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What strengths do INTPs bring to their work?

At work, the INTP is motivated to solve complex problems in an original, innovative way. Architects want to analyze systems and ideas thoroughly to create deep understanding, and enjoy designing creative solutions to highly abstract problems.

INTPs rarely have much interest in organizational traditions, preferring to forge their own path to innovation. They hate being limited by bureaucracy and rules, and are often more in tune with the theoretical soundness of their ideas than they are with the practical applications. They typically prefer to focus on creating the idea, and to leave the tedious details of implementation to someone else.

INTPs work best independently or with a small team of colleagues that they perceive as smart, competent, and logical. They quickly tire of colleagues who are aggressive or overbearing, and can be dismissive of people who aren't as clever as themselves.

An ideal organization for an INTP is flexible and non-traditional, and values ingenuity over conformity. An ideal job for an INTP allows them to address complex theoretical or technical problems with creative, novel solutions.

INTP career facts

What are some good careers for an INTP?

INTPs are first and foremost thinkers, and this quality can be seen in their choice of careers. Although INTPs can be found in a wide variety of fields, a happy and satisfied INTP is invariably found in a career that allows them to use their intellect, analyze concepts, and think deeply.

INTPs have an innovative nature and are often drawn to cutting-edge fields such as technology, engineering, and the sciences. Although INTPs overall are a rare breed, visit an area like California's Silicon Valley or a tech company like Google or Apple and you'll find that nearly every other person seems to be an INTP. This type naturally thrives in the challenging, unpredictable world of tech.

Many INTPs are creative and seek an artistic bent to their career. INTPs are particularly drawn to artistic fields with a touch of science or technology, for instance architecture or graphic design.

Although INTPs typically prefer careers that have them working with ideas more than people, a contingent of INTPs consider human problems the ultimate frontier of intellectual inquiry. Thus, you find some INTPs in careers that allow them to study the human experience, including psychology and other social sciences.

Top careers for the INTP include:


Technology is a highly attractive field for INTPs, and many INTPs are drawn to computers from a very young age. Even INTPs who do not work in tech fields typically nurse an interest in computers on the side. Working with technology allows INTPs to exercise their reasoning skills in perfect concert with their creativity and desire to experiment and innovate. Some INTPs even say they understand computers better than they understand other people!

Any career in computers or technology can be considered a possibility for the INTP, but some sample tech careers for INTPs include:

  • Computer Network Architect
  • Computer Scientist
  • Computer Programmer
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Database Administrator
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Network Administrator
  • Software Developer
  • Web Developer

Engineering careers are a good fit for the logical, analytical thinking style of the INTP. They particularly enjoy engineering fields that allow them to exercise a measure of creativity in their work. Some sample engineering careers for INTPs include:

  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Computer Hardware Engineer
  • Electrical or Electronics Engineer
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Geological Engineer
  • Nuclear Engineer

Scientific careers are a natural choice for INTPs. They enjoy all aspects of the sciences: the opportunity to build specialized knowledge in their field of choice; the ability to focus at length on complex, abstract ideas; and most of all, the exploratory process of scientific experimentation. Some sample science careers for INTPs include:

  • Anthropologist or Archaeologist
  • Atmospheric Scientist
  • Biochemist or Biophysicist
  • Chemist
  • Economist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Geographer
  • Geoscientist
  • Historian
  • Hydrologist
  • Medical Scientist
  • Microbiologist
  • Physicist or Astronomer
  • Political Scientist
  • Psychologist
  • Sociologist
  • Survey Researcher
  • Urban or Regional Planner
  • Zoologist or Wildlife Biologist
  • Physician
Business and Law

Both business and law careers can make good use of the INTP's analytical instincts. Good business careers for INTPs often stimulate their interest in complex theories, including advanced mathematics. Some sample business and law careers for INTPs include:

  • Accountant or Auditor
  • Financial Analyst
  • Management Consultant or Analyst
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Top Executive
  • Sales Engineer
  • Lawyer
Arts and Language

Some INTPs focus on their creative instincts with a career in the arts. Typically, though, even an INTP working in an artistic field finds a way to use their analytical side in their work. Some sample artistic careers for INTPs include:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Industrial Designer
  • Multimedia Artist or Animator
  • Composer
  • Musician
  • Editor
  • Photographer
  • Technical Writer
  • Writer or Author
  • Professor or College Instructor
More Careers for the INTP

For more INTP careers, use our interactive personality type career search tool.

