not always synonymous to deserving it seems...

Rossco! (not verified) says...

Thank you for the reassurance!

My father is an INFP...just like me and he owns a business pharmaceutical software company that researches and develops software for clinical trials. i'm a young 20 year old and just getting ready in the world and I came across this article. It also seems that INFPs have all been some of the most famous actors and musicians of all time...including the likes of people like jonny Depp and John Mayer. Just an observation.

Guest (not verified) says...

agree.

Bah Bu Rah (not verified) says...

Your missing the point that most INTPs are not motivated by monetary and security goals like an average ESTJ or ESFJ would.

It's not a knock at the INTPs intelligence because most of them simply lack the motivation to push these goals past their basic needs because to them thats just unnecessary work and takes away from their solitary thinking, which is what they're really motivated to do.

It's similar to the idea that Sensors are at a disadvantage in IQ tests to iNtuitive types so it's not really worth comparing their IQs because it would be an inaccurate representation of intelligence.

brianhatcher31 says...

I'm an ESTJ who had a military father who forced me into an introvertive cocoon from birth. I used to think I was an INFJ, but now know I am ESTJ...thank you very much! I spent 22 years as an Intelligence Analyst, earned my MBA and MAEd degrees as well as business ventures. I find joy in seeing others succeed versus making money for money's sake. I see money as the catalyst to help others succeed, myself and nonprofits included. Just because I say what's on my mind and earn my money-doesn't make me a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal.

Guest-ENFP (low on the F) (not verified) says...

Because INTPs probably really aren't interested in filling out the info..especially if they make the higher salaries. Also, add to that they are more commonly prone to conspiracies and to the love of hibernating from social interaction a bit more than the other temperaments, that probably skews the chart. They are really great at socializing but aren't driven to do it. Matter of fact, I've heard it said "A famous INTP is one who lost his privacy." :) as I understand INTPs, they are devilishly charming in their reserved way and wonderfully expressive, if you are lucky to be in their inner court.
That doesn't mean they aren't inclusive, because I find that they are.

However: please note the "I" on the front of the INTP. Rascally wabbits.

INTP_Rob (not verified) says...

INTP here.  Making $80K.  29 years old. Wasn't that hard, I just was analytical about (a) what are my interests (b) what are my strengths and (c) what does society value and what will it value over the next 5-10 years.  Seems too many INTPs are unwilling to compromise some of their time/brainpower towards financially rewarding efforts...however money (or value in general) is part of this life as we now know it.

Zteff Wong (not verified) says...

Agreed, I am an INTP working as Information Technology Automation Engineer, I can easily earn over 130K USD. 

Mark E (not verified) says...

Hi,
I think the information is pretty accurate. Though, i do believe that some individuality is makes some areas [ie home, family life] not completely correct.
I am a ESTJ...I like an orderly household, but some areas where it stated my type handles things directly, I personally do not. Income brackets listed are fairly accurate for me. Prior to retiring, i made the 6 figure area, but solidly 80K plus. I am a supervisor, I like people to do their jobs, or suffer consequences, but I also like people, staff, to go with the flow and not be so rigid at times. Also, I am not always an extrovert, sometimes, I like to sit back and watch people, and see reactions of their interactions.
All in all, I have taken this test several times, and come out everytime, the ESTJ rating..I am good with it.

I actually did have my staff at my former job, do the test to see how it came out. I was not suprised by the results, after seeing how I rated.

valentino7 says...

This helped me understand why I like and do things and that is kinda cool. Now I know why I despise liars and cheats ,first for me I can sniff you out like a hound but mostly because your not authentic which I hold in high regard.

Guest (not verified) says...

OKAY SERIOUSLY... how are people making that much money? Where are these jobs? I would really like to know. I haven't been able to find much more than $17 an hour. I LOVE my job for $9... I literally have the best job. But I desperately need to make more money and I have no idea how to go about finding a good-paying job.

Guest (not verified) says...

You should go to college. Even a certificate from a junior college can earn you more than that. Check out education.
(by an infj)

Guest (not verified) says...

