Freewheeling, independent-spirited INFPs don’t just want any job. If you've scored as INFP on a personality test, you know that you want to do something you care deeply about. You want a career that ignites your passion, expresses your values and contributes something good to the world. And you want to do it all on your own terms.
The problem, however, is that society kicks jobs like this to the curb. The few careers that tick the right boxes are either hard to get or simply don’t put enough money in the bank. Indeed, out of all the personality types, Introverted-Feeling types sit right at the bottom of the salary scale. So how’s an INFP supposed to put food on the table? Fortunately, several lucrative careers live up to the INFPs deep ethical values. If you’re not an INFP, take a look anyway. You might find something you like.
Starting the list off is psychology, a profession that plays to the INFP's strengths. Psychologists must be skilled at reading between the lines (an N trait), able to spot inconsistencies in themselves and others (an F trait) and adept at responding to whatever happens in a situation (a P trait). Emotional problems are putty in the INFP’s hands.
Excellent at reading the feelings and motives of others, INFPs love being able to work face-to-face with clients and seeing how their considerable talents have impacted another's quality of life. Nothing feels more rewarding to an INFP than watching people flourish under their sensitive guidance.
Psychologists operate in all fields, from substance abuse to business consultancy. Average mean salaries are high: a psychologist working in childcare services earns $96,180 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Artistically inclined INFPs might answer the doubters who say that INFPs can’t join the dots and never have a clear answer with a rewarding career in architecture. The profession demands just as much creativity as logic. Renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright is widely reported to have been an INFP.
Architecture allows INFPs to exercise their creative muscles without letting them fall into the stereotype of starving artist. Being idealistic can be a huge plus in this profession. With sustainability hot on the global agenda, INFPs can choose to design buildings that serve and protect both humanity and the environment— a motivation that really strikes a chord with the conscientious INFP.
An architect’s mean salary is $74,520 across all sectors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. High earners are able to pull in well over $120,000 per year.
Human Rights Lawyer
If there’s a trick to earning good money as an INFP, it is this: select a traditionally lucrative career and find a field within the profession that allows you to help people. By this exposition, a career in human rights law ticks all of the boxes.
A human rights lawyer represents people who feel that their human rights and civil liberties have been abused. Practitioners specialize in the fields of mental health, asylum, discrimination, social justice or war crimes, among others. So they might help an asylum seeker who has been subjected to torture and abuse or they may draft protocols that protect mentally ill employees from discrimination in the workplace. Advocacy and empathy are must-have skills.
The road to qualification is tough. Aspiring human rights lawyers will need to get admitted to a law school with a strong human rights department and earn their Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Practitioners are handsomely rewarded for their efforts. Lawyers earn an average salary of $133,470, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Medicine can be alluring to INFPs as it combines their interest in helping others with their natural curiosity and quest for deeper meaning. This career really appeals to the INFP's humanitarian side.
By definition a vocation, medicine offers ample varied opportunities for deep learning that allows the inquisitive INFP professional to give themselves fully to their craft. And, with average physician salaries coming in at $189,760, there’s no denying that a career in medicine will put a very nice roof over the INFP’s head.
So, why is medicine towards the bottom of the list? Mainstream modern medicine poses a few problems for the INFP. It can be impersonal, stricture-ridden and more drug-focused than the person-centered INFP can bear. Life and death decisions are not an INFP’s strong suit, either. But with the multitude of specialties available—radiology, pathology, dermatology and so on— scientifically minded INFPs are sure to find something that gels.
One type of entrepreneurship that seems particularly appropriate for INFPs is the “slash career.” They may, for example, view themselves as “business coach/author/expert/consultant.” Slash careers are particularly appealing to entrepreneurial P-types, who are known for their versatility and adaptability.
Slash careers play to the notion that certain job motivations are not so much a choice as they are a way of life. Mixing and matching allows the INFP to be taken very seriously as an entrepreneur, which gives them self-confidence, but also allows them to create a less disciplined and less structured work day. By selecting the right combination of “slashes”—some fun, some magical, some soul-enriching and some high-earning— INFPs can fulfill a whole range of emotional needs. As far as earnings are concerned, the world is the slash-entrepreneur’s oyster.
So there you have it—proof that the INFP’s artistic and reflective nature is not a roadblock to financial success. Which profession has given you the greatest reward?