What careers should the INTP avoid?

It is important to note that any personality type can be successful in any occupation. However, some occupations are well suited to the natural talents and preferred work style of the INTP, while other occupations demand modes of thinking and behavior that do not come as naturally to this type. Occupations that require the INTP to operate outside their natural preferences may prove stressful or draining, and often sound unappealing to Architects who are choosing a career.

The following occupations have been found to be unpopular among INTPs, based on data gathered from surveys of the general population.

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Check out the INTP Discussion Forum

Want to have a more in-depth conversation about being an INTP? Head on over to our discussion forum and post your questions, comments, and/or general musings!


has3000 says...

It pretty much got all of that right, except that I do believe in God.
However, I do really enjoy learning and defending my faith with science and logic.
Other than that, this is definitely me!

SheWarMachine (not verified) says...

Took the words out of my mouth :D

SoSaysSunny (not verified) says...

Me, too!

As an intensely logical and objective researcher, I find no conflict between science and the Bible.

Science cannot disprove God because it cannot transcend the physical world to make any conclusions about the metaphysical. Any intellectually honest INTP must concede the possibility (however improbable) that a deity exists.

Though it is impossible to argue people into the faith, logical arguments can help remove their misconceptions. That's what I try to do.

Guest (not verified) says...

Yes, science can't transcend the physical, but it doesn't need to, only the idea of empirical evidence does. You may argue that this is in fact why science cannot transcend the physical, because the supernatural leaves no physical evidence. Then how can the supernatural be proven? If you pointed to miracles as evidence of something we have no scientific explanation for, then your logic defeats itself because what you claim leaves no physical evidence in fact does.

Darko (not verified) says...

Hello. To accommodate us, I'll begin by simply stating that I'm barely an INTP, as I have only slight preference towards introvertedness. In the middle between the the architect and the visionary. Now, i must say that I'm kind of jealous that the INTJ are being called masterminds. To get to the point, I want you to know that I understand your belief in god. Children conditioned to be religious don't have a choice. The certainty of god's existence is equal to the certainty of a human's ability to breathe. Now, i simply want to state my personal, non judgemental opinion on the matter. To prove a point, I'll ask and answer a series of simple question. What is god as perceived trough a human mind? The creator of the universe. What is god as perceived by a christian? An old man that sees everything and can do anything, whose favourite hobby is watching what every particular human being does, praising those who do things that are "good" and punishing those who do things that are "bad". In short, the point is simple. If we assume the universe is infinite, god exists for sure. If we assume that it is not infinite, god may or may not exist. On that subject,De gustibus non est disputandum. However, since religion is a completely different thing from god and belief in god, that we can discuss. Religious establishments are there to answer questions about god. Answers are not necessarily true, but they serve their purpose. Once the answer has been given, the subject is not further discussed by people who accepted it, because od the human tendency to take the easiest, simplest path. My statement is the following: All religious traditions are irrelevant to both god and the belief of the religion, making them useless in the study of god. A more personal opinion, the ideas around which religions were formed were presented by wise men. The beliefs and traditions themselves that were formed around those ideas, have been run by non wise men ever since. Long story short, god is cool, religion sucks.

Science and Logic (not verified) says...

Guest (not verified) says...

Same here. There isn't any conflict between science and spirituality in my mind, but I find it so hard to tell or convince other people.

Guest (not verified) says...

Not leaving my name so that this cannot be seen as a brag.

I am an actual genius INTP ( I did not make my brain, so it is no more than saying I have dark hair and wear a ridiculously large shoe).

I am also a Christian (and not forced that way by my parents when I was a kid). I am 44 years old and know what I know and why I believe and have analyzed to the hilt what I have experienced and found nothing lacking in terms of being able to accept faith. Between cognition and metacognition and the willingness to be independent but also reason and wonder and consideration, I have no doubt of the matter of faith, nor the existence of God.