Hi Guest... I have a bachelor's degree. It's not easy to find work that pays more than $17 an hour.

Etty (not verified) says...

Hello Guest,

Seems you are an ISFP, it may not be easy but you have to think outside the box(and not with your past experiences) cos it's possible to do even 30/hr.

Also, don't seek for empathy when it comes to making money, no complaining or short cut; you will have to develop some intuitiveness and employ your brain to forge ahead.

Finally, if my guess is right and you are a perceiver, remember to change the game (work first before play, ask yourself before you relax, "do I have something work wise to do?") if the answer is no, then go play.
This has helped me develop the grind that Judgers have that makes them deliver timely, thorough results, which leads to more bonuses/reward at work

(I am an INTP, but I notice I get transformed to INTJ at work -tougher)

Guest (not verified) says...

Haha, I am actually an ENFJ with a bachelor's degree in theatre but thanks for assuming. I haven't found any jobs whatsoever that pay more than $17/hr because, I guess I just don't know where to begin to look. I can probably only do entry-level jobs because of the stupid choice I made at age 18 with the degree I picked. I would totally go back to college and get a masters in something else but I already can't pay back the debt I have from going the first time...

Any suggestions guys??? I'm desperate here. This darn college loan debt isn't going ANYWHERE until I can find a decent job that pays more than peanuts.

Guest (ENTJ) (not verified) says...

I've noticed that the "I have a four-year degree and can't find a decent job" crowd tends to be non-TEM (Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). I left out science because, unless you're pre-med, science degrees don't really earn much (biology, chemistry, etc) unless you go to a well-connected grad school that can land you a job with a big chemical or agri-business company.

My guess is that with your degree, the market either does not have much use for it, or the market is over saturated with theater degree holders (which would make sense because theater is very fun and when we're young, we often put aside future benefit for immediate gain).

So 3 obvious options that I see:
1) Start an amateur/production studio. Buy some equipment and find (or write) interesting scripts and bring them to life. Many mediums through which you can accomplish this (youtube is one). It's a very hard and long road but you will be doing what you [probably claim to] love. It may take some time but you could probably quit your day-job and do this instead if you make good business decisions.
2) Go back to school and major in something technical (A lot of people go into information systems/ computer-science related fields who are in your position). It's a 180 from what you've decided to do so far, but you'll be making money. You can learn programming in your free time as well, without needing to go to a big school.
3) Wait for a break. Move somewhere with a good movie/TV production scene and go to every single audition, network with people, try to find an agent, etc.

Those were just the three obvious choices from my perspective. My general experience with theater, art, and music majors is that they aren't actually passionate about theater or art or music, and they simply don't like challenging themselves or helping others. Hopefully you are not like that!

Etty (not verified) says...

Good way to go forward!
Please follow this especially the networking and auditioning part, and don't forget the agent. Get a good one!

Guest (not verified) says...

Also, check into getting your student loans put into income based repayments.

Guest ISTJ (not verified) says...

Money management matters waaaaay more than income. I have 2 brothers who never set foot in a college classroom and both of them have cars that are paid off, one owns a really amazing piece of real estate, they both always keep at least $5k in the bank and neither of them make more than $17 or $18 an hour. One lives in a really expensive house in a nice area in California. Meanwhile, I have 3 degrees (and all the debt to go with them) and I can't believe these guys are doing better than me. Here's their secret they told me:

*Stop spending on stuff you dont need. Ask yourself if you really need that thing you are buying before spending on it.
*Change your habits to less expensive ones (eg: instead of drinks at a club every weekend, join a weekend hiking club or invite people over to yours for drinks instead.)
*Rent a room in someone's mansion instead of stay in your own crummy apartment (one of my brothers is doing that now....his roommate always travels and is never there so he has a whole mansion to himself 3/4 of the year for $600 a month!)
*Stop stacking any new debt. Pay in cash.
*Be minimalistic. Learn to ENJOY reducing the clutter and extra nonsense around you. It can help you feel less overwhelmed with life as a whole as well as save you money.

Yes, you could go to school for something that pays well and come out making way more money, but you could STILL overspend and feel broke (like I totally do right now). Gotta learn how to manage your money or it will never matter how much you make.

