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The INTP at 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.

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Top Careers for the 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!

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


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:


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:

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:

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:

INTP Careers to 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.

The INTP on a Team

INTPs are thoughtful, analytical team members who contribute a deep understanding of complex problems. They are often most interested in the theoretical questions behind the team’s goal, and can help the group to identify key principles and generate innovative ideas. They tend to engage with the vision of the team, analyzing it rationally and objectively and offering options and possibilities.

INTPs do best on a team when they are given freedom to analyze logical problems in an original way. They are skilled at coming up with creative solutions, but don’t put much stock in the established way of doing things. Team members who are highly loyal to tradition may encounter friction with the INTP. Architects are typically independent thinkers who’d rather debate ideas than make small talk. They may become impatient if too much time is spent on pleasantries, and may put off team members who seek a more personal touch.

For more information: What's Your Type of Career?

The INTP as a Leader

In leadership positions, INTPs inspire others with their intelligence and innovative ideas. INTP leaders are often unassuming on the surface but catch everyone's attention once they begin talking about their ideas. They generally allow their reports a lot of latitude, preferring to set the overall goal and trust their team to solve problems autonomously.

INTPs enjoy exploring new possibilities and engaging in creative problem solving, but may sometimes get so caught up in the world of ideas that they neglect to lead their teams into action. They may have trouble hashing out details, and often leave it to someone else to create exact specifications. They do best leading competent, intellectually driven teams who understand their complex ideas and can fill in the details to create realistic plans of action.

INTP Career Stats

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Orlando (not verified) says...

INTP here, I think. I came up with  INTP  after reading Do What You Are and also had the same results after a few tests online. I'm currently a respiratory therapist but I just dont feel the joy and get easily drained energetically. I'm looking at my options but I can be a HUGE procrastinator, and it sucks the life out of me. I had strict parents who instilled some good habits in me so at 18yo I left for the army (which I havent read as something many INTPs do). I was pretty successful even though I don't do well with 'authority'. It was perhaps these responsibility habits that allowed me to move up in rank fast and be left alone, I absolutely appreciated this. Just as withy my current career I was quickly drained and didnt enjoy it, too mundane and repetitive. Most of all the descriptions that I've read for INTP resonate with me. I think I would like to have a one-on-one with a professsional in this arena and hear their conclusion in regards to my personality and next career move. Any pointers?

Martin S. (not verified) says...

Bro same here was in the Army did a term, felt the same as you, did respiratory therapy for a bit, just finished film school, now thinking of next moves as well lol

NoTransitory? (not verified) says...

If you believe you are INTP or are on the fence as to whether you may be, you would do well to begin study in the discipline of Philosophy.  All of the logic, reasoning, autonomous creation of values, giving personal style to your character etc. come from philosophy, not psychology as emphasised here.  Psychology is a science, and scientists are the wonderful people who gather the data necessary for autonomous thinkers like us to recreate ourselves.

Scientists too can become autonomous thinkers, when they study philosophy.  The highest of which, when they attain PhD, are accountable to the rigors of  philosophy in the Ph part of the title.

Start with Plato's Republic, and the allegory of the cave.  Then study the unfolding of big ideas for the next 2500 years to find more about who you are.

INTP architects are engaged in a continuous process of becoming or building oneself in a philosophical sense.  Not continuous improvement, but continuous becoming.   

Know thyself. Important for all of humanity, but even more so for us.

Tea (not verified) says...

INTP seems to fit, until it talks about a belief in god is not important to me. A belief in God is HIGHLY important to me and often the topic of one of my analytical conversation. I think that somehow the test counts analytical as not one who would adhere to faith. Then it talks about computers, and I HATE technology work. It's soooo not me. I love to use it, I do t want to do an analysis on why or how it works, and every little bump I hit I scream for help.

Robert Fischer (not verified) says...