I mean, really, back in the day the VERY SMARTEST guys on the planet--we are talking huge IQ's--thought the earth was flat and that there was no need to wash one's hands before delivering babies. Just because technology has not caught up to "the supernatural" does not mean it won't eventually.

While INTP's are analytic, they are also not locked in. They work easily in the abstract. They must consider possibilities or they cannot think and synthesize clearly. I would offer that an INTP who cannot accept that there might be more than we do not understand or put our hands on (be it God or something else) might be stronger, or perhaps straddle the fence, with another one of the personalities. I would also offer that there is a difference between fact and truth, which are not the same (thank you Indiana Jones ;) ),and I believe that one of the personality types relies on one while INTP's search for the other.

Guest (not verified) says...

I absolutely agree with you. I am very very analytical and process the way that God could have possibly made this vast and expansive reality. I am a 16 year old christian and it has taken an abundance of information and evidence to get me to believe that there is a God. Even though I firmly believe that after countless discussions in my head and hours of research, I still somewhat question the probability of aliens and such in the universe. You know the "well the Bible never clearly stated that there were NO aliens". The pure fact that the Bible never truly mentioned the existence of aliens got me thinking. Overall I agree with what you say and there is just too much evidence for the existence of a God.

Guest (not verified) says...

ok if you believe in the god of the bible than there is noway you are a logical and so forth type person becauase the bible is a load of crap.... your still young so that is only reason why you might still be this type but i highly doubt it.

Guest (not verified) says...

Feels like I sit between a intp and intj but somehow these profiles make it seem like the natural human need for attachment is irrelevant for these types. I wonder if these types ever have a desire or need to be close to specific individuals but find themselves in cognitive dissonance because once they engage that partner or individual and intimacy becomes imminent their attention to that outer world becomes draining and they retreat back into their inner worlds to recharge. In the end causing these types to seem very calm and steady yet,internally ping ponging back and forth between emotional needs and the need to recharge.

Guest (not verified) says...

That would be a fairly accurate description of my love life.

DrMcSarcasm (not verified) says...

Has anybody else spent three hours deciding on a deodorant? The biggest epiphany of my life was learning the personality type. Now I fit in by understanding what all the other people prefer and how to identify them.

Guest (not verified) says...

That has very often been my experience, although there are very few people that I just haven't tired of, which can be just as alarming.

Guest (not verified) says...

That's me. I don't mind the concept of closeness but the reality leaves me fairly confused lol. I guess I understand people not at all, because their motivations and actions often leave me confused. That must be where the love being powerful but naive bit comes in. I do best being friends with emotionally quiet people, but in romantic situations I think my own life experiences have led to a me who is a little needy, which pisses me off, so I turn cold. Frustrating for the other person for sure lol

Kendo (not verified) says...

This is also a perfect description of the Enneagram Five, which I and (likely) most INTPs are.

Marquis (not verified) says...

Wow, this is me almost exactly. I've never felt so understood in my life. Seeing how rare this personality type is I can see why I feel so different from everyone I meet and why I'm so misunderstood.

Echo (not verified) says...

I feel exactly the same way, sometimes I used to worry about not being able to empathize well with others and why I felt so out of place even when all my friends are also introverts. this gives very good insight n the fact that it's okay to be different and how there are others who think the same way as I do.

Mae (not verified) says...

This describes me quite well, though I seem to cross over a lot with the INTJ personality too.

However, as a career graphic designer I would NOT suggest graphic design for INTPs. After 15 years I find this work so incredibly tedious and boring its practically painful. I will be going back to school in the next year or two and pursuing an education in either science or economics. Hopefully one of those careers will keep me interested for more than 15 years!

Confused (not verified) says...

I took the test a few times yesterday and earlier in the day and it gave me different personality types...ISTP, INFP. So I decided to retake it tonight and be completely honest with myself. I ended up with INTP. I didn't really think it was me so I retook it 2 more times, still the same even though I changed a few answers I felt could also describe me. All of them came back as INTP.