Guest (not verified) says...

According to this chart, I should be making over $40,000 on average for the ENFJ. I make less than the ISP on average... one could say this is because I got a slow start and stayed in minimum wage jobs for years since I didn't have to work. I was a stay-at-home-wife primarily with a part-time job. Now my husband left me and in order to succeed in life, I want to have a great job and not only support myself to live but THRIVE. I never thought I'd be in this position but I am now... so I need help deciding what career path to go down.

ameliaruby says...

Ive been wondering that too. I got my first summer job when I was 11 working behind the counter at a coffee shop (Summer's only). When I got older, I started to make more money because I was a loyal and hard working employee.

My only guess is to find a job you like and are successful at. Work hard for a long time, and see if your rates go up.

I'm now in college, and this rule has worked for me my whole life. I kind of have had problems sticking to it. Me being an INTJ makes me always want to change the rules, but I've learned not to. Good luck with you job hunt!!

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm an INFP but I know I have it in me to become successful in the business world! What's written on this page are all facts but don't forget about your inner fire and passion. :) If you really want something, you will find a way and you will do something about it. I have a goal to open my own massage spa/business in the future.

Lyddie (not verified) says...

I'm an INFP, too, and already open my own pizza business. It's at a slow progress at first, but once I found the right employees, my business start to see the light. It's really fun! It's true, we could thrive in any personalities if we keep trying and never give up! :) Now
at business, I tend to be an INFJ owner/boss (a boss that always speaks kindly and politely, of course), but in my personal life, I'm still an INFP.

Guest (not verified) says...

I don't think this is correct...I'm an INFJ and I make $80,000. Most of my friends are inuitives and they end up being successful in the careers of lawyers, doctors, etc.

Guest (not verified) says...

I am an INFJ too and I am stuck in a dead end job. Would you shed some light on the kind of work that you do?

INTPer (not verified) says...

What I don't really get is that INTPs have a very low average income, yet, we are told jobs within computer technology is recommended for us. The average salary for a software engineer is nowhere nearly as low as what the graphs state. So obviously something is wrong, either INTPs earn much more than what the graphs say, or INTPs don't fit into computer technology. PS I'm an INTP and decided on becoming a computer scientist years before I even tried this test because it fit my personality. In general, how come NT (technology) types earn so little, it was to my understanding that Engineers were one of the highest paid jobs, actually I think the degree with the most millionaires is Engineering.
Care to explain?

Guest650 (not verified) says...

Engineers may have higher average starting salaries out of college but people in business/ executive-level positions (and these folks can have science/ art/ humanities/ or other backgrounds), over timer and on the higher end, often have salaries many times those of engineers. I'm in medicine and administrators/ health care execs (who often times are not be MDs) often earn many times more than I or even my surgical colleagues do.

On another note, I just noticed that the bar graph shows AVERAGE rather than MEDIAN salaries. It might have been more instructive to have MEDIAN rather than AVERAGE salaries as the measure since with averages, a small percentage of really high income earners will distort results significantly.

Stephen (INTx) (not verified) says...

It mentions that the INTPs had a large proportion of respondents who had zero income, and another big chunk who had a very low income. Those two results will keep the overall average down.

Why do so many INTPs have low/no incomes? As someone who spent more than a decade working graveyard shifts in convenience store, I would say reduced responsibility and time to do whatever I wanted was more valuable to me than a high income. Later, when I found something I could become fanatical about (computer science) I went and studied that in school and got a higher paying job.

Freedom and opportunity still rank higher to me than income. If I had been pursuing a higher income, I could probably be earning twice what I do now. But I'd be in a more corporate environment with less freedom and more strictly defined responsibilities.

Guest ISTP (not verified) says...

Im ISTP and I love technology... Apparently my type is all hands on mechanics and back-woods explorers like Bear Grylis.
I'm still in school, but am looking for possible career opps.
Could anyone; 1.) EXplain why I would be a ST techno instead of NT and 2.) Suggest a job.

Guest650 (not verified) says...