I have the same predicament. I use to not believe in god, but I began pondering life, and why we are here. I came to the conclusion that the Big Bang theory wasn't sufficient an explanation, as it does not even mention the origin of the substances and forces needed for the Big Bang to occur, which would be necessary (theoretically). The only explanation in my opinion is a being which transcends both time and space, and decided for both of which to come into existence, perhaps maybe even through the Big Bang event. It is very debatable which religion is correct, but in my opinion Christianity contains the most non-human characteristics, such as mercy and forgiveness. These are opposite of what is natural to us as humans such as "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth". These unique characteristics are indicative of a higher power (not definitive proof though). We are all individuals, and a simple personality synopsis is often incorrect.

Rick M. (not verified) says...

Robert I have gone down a simliar path as you with God and Christianity, although slightly different conclusion. I would highly recommend checking out Ravi Zachrias on Youtube and also Frank Turek (Corssexamined), some great stuff.

Glory (not verified) says...

I thoroughly enjoyed this write up. Thank you for sharing 

Riri (not verified) says...

I'm apparently an INTP, I took two different tests and the results were the same but it just doesn't make sense.. I'm not intelligent or creative or curious about the universe or an innovator and I do believe in a spiritual higher power... almost all INTP traits are exactly the opposite of me and no I didn't answer based on what I like, I answered based on what I am and I'm so confused. If I actually am an INTP, then I'm in trouble since I'm currently studying to become a nurse which is one of the jobs INTPs should not go for:)

Muirenn (not verified) says...

Doesn't sound like you are an INTP. 

Keep going to school and stop worrying about it. 

Michael of Michigan (not verified) says...

I see two possible categories of possibility: incorrect test results, or aberrant/atypical personality manifestation.

I have heard that Feeling types can tend to be incorrectly typed as Thinking types because they mistake their mental analysis of their feelings for thinking, they answer the questions in favor of 'thinking' because they act on instinct/feeling at a fundamental level but do think and value thinking, or are subconsciously convinced by a scientism-obsessed culture that thinking is superior and feeling is animalistic - partially because "Thinking" is often confused with "Intelligent" (which is not necessarily the case). I personally know someone that is VERY ISFJ but answered the questions as a Thinking type and was convinced his INTP result was accurate; in his case, I think for all of the above reasons.

There is also a fair amount of variability even within each type; the descriptions are of tendencies and prevalent patterns. While I test as INTP and all of my MBTI-interested associates say I embody the general description, I also differ from a few of the tendencies – possibly in a similar way:

While I do tend to think a lot, I think my pensive tendencies give me a greater appearance of intelligence than I actually possess, most things I’ve done that some have called ‘creative’ are lackluster in my opinion (also ‘creative’ does not necessarily mean ‘artistic’ but may be just non-formulaic in some way), my curiosity is limited by the realization of my limited existence, and innovation is limited by resources, personal capacity, and the conditions of the environment that the person is placed in (for instance, ‘creativity and innovation’ may not be desirable in administering anesthetics in the hospital). As far as not believing in a “spiritual higher power”, that tendency seems to be a result of the prevalence of scientism (especially in the presumption of scientific materialism) in the psyche of modern western culture. Reading from prominent probable INTPs from the past shows that atheism is not a requirement, but only a current tendency of that type. From what I have heard (I have not verified this in depth, myself) the early founders of the main scientific fields tended to actually be theistic, and most of the philosophers and logicians believed in and reasoned from the existence of god(s). Holding the position of the existence of a ‘higher power’ is not contrary to logic or thinking itself but is merely a conclusion that many/most modern scientific-materialist-inclined thinkers believe to be incorrect (or to many, merely unanswerable).

Managicall (not verified) says...

You are apparently an INFP, you did not hone the first test and no results are exactly the same but it just does make evidence.. /end parody

100% thinking or not INTP, The Thinker.

WeissEmil (not verified) says...

You're ISFJ mistyped 

iv (not verified) says...

Stay calm, me too.....anyway those tests can never reflect 100% your personality...I mean, we are so different and, also, so unique as just cannot include one's personality in such a rigid do whatever you want with your life and don't let anyone tell you you're not good for that if you realy think that career path is for you

Michael of Michigan (not verified) says...

Good point. There are a lot of variables. While the categorization is generally useful for explaining tendencies, there are a lot of factors not being considered that would affect the manifestation of the personality.