I do have a love for biology and I'm thinking of going back to school...however, I suck at math. I am also one of those people who can't stick to one thing and I get bored easily. I am beginning to think maybe I'm crazy.

Guest (not verified) says...

You know, you can definitely show aspects of more than one type! I am an INFP/ISTP cross for sure. I love understanding things both theoretically and practically. I understand the boredom problem as well. I think that is an aspect of the perceiving type. However, it helps if you look at it as a challenge.
One more note: I am a student in the biology field (genetic manipulation in plants) and it is very exciting and rewarding. My intuitive side gets to theorize about the effect the genes will have on the plant's physiology, and my sensing side gets to put it to use in a practical way.
Don't worry! You're not crazy!

Matt (not verified) says...

I took this test to find out more about myself, I have trouble connecting with people and i finnaly know why but also in that response I find it interesting because tryin to find a friend just to hang out with that is really a friend is really hard to do because they ither get really tired of my thought process or always offended by my openess when really I try to help, this test has really helped me along my way of discovering who I am and what I want to be, sadly still long way to go very very little intersts me anymore.

sandra.sharratt says...

I have a few really good friends that just get me so I am very lucky that way. I went through a long period of not being able to find anything that really interested me too. I got rid of cable tv, and just use the internet now and I am writing all the time. I have finally found interests and like minded people online. Twitter is a great place too, if you want to find like minded people, you set the parameters and vet the sources yourself. It has been really helpful and I feel less like a freak and more apart of something big. Good luck and I hope you find something soon, there is a whole world of issues out there that need an INTP to unlock and solve.

ephemeral_ (not verified) says...

The description itself is good although it doesn't atually describe how INTPs work. However, what they are describing isn't so much the INTP in the cognitive sense, but more akin to something like enneagram 5. An unfortunate overlap. As an actual INTJ 5w4 (I usually score INTP on MBTI tests though), I relate a lot to these descriptions. The question one needs to ask is what they are genuinely trying to describe here.

Holly (not verified) says...

When I took the test I was profiled as an INTJ, however, J was my lowest percentage advantage over P at 11%, (if I remember correctly). Reading descriptions of both personality types I related more to the INTP personality. In doing further research on the difference between J and P I found that I definitely swayed towards P more; I like open ended decisions, for instance, and generally dislike making detailed lists and planning my time (which annoys my ENTJ father to no end.)

Guest (not verified) says...

I believe that most of what has been said fits in with me. But I think that given 'emotional' experiences and situations in the past, even simply of those around me, I can then 'file' and expand on those emotional factors in my thought processes, enabling me to relate to people with a stronger Feeling component.

Guest (not verified) says...

This fits me perfectly. I'm self-reliant, but not in the best of ways. I find it extremely hard developing friendships and forming them to begin with. Sure I feel misunderstood but it bothers me, I hardly give it much attention since I value independence above all. I don't believe in God, and I despise conformity; I find it important that I be different than others in every way I can.

Katharine (not verified) says...

Hi there, I am an intp but I don't come across as very 'cool'. Could this be because my main interest and area of passion is people and relationships. Thus, I am always interested in people and generally freindly towards them? Do any other intp's relate to this - perhaps particularly any other female intp's?

pch98 says...

I can understand how you might feel this way. I always felt as though I was an outsider... Confused by the behavior/attitudes of others. So, I chose to study psychology to get a grip. Eventually wound up working in non-profit mental health field. I guess I concluded that in trying to understand the behavior of others I'd have to suspend judgement. And, the more you immerse yourself in the passion... such as psychology/mental health it only makes sense to cultivate empathy as it would seem that for the client to experience empathy from someone who is working with them would help to develop trust. And if you are not a "cool" intp... it would mean that you are a warmer intp, just the kind of intp that a client could feel comfortable in working with. For me, being a true introvert, working with people can tax my energy so I have to pace myself. So that might be a difference between you and I. Yes, I can relate... I am a female intp.

Guest (not verified) says...

I am a female INTP as well. Keep in mind that one of the defining aspects of being an INTP is a driving motivation to understand how the world works; that includes people. One of the most renowned psychologists (who was also greatly interested in metaphysics), Carl Jung, was an INTP. In my experience we spend so much time trying to understand and dissect emotion that this naturally leads us to be interested in people and relationships in general, even if it is from a detached viewpoint.