The income levels are about right as the median income in the US currently is around $50,000. However, I have the same issue as someone who previously commented. I'm an INTJ (tested twice, 15 years apart, in university and then at work, by psychologists) surrounded by a bunch of NTs and at least in my small sample, we all make over $100K. Most of us have graduate degrees though so if you had assessed our incomes in our 20s, it would have been quite low.

One thing I do wonder though is how accurate the MBTI is on an individual level. Since it is self-reported, I feel people can take the test in different ways -- e.g. filling in the answers as they actually feel/ act or aspirationally, i.e. how they want to be seen by themselves or others. It could be that those who are in executive-level positions, regardless of true personality type, fill out their answers according to what they do already so it comes out as ENTJs, often cited as the "field commander" types. Since executive types often make more money, the results end up showing ENTJs as earning more money.

Also, not sure about other people, but at work, the way I act is different from the rest of my life.

jdf8043 says...

It makes sense, really. If a fairly large chunk of INTPs are highly similar to me, it is a struggle to care about one thing long enough to make a career out of it. I've been dating someone I'm pretty sure is an ENTJ (I'll have to make him take a test) for three years, so I think he's rubbed off on me in some ways, as I'm now in my third year of engineering school (which is weird, because I'm 26). Certainly makes sense given the timelines.

Sorry, got off track. We also have the issue of being incredibly stubborn, which doesn't exactly scream "hire me." Most employers prefer to stick to convention, whether it be tradition or one of their own creation; it's a safe business practice. An INTP who is constantly rebelling or failing to hold to a schedule (or get his or her nose brown) just doesn't fit into the plan. This sounds very fight-the-powery, and it's not meant to, but no one wants to hire a person they can't control.

In conclusion: Learn to convincingly fake that personality until you get past the probationary period, fellow INTPs.

Guest (not verified) says...

It is a shame Americans only look at money as the way to gauge their value in society. Europeans make less, live longer, and have 2 months of vacation. Better deal if you ask me.

charlenejallison says...

Agree whole-heartedly...

Guest (not verified) says...

Something you forgot to test about is why INTPs earn so little.

As you said somewhere else if you go to a tech company you're likely to see loads of them and these one earn a lot of money.

The problem with INTPs is not getting a PhD or higher education but to get to the point of entering higher education. School up to high school is awfully boring when you are an INTP. I personally struggled to get any interest and almost failed. Hopefully I managed to do the bare minimum to put my ass at university. It saved me because university was cool.

I suggest that most people in the low bracket for INTPs are people who just found no interest at school, failed, and didn't get any way out. If on top of this you are living in a small town, employment prospect falls to nil. However, if you manage to get entry into the univ while INTP, I think you are very likely to do good. Most tech companies pay a lot and needs this kind of guys to operate. And you don't have a lot to rebel about while in the tech industry since you are mostly free.

Guest (not verified) says...

Hmm, INTP's don't need college... I knew I made the right move

Greta (not verified) says...

About school, that’s SO TRUE! I’m an INTP, and when I was sent to kindergarten, I could read at fifth-grade level (I tested with Lexile what I had been reading back then) and could count, but if I had encountered beginning math books on my own before that, I think I would have been able to learn from them.

I was put in first-grade math, but it wasn’t accelerated, and everything in it was a foregone conclusion, and only second-grade reading, but still was forced to have a year of alphabet lessons and three years of phonics lessons. School was a few minutes of a worksheet with no apparent purpose, followed by waiting many more minutes for everybody else to finish, and the same thing over and over again. Of course I was practically losing my mind with boredom, and continually got in trouble for talking out of turn and various other things one might do when driven crazy. Then I was subjected to corporal punishment, like that was going to fix the problem! Of course it didn’t.

For third grade, my parents switched me to another school. It didn’t have corporal punishment, but it allowed only one year of advancement in a subject. So even though I had gotten perfect grades in reading, I was ordered to take the same reading course over again, with the identical book. I went on strike because that was absurd. The teacher for that class had a giant box of cards, with stories and questions to answer on them, that we could read in our free time. The cards were sorted by grade-level, so I was excited, thinking I’d find something challenging and interesting to read. But the teacher said I had to start at the level of my reading group, the same level that had been much too easy the year before! I worked on those cards at a furious pace at every spare moment, eager to reach the level I needed. I got through at least two-and-a-half grades’ worth before the end of the year, but they were still really easy.