Jason Menzies (not verified) says...

I just go by the descriptions.  I test as 'INFP', but strongly indentify with INTP.  Take a look at the opposite functions and descriptions -ESFJ, ESTJ, and ENFJ, and also related types to INTPs that are feeling: ISFP, INFP, ENFP.  The tests are not always accurate.  Therefore, I just use them as a guideline.

Jason Menzies (not verified) says...

Don't forget about ISFJ either!

Apersononplanetearthnoneofyourbusiness (not verified) says...

I though that INTJ types were referred to as "Architects"...

Anyways I'm an INTJ but on this website it says "Mastermind" not "Architect"

shel (not verified) says...

anyone knows about dumb intp careers?


raccoon (not verified) says...

who hurt you my guy

What even is a name? (not verified) says...

Never thought i would be considered a 'logician' however this being the case i'd be interested in chatting to another logician, just to see what i'm like in conversation.

Michael of Michigan (not verified) says...

I repeatedly tested as INTP and all of my MBTI-interested associates say I embody the description (aside, perhaps, from "ingenious"). 

My discussions usually look like an irritating nit-picking of distinctions in the comparisons between, or analysis of, some philosophical proposition in a Youtube comment section of a video in which that proposition was raised. Usually I just bore people into dropping the conversation. IRL I try to tone it down a bit and only occasionally insert my unwelcome overthinking to bog down the conversation.

From what I have heard, it can either go very badly or very well when two logicians 'go at it'. In descriptions I have read (and observed in myself), logicians tend to treat discussions not as an engagement with another person, but as a 'sounding board' to add perspective to their own development of their idea in their own mind. If both are trying to direct the conversational flow along the lines of their mental 'model' of whatever they are talking about, differences between these models can lead to irritation. If these differences are each examined and discussed, there could be a long digression into consecutive tangiental concepts and distinctions. If not examined, the party that disagrees with model as presented may become irritated or disinterested, as the distinctions or corrections they may wish to propose are several 'steps' in the past, are already being treated as 'assumed', and are acting as a basis for a larger standing structure of propositions and inferrences. On the other hand, if taken either collaboratively or as a chance to compare models, it could be refreshing for each party to actually find an interested party willing to engage with the ideas.

Mrpsly247 (not verified) says...

A logician here.. A chat between us would just be a series of fill in the gap with what you consider the most appropriate innuendo.. Lol but seriously, nice to meet u.

secret (not verified) says...

I couldn't believe at first that I'm a logician. But after having read through the explanations, they do make sense to me. But I don't think I'm that heartless with zero empathy. It's just that when people start crying instead of tackling a problem that has obvious solution, I got impatient at them...

The thing with learning and changing career goals due to fear of failure tick 100%!!

I don't think I'm that smart either. I still don't know many things and have a lifetime to learn. But it's true that I have broad interests and once I understood a subject, I moved on to the next. If I were more diligent and persistent, I could have been the best in the world for that particular subject, instead of being jack of all trades.

Fickle bee (not verified) says...

I've never felt this ordinary in my whole life (LOL). I usually nod and simply smile when others talk about themselves and their interests because I cannot relate, most of the time, but these comments hit home.

Mrs Shreck (not verified) says...

This comment is so INTP-ish I can relate, you know you are INTP when you don't think you are smart but everyone around you is of the contrary opinion lol its called self-doubt we INTP's are good at it. 

S (not verified) says...

It's not a big deal, but in case you didn't notice and would like to correct it: under INTP Strengths it says "Analytically brilliance" 

That is to say, either "Analytically brilliant" or "Analytical brilliance" would be correct. 

(: I love the article though, not trying to seem critical or nit-picky! I've enjoyed reading through all of them, in fact. Thank you for making them available free of charge.

Araven says...

Took test a few minutes ago. Read the 4 sub-pages. Wow has this thing got me pegged!

I'm 68/m and I'm not sure if this does me any good at my stage of life but certainly been an interesting diversion.