Guest (not verified) says...

As a female INTP, I've noticed that as I've grown up and matured, I've felt more of a need to be with people. A lot of times, the emotional openness and outgoing personality that I've developed doesn't fit descriptions of INTPs. The main cause of this has probably been my friendships with actors, who are generally outgoing and friendly people. So, you may have just adapted to your group of friends/peers? For me, my interest in people is draining though, so my case may be a bit different. Also, a female, there often is pressure culturally to be friendly and fit in with the crowd. So, I'm guessing that the main cause here is just your situation socially. It's not really related to being INTP, but more to the personality that you've developed over time.

diamondvrio says...

Hello Katherine.
I am also a female INTP. I think I may have a thought as to why you ask those very questions. We are known to find the human mind infinitely fascinating. I have learned to manage people in the way society has been enforcing into me since I was a child. I learned from others on how to study, manage, cope and blend into the social norms, so to speak. I use my social teachings that I had to use in order to understand people. People tell me things that are very personal that they would never say to others. Perfect strangers...waitresses,check out clerks, I am friendly so to gain their trust to learn about sociology. Being female is a definite bonus because we are perceived as less threatening and trustworthy? Just my theory.

Saya (not verified) says...

I do think I am a more warm and friendly than a typical INTP and I think its mostly because that's what society demands from us and I adapt(pseudo-personality). While I refuse to divert from my more basic principles. I hate to argue and wish to settle things peacefully .I'm inclined to think I'm more of an ambivert than an introvert and i believe INTP is just a basic platform, it is up to us to be more than that . Don't box yourself in to a stereotype.I am a female INTP who loves art,psychology, music,science.I love to write,draw,coming up with theories and stuff. And I still have no idea what I should do with my life

Guest (not verified) says...

I thought this was pretty good, apart from the fact the aspect relating to children was totally wrong for me (having raised 2 alone and thrown myself into it fully and willingly) until that is I read some of these responses - now I'm left doubting the veracity of the test.

Guest (not verified) says...

I thought it was more about competency or ability to perceive emotional needs, than enthusiasm. Other types simply are better at sensing and connecting on an emotional level. Ask one, they'll tell you. Agree that natural mode for this type is to connect on ideas rather than feelings, even with kids.

Guest (not verified) says...

This website is excluding an important aspect of personalities and that is the functions. INTPs dominant function is introverted Thinking while extroverted intuition is secondary. Meanwhile An INFJ has a dominant introverted intuition and extroverted feeling yadayada. Anyways it's impossible for an INTP to understand a mind dominated by quick tendencies from the unconscious. I think this is where the Myers Briggs truly shines. Just pointing out this flaw like the good little INTP that I am.

Mystic Michael (not verified) says...

For years, I tested out as being right on the border between INTJ and INTP. I believe that's mostly because I have trained myself to develop certain characteristics that may not be quite so natural for an INTP - such as emotional intelligence, and the ability to put abstract principle into actual practice.

However at the core of it, I'm definitely INTP. I'm most comfortable - and competent - in the world of abstract theory. I have a deep, inborn need to discover the operating principles behind all things. I am exceedingly precise in my use of language - even concerning mundane things. And I have a deep, abiding aversion toward all things petty, political, superficial and mendacious.

Guest (not verified) says...

This is all exceedingly interesting I'm dominant in INTP.

I consistently test as Introverted and Intuitive but I fluctuate within the feeling (F) and thinking (T), and judging (J) and percieving (P).

So depending on where I am in life I can come out as INFP; INFJ and INTJ as well. I had many temper issues as a child I felt isolated with my own thoughts about the world, I actually felt like an adult trapped inside a childs body with only children to talk too. I craved adult company so I could debate and reason and discuss logic, philosophy and society, primary school teachers, middle school teachers and secondary school teachers on the whole were not up to it. I was lucky enough to have 2 teachers in my whole time in school that managed to get any form of engagement out of me and I excelled in those subjects the others were an exercise in coasting whilst one other which I was completely opposed to studying as I could see no point I failed miserably, in fact I didn't care as it was pointless. As a result I did not go to University I could not face another 4 years in the education system that did not meet my needs.