In math, nobody drilled me on times tables or anything like that. I had no idea I was supposed to memorize anything, or even that learning was the point of school in general. Counting to add, adding to multiply, and the like was how I got by, not realizing how it was inefficient and ridiculously bad form, just because school was so mindless.

By the time I got to junior high, I think my brain had started to atrophy; I was falling behind and beginning to get confused. In high school I was lost. Throughout school, the grammar taught was up to only second- or third-grade level, the same few bits every year mixed into ‘language arts’. American History likewise: the same barest treatment every year in ‘social studies’. World history was never taught at all. I discovered whether I worked hard and studied, or I put weak effort into assignments, didn’t study at all, and based all my test answers on logic (which I hadn’t had the opportunity to learn), I always got a C average. So I concentrated on sports.

It was assumed I’d go to college, so because I couldn’t do creative writing with an atrophied brain, I applied where they’d take anyone, with no essay: state school with a bad reputation. With my terrible form, I wouldn’t be able to make it in math, and everything else required writing, except art. So art was what I went into. School was a complete disaster for me. After college I worked as a graphic designer at a print shop for a few months, then got laid off, but I hadn’t been any good at it anyway. All the other jobs I was able to get were unskilled or low-skilled, and low-paying. But then I got married and had a baby, and realized I couldn’t bear to send her away to school in only a few years. So I started teaching myself in order to homeschool her. Now she’s 11 and doing well.

Guest (INTP) (not verified) says...

I am an INTP and make around 300k per year. The majority of the execs are INTPs.

Connieeeee (not verified) says...

I am an ENFP and I must say that I'm probably an outlier! I grew up wanting to be an elementary school teacher but my parents were strongly opposed to that and now I'm in the corporate world, making a pretty decent wage. Job satisfaction is medium I would say. I have some good days and some bad ones. Probably not as good as if I had followed my passion, but I understand that no job is perfect.

Guest (not verified) says...

Your personality type does not define your life - you do. I am an INFP and I used to make 50k in my late 20s (I would have made more had I had a manager who believed in me earlier on) which went on to become 75k a couple of years and two jobs later. I ultimately quit in my 30s to follow my passion and I am enjoying every minute of it.

Guest (not verified) says...

I am a 25 year old INTP, currently making $75k in the tech industry. Could see increasing that to $90k+ here in the next year. No degrees to my name.

Being in the tech industry, to me, a higher education is a waste of time and money from a knowledge standpoint. As such, I don't want to go into debt for a piece of paper that says I graduated from a place that gave me nothing of value knowledge wise that can help me in the real world with what my career is.

When I first tried going to college, I just couldn't get into it because the classes were to big, and my learning style didn't mesh well with the classroom or lecture hall setting. As such I became bored, and frustrated and couldn't be bothered to keep spending money and putting effort into it. So I stopped. On one hand, if you interview with tech people for a job, they don't care about degrees. They care about technical knowledge and what you've done. It's the non-tech people (think HR, or managers that aren't technical) that prop up a degree as some holy grail of experience.

Instead I focused on my career in the tech industry, and here's the big one: self learning of actually applicable tools, methodologies, practices, scripting, etc. to propel me to where I am now in my career. I see more value at the moment in going after some certificates than I do a college degree. I'll eventually finish college just to get around being turned away by HR people that are archaic, but in the meantime, it hasn't hurt me at all.

jellyfish (not verified) says...

Hey, I'm considering going for a web developer certificate but having a hard time making up my mind. What certificates do you think are the most useful and make the most money?
Thanks for any info!

Char (not verified) says...

There's nothing like a site like this that spits out information that subtly pitch types against each other and watches them all squirm. This post, no double, is leaving some types with a depressed feeling of inadequacy and others with a false sense of superiority ....

Guest (not verified) says...