Totally messed up personal life yet "da goto guy" professionally,

Field Service Engineer, certificated adult-ed teacher in my profession, love to teach anything I have mastered, World traveler, Multiple languages, Linux user, bored easily - 35 jobs in 40 yrs, SF reader and wannabe writer, hate crowds especially noisy crowds, NOT a party person unless filled with like personalities, *inventor-problem solver*, clothing styles couldn't care what I wear, risk taker, philosopher, soto Zen, Architects have seen my home open on tour and asked who designed my house and were stunned when I said I'm my own architect. Atheist as young know-it-all now realize insufficient data. High IQ (per grade school psychological testing to see what's "wrong" with me) but barely graduated HS bored outta my mind lol. I tend to find myself in charge of group projects but I never understood how that happened. Independent to the point of rebellion. "Does not follow instructions well" LOL ! . Find relationships tedious,

Ayishanihak (not verified) says...

 I am an intp for sure . But I always has straights As in school . But other than that I fingd most of it relatable . I guessi is because I give up being lazy in studies when I was 6 grade. And I love mathematics physic and science . 

William Andrews Hermenegildo (not verified) says...

How about philosophy? I'm interested in that.

Jen Ytal (not verified) says...

My personality test results said I was an INTP, but I'm too weird to be aloof. I think a lot, and I'm atheist, but I'm not an introvert. I'll have too checc out ENTP.

My name (not verified) says...

Hey when your taking the test, you have to consider how/why your responding. What I mean is question why you're really answering the way you are. Is that how you really respond to situations or is that your perception of yourself.  Knowledge of self, as far as I'm concerned, is a prerequisite to mbti tests.  I tell this to many people who I've seen bomb their test, then I have to reiterate to them what I had already said at the beginning which is don't just answer the question. Really consider your past and how you've dealt with those scenarios. That's how I took them and it's really weird, enlightening, and frightening how accurate it is. Good luck

Fez (not verified) says...

By the time i thought of this i have answered 80%, what about the time i spent, and the results are related. A review is enough i guess

BEN DOVER (not verified) says...


Hue G Rection (not verified) says...

I DO!!!!!

One Day I Won't Regret Writing This (not verified) says...

I'm INTP-T on the result, but with 49-51 Introvert and Extrovert, and 49-51 Assertive and Turbulent which is I found it almost a balance (unless you believe it must be exactly equals, 50-50), and I would like to state something:

It's close to right, but not works for everyone, that is why there is percentage that we really need to take a damn look to it. I will take myself as example, I will get another 2 point on the other hand, and I will become another personality type. And it goes for you, if you got close score like this, just consider yourself as the middle of the both personality. That way, you can a better sight for yourself.

Makes sense?

Derp (not verified) says...


Wrong, I don't believe this for one minute. [Because that's how long it takes an INTP to change their mind (I actually agree with the article)] I'd have to say, the perfect INTP career is one that first and foremost, doesn't deal with people. (Unless it's to say, "Here's my idea!".) Second, it has to be progressively more intellectually challenging every day. Even something you love in the moment can suddenly become boring as hell once you realize that you absorb everything like a sponge. 

The perfect career for an INTP:

"Eccentric Millionare Philosopher Philanthropist Explorer Astronaut Scientist Quantum Physicist" - Anything else isn't satisfying




GirlSam (not verified) says...

Yes, thank you. That is exactly the job I want. Everything else is hell and boring. It is all hell. I want to be an eccentric millionaire philosopher philanthropist explorer astronaut quantum physics scientist who in her spare time aspires to be a piano concerto. Anything other than that life, is not what I want. I've been saying this since for years. People say I am a dreamer. No, that is what I need. It is not a dream. I need, another 150 years extension because it took me my current lifetime to figure out what career I want. And it is that. What you said. Verbatim.

FERMOR (not verified) says...

This thouroughly made me laugh, thanks!

Sheila1234 (not verified) says...

That is hilarious :)  When I was a kid, I wanted to be a veterinarian/astronaut/screenplay writer/movie director/musician...because, SOMEONE has to take care of the animals they sent up into space and make a movie/write a song about it.  I did not know they had stopped sending animals up into space when I came up with my master plan. :)

CADEER (not verified) says...