I now have a legally technical job in an unusual tax field where I can utilise my knowledge of my 2 favourite subjects, sadly where once I had autonomy and could do things my way standard working practices have been implemented which are a real struggle for me as they defy logic, so whilst I had found my perfect job it is no more!

Anyway I digress, as a child I could not relate to other people at all and it got me into a lot of trouble and to resolve this the only logical thing to do was to develop those areas of my personality that were under represented which I think is reflected in my varying results.

Guest (not verified) says...

this is pretty accurate for me...combined with INTF its a dead ringer. I first read INTF and thought it was missing many aspects such as fixation on wordsmithing, passion for efficiency and extreme dislike for mundane tasks and beaurocracy. I work for the Fed Gov and I hate my life right now...pretty much b/c of the beaurocracy and mundane aspects that stress me out to the point of failing health. this is helpful to push me out the door and look for something more suited to my personality. why force a rhombus into a square hole??

Guest (not verified) says...

INTF? Perhaps you mean INTJ?
..also, I'd like to point out that squares are rhombuses. Pushing a rhombus into a square hole doesn't seem that far-fetched. ;D

Guest (not verified) says...

You mean INTP?

Guest (not verified) says...

this is incredibly accurate to me. how very bizarre.

Guest (not verified) says...

Everything is pretty right on, especially the children part...

Guest (not verified) says...

This totally describes me. I trained as a physicist but I was more interested in the cosmological aspects of how the universe worked than the more practical ones. I was also very interested in metaphysics (despite the fact that we are supposed to be least likely to believe in a higher power). It is all part of me trying to understand the universe. What I like about this grouping is that it explains my artistic as well as my scientific tendencies. I subsequently became a writer and I see that this is a good use for my skills as it involves analysis of life, world building and use of language precision.

DJ Arctic (not verified) says...

This describes me to a t. Whenever my parents tell me to do something, like get a degree or go to college, I always question the necessity of it. Why do I have to go to college? Why do I have to get a degree? How will it benefit me? Give me a logical reason, and I'll be ok, but anything else will tick me off. I enjoy having reasons for actions and absolutely despise the catch-all parental answer, "because I said so." That gives me nothing to work off of and deprives me of information.

Guest (not verified) says...

I was surprisingly accurate. Thats me. I even couldnt have said it better

Guest (not verified) says...

Are we really so rare? I wonder why that is?

Guest (not verified) says...

Because we are awesome ; D In all seriousness, however, it is probably because the human race doesn't need a million Einsteins (apparently we tend to be the "dreamy professor type") and that other personality types are preferable to ensuring the survival of the human race.

Jeremy S (not verified) says...

It likely has something to do with natural selection...that is, if you believe that typology represents the expression of "hard-wiring" inherent to each of our brains. Introverts and intutitives are fewer in society, as are perceiving types. This is probably due to a decreased "need" for what we provide, and limited congruency with the outside world, as it were. There is evidence suggesting that many of these traits are genetically induced. So...introverts are less tuned in to living in society in many ways. multiple Sensory types are required to convert the ideas of intuitives into tangible realities...society is finite in many ways, and Judging types create and maintain that with more efficiency than percieving types. I digress...tugether, INTP traits are often equally fascinating and confounding to many others, but we are generally...sort of inefficient people. The need for us, and similarly the tolerance for our traits is somewhat limited, so we are not selected for as often by potential mates. Additioanlly, our traits tend to be more paticular to male brain chemistry, further decreasing our numbers. Anyhow...this is a theory. It may be lunacy...and in short, it's because we're interesting, profound, but replete a with highly inefficient grouping of traits. I feel that we're vital to society, but they don't need many of us...and really, only the brightest among INTPs are techincally useful. Which is my battle in life...wondering about my own efficacy.

Guest (not verified) says...

I just have to say that your theory and your statement that "only the brightest amongst INTP's are technically useful" is beautiful. I completely agree with everything you just said.

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