I completely agree. In addition, I would like to note that there is no guarantee that those who participated in this survey have typed themselves correctly. People mistype themselves all the time on the MBTI, so drawing conclusions based on this data is incredibly short sighted. If a qualified typologist or type expert interviewed all the participants and could verify the types of the participants, I would be more inclined to believe these conclusions. Without type validation, however, you have a whole lot of nothing.

Guest (INTJ) (not verified) says...

I work as a Senior Information Security Analyst in the healthcare industry. I am INTJ (we're only about 1-2% of the population) and a woman on top of that. My field is a male dominated field; Women make up only 11% of my industry. It took multiple career misses and several degrees to find my "right fit". I am a certified nurse, network admin, system admin, Data Entry, programmer, IT Technician, Help Desk Lead, and now an analyst. Cyber Security suits me perfectly and allows me to be analytical and logical but apply innovative thinking to solve problems and mitigate risks. I don't make nearly as much as many in my field and my salary is higher than this chart allows. Your salary is determined by your field, your desire to thrive and progress in your career, and the economic outlook of your, region, state, and country. Not everyone is designed to be the top of the food chain or CEO. Some people are just where they need to be, supporting the economy being the workhorse that no one seems to appreciate or thank.

Guest (not verified) says...

This is interesting. Well, as an INTP I guess I'm low on the income charts as a graphic designer. I like my profession, but most often jobs don't pay well in Florida. Just for the (INTP) record, I have made more in the past. Once I made about 75K for about two years. It just depended on how much pressure I wanted to take on. I'm also a mother, and a wife, with a family to contend with. I could take on an art directors position and of course I'd make more, but I'll find myself fighting traffic in a city of a million people, in my new office slaving over the next great concept I came up with, while everyone slipped out the door at 4:30 before the cleaning crew comes in. Also, say if I crossed the border to Georgia, I would make more, about 50 -60. I don't think these statistics can account for some of these factors, except if INTP's tend to prefer a balance in life, and also I am a female in the picture here. We get paid worse and passed over positions to the men. In any case, the good news is, I wrote three books on the side and published them while I worked full time. The books are a testament to me, and doing something for myself - not for anyone else which perhaps is a clue to the INTP personality - that in some cases, we feel under appreciated, and value our own ideals, and would rather work for ourselves, than make more money for someone else.

DaniO (not verified) says...

I take this with a grain of salt. I am an ENFP and I make a nice 6 figures. The key to us is passion and freedom. I think we get locked into societal expectations for occupations. No cubicle life for us.

Den (not verified) says...

I wholeheartedly agree Danio, it takes a little creativity and dynamism to follow the road less traveled but that's what we do best! May I ask what your occupation is?

Guest (not verified) says...

I find this brilliant. Maybe this graph will motivate someone of a lower caliber to shoot for something more.
- 23, Female, ENTJ

Guest (not verified) says...

Really funny. It really fits my situation.

I'm an INTP, I have an okay income even if I COULD earn a LOT more. As a lot on INTP, I'm very low-maintenance and prioritize free & fun intellectual time over material stuffs.

In order to be happy I need to "work" LESS and spend more time on my centers of interests. As a result, I maximize my income/free time ratio : When I get the income to fill my survival and security needs, I will simply stop working.

I think I'll get stuck with the same yearly income for a long time because this way of life is really comfortable. :)

(note : My yearly income is "frozen" but my salary does go up.)

Kat (INFP) (not verified) says...

I've been an INFP for as long as I can remember. I've been taking these tests since middle school & I now have a bachelor's in psychology and pursuing a masters degree in advanced nursing. I feel like it is worth noting that people can be somewhat different depending on the setting, especially at work. I am much more extroverted at work due necessity to connect with my patients, and work in a healthcare team setting. I am also much more organized and task oriented at work. I'm not perfect by any means in these regards, but I work very hard in my professional life to shed some of the shortcoming that INFPs can face like lack of discipline and timeliness. I wouldn't change myself for the world though. INFPs (in on the cusp of an ENFP) are exceptionally deep, curious, and loyal people. We love the beauty in art and nature, music, and those around us. We feel the world. It's a gift.