As I laughed at this comment it made me realize that it is quite accurate. Everything becomes boring once I learn it. However, to find true happiness as an INTP we must see that the nuances and even the smallest details of what we are absorbing is what should keep us interested in what we do. The best part is witnessing how our brains do not let go of problems and finds the solutions by making unlikely connections with what we have learned or the answer resurfaces when we are learning something new. There lays the (Aha!) moment. So satisfying. 

Mercedes (not verified) says...

Honestly though.... that career choice that you just described is exactly what I want! I got INTP-T.

Derpina (not verified) says...

Hear hear! 

This is what leads to job dissatisfaction with us. We bore too easily (or we are stuck dealing with people.... Ewww...) 

We master something and then want to tackle something new or the next, more complicated, step in the process and are often told "no".

My personal way of coping was to find a job that I can do on autopilot and where I am allowed to wear headphones. 

This way, I can listen to music (because my taste in genres changes daily), audio books, podcasts, the news, guided meditations, etc., while I work so that I can ignore the fact that what I'm actually getting paid for is snoozeville :) 

Derpina (not verified) says...

Hear hear! 

This is what leads to job dissatisfaction with us. We bore too easily (or we are stuck dealing with people.... Ewww...) 

We master something and then want to tackle something new or the next, more complicated, step in the process and are often told "no".

My personal way of coping was to find a job that I can do on autopilot and where I am allowed to wear headphones. 

This way, I can listen to music (because my taste in genres changes daily), audio books, podcasts, the news, guided meditations, etc., while I work so that I can ignore the fact that what I'm actually getting paid for is snoozeville :) 

Chinmay (not verified) says...

I think this is true for me . The careers written here are what i want to become.

Between ENTJ/INTP (not verified) says...

You guys, 


None of this is scientific. This is merely your perception of yourself. How others see you may very well differ than how you see yourself - which is why you seem to change your cognitive skills over time. 

Tamtrey3543 (not verified) says...

Nope, you're wrong. "This is merely perception of yourself" there are ways to get logically conclude traits of yourself. While it is not 100% concrete because it is a self-taken test. It still is very accurate at painting a general body of a persons personality as long as they answer honestly. This is because this approaches people's perspective on life and as a human you will have a preference over one perspective or another. And for the cognitive functions (Middle letters) those are already set-in-stone and have been approved by scientists. If you are honest about it and the test is good you will 100% consistently get the same two middle letters guaranteed.

smharclerode42 (not verified) says...

This is quite poorly worded, but the essence is generally correct. While it would be foolish to assume that one's MBTI score is some sort of infallible metric of objectivity, it would be equally as foolish to dismiss the results as an entirely subjective portrait of self-perception. Without even delving into the greater discussion/debate of whether or not perception = reality, it strikes me as a fairly straightforward & reasonable notion to suggest that the phrasing of the MBTI prompts (i.e. entirely in the 2nd person; based on generic preference/tendency) and responses (i.e. non-specific; [semi-]boolean w/ degrees of certainty) should/does eliminate a vast majority of the potential variance due to the subjectivity of self-perception, subconscious prejudices/biases, or what have you. 

Having said all of that, I'd also note that one's MBTI results are nearly useless without the corresponding percentages by category. I know that's a fairly obvious caveat, but still...for the sake of accuracy & clarity, I found it important enough to include. 

(PS - ...just out of curiosity, how blatantly obvious is my MBTI-code, simply based on the above response?)

jacob273 (not verified) says...

some of this hits home, because i love logical puzzles and i am proud of my intellect (although i would never admit it) and many people would call me a dreamer, but this "thinking about the universe" sounds so presumptuous to me that I cant really connect to it. I mean i like to argue about stuff, but i dont like sounding like a college student on a Party who wants to hit on ladys

Christopher (INTP) (not verified) says...

That doesn’t sound like an INTP to me. Are you sure you’re an INTP and not something similar? A lot of INTJ’s think they’re INTPS. I’d do some more research.

zach4535345345 (not verified) says...

INTJ's are statistically less common, so im not sure what your source is on that. 

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