Guest (not verified) says...

I am INFJ. I am a pharmacist working in the public sector. I wish to do a PhD degree in Pharmacoeconomics or Health Economics. I am planning to become a writer for systematic review or Cochrane writer. Is this path suitable for my personality?

Osi (not verified) says...

Lol. I really don't get how a personality trait that is related to innovation, science, tech and creativity can be among the "low income earners". The Google founders and most Tech CEOs and execs are INTPs, for example, so I'm not sure I understand this analysis.

Guest (not verified) says...

Would like to know where you get your sample from and how a type like ENTP which is overrepresented among careers like psychiatrist, lawyer, entrepreneur, tech jobs, professor earn less than ESFJ or ISFJ who are overrepresented in careers like teaching, counseling, social work etc.

PsychopathLookingForLove (not verified) says...

As an ENTP, this sucks. This means our income is below average and so is our job satisfaction. Also apparently I have the 3rd smartest personality. But what good is that if i make below average money and below average happyness in my job

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm sure that results vary (as with anything), but reading the description about ENTJ and their careers from another site, I can see why the results in this article might have some truth - ENTJs like the top a LOT more than others might, and will keep striving and striving until they get there:

"The only problem is, it takes time for ENTJs' skills to be recognized, and stagnating as low-level employees will have them bouncing off the walls and deeply unhappy. People with the ENTJ personality type crave leadership and responsibility, growth and opportunity, and genuinely enjoy managing others to get a job done. ENTJs are visionaries and leaders, not grunts or day-to-day administrators. Getting that to be recognized is not always easy, but ENTJs are probably up to the task."

https://www.16personalities.com/entj-careers

LoserIntp (not verified) says...

Your 12000 test samples doesn't define the whole society. A reaearcher's dream would be everyone i mean every working person on earth would participate for example in this survey. Then that's when your research becomes valid.

Unverified INTP (not verified) says...

To the comment "People mistype themselves all the time on the MBTI" I tend to look at the self-typing as more of a lens that shows what people like to think about themselves. You might be an INTP who can't spot a logical argument to save your life but it doesn't mean that the label "INTP" is meaningless, it could be more of an ideal that you aspire to. This is still a very useful bit of information when getting to know someone (or yourself) better. It gives you information about someone's perspective and belief system without having to sift through other common and more muddled terms like "republican" or "democrat" or "athiest" or "christian".

Nacho (not verified) says...

See Response Bias...

DK (not verified) says...

I disagree with this. I am an INFP and I make a very good salary.

Zenas (not verified) says...

I am an INTP with learning disabilities. I have two A.A.S. Degrees and a B.A. and as of this writing I am 40 years old. The idea of going back to school to earn yet another degree just to "finally" get a job "worth having" crushes my spirit. College never payed off and it would be insane to try it again! How dose one get a good paying job (i.e $15+ per hour) and hold it for 25 years. I don't have attention to detail skills nor can I have attention to detail skills. I don't need a $100k income to be satisfied in my finances. how does one who sees the forest but not the trees get meaningfully employed? it seems to me that I am refuse in the eyes of H & R. Sorry for being an INTP, it is just the way I am made. If you value honesty, flexibility, and vision then I can help, but If you want a mindless automaton then count me out because that is just too oppressive. I dream of starting an after school program, but that requires money and I a m too principled to beg the government for money (AKA not wanting to increase the national debt a smidgen). If you think I am bitter, your halfway right. I am a INFP in a world that value ESTJ more, even when INFPs are the ones that benefit society more. What a bunch of ingrates.

A Person (not verified) says...

I'm just going to ignore this, considering the richest man in the world is an INTP...

ESTJ Realist (not verified) says...

To make money in this world you need to work long hours for a long time. Often it is in a job that you don't particularly like, and it is usually with people you don't particularly like; typically older people that are bossy or boring. Speaking as a late 20-something ESTJ who makes a 6-figure salary, there is no magic bullet. Dream jobs don't exist. Don't complain about your personality type looking poor in the stats, chances are you are one of them because of unrealistic expectations and a poor work ethic.

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