Best Career Paths For ESTJ Personality Types

By Chris Kolmar - Oct. 11, 2021

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Have you ever wondered if you’re in the right profession? What if your personality was better suited for another job. How would you even figure that out? Well, we’ve got the answer for you. You can take a personality test and then use that data to find the perfect career.

One very popular personality test is based upon the work of psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Jung had theorized that personalities are made of cognitive functions, and the order of these functions helps determine the personality and behavioral traits. The popular test is called the Myers Briggs Type Indicator®, and it’s a good place to start.

When you take the test, you’ll be given results that are represented by four letters. Each letter and the order they’re in are important and give you more information on your personality. They might also be used to help you select a career that fits your defining cognitive functions.

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What Is an ESTJ?

If you took the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and received the results of an ESTJ, then your personality type is defined by:

  • Extroversion

  • Sensing

  • Thinking

  • Judging

These four personality traits have a level of prominence represented by the position they have in the label. The strongest trait coming first and the weakest appearing last:

  • Extroversion is exactly what you’d think. The ESTJ is, above all else, a people person and enjoys meeting others and interacting with people. If they find a job where they get to do this, they’ll be happier than working alone.

    They’re also considered the “social glue” in many situations and bring people together. Because human interaction is so important to them, they value trustworthiness, self-respect, and commitment – characteristics that build strong relationships.

  • Sensing people are good at taking things as they come. They don’t worry about the future too much, and they don’t dwell on the past. They tend to be good at handling emergencies because they can break it down into what needs to happen at that moment and then the next, etc.

    They don’t get panicked by worries about what if. One downfall for sensing people is they don’t like to think big picture and into the future, so they can be poor planners or not great at making long-term commitments.

  • Thinking comes in as a tertiary function for the ESTJ. This doesn’t mean that they don’t think about things. It means that they tend to take in information and categorize it into practical insight or actions. The interesting thing is that they do this automatically and without conscious effort.

    Their thinking is more immediate than some people, leading them to believe that they act on their gut feelings and have bursts of inspiration. The truth is they’re always putting together a mental puzzle of how things work without even realizing it.

  • Judging means that the individual tends to judge the outside world and how it affects them or how their thoughts align with others. They aren’t judgmental; that’s a misinterpretation of the term. Rather, the judging personality trait means they’re more concerned with the outside world than their internal world.

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Strengths and Weaknesses of ESTJ People

People who find that their personality falls into the ESTJ like to work within the rules, and they like the structure of rules. Their desire to learn the rules and follow them makes them someone you can trust both personally and professionally.

ESTJs also are very likable. They’re interested in other people and thrive on relationships. But their desire to keep everyone on the straight and narrow can make them seem a little rigid and bossy. It can also make them seem insensitive as they don’t find a lot of exceptions for breaking the rules or going against tradition.

Some strengths that you might find in an ESTJ person include:

  • Practical and realistic

  • Dependable

  • Confident

  • Hard worker

  • Leader

  • Traditional values

  • Rule follower

Some weaknesses of ESTJs could be:

  • Insensitive

  • Inflexible

  • Out of touch with feelings

  • Argumentative

  • Bossy

Top Careers for ESTJ Personality Types

If you have discovered that you’re an ESTJ personality type, then you might find that some of these careers are well-suited for you. It doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be a fit, but it can give you some ideas on new professions.

  1. Police Officer

    Average Yearly Salary: $47,000

    The desire to learn the rules and live within their boundaries propels many ESTJ personality types into professions governed by rules. Being a police officer is the perfect example of a job that requires a thorough understanding of the rules and a desire to maintain them.

    ESTJs will do quite well in this field, and even some of their perceived weaknesses can be useful as a police officer. Their insensitive nature can help them diffuse situations and stay neutral when determining who’s at fault and what’s happening. Their bossy qualities can make them good at taking charge, when necessary, too.

    Find Police Officer jobs near me.

  2. Politician

    Average Yearly Salary: N/A

    ESTJs have done quite well in politics, and many United States presidents fall into this personality type. Politicians need to know the rules, they have to be dependable and confident to get people to vote for them, and they certainly need to exhibit some leadership abilities.

    Again, bossy politicians can be seen as take-charge individuals. Where they may have problems is in their argumentative nature. Sometimes that will work in their favor, but other times it will come off as harsh and abrasive, which voters don’t like.

  3. School Administrator

    Average Yearly Salary: $57,000

    A school administrator is another career that could be well-suited for an ESTJ who loves to know all the rules and can lead others and encourage them to toe the line.

    A great administrator does very well with other people, and that’s something ESTJs definitely can handle. Their ability to be likable by everyone, including people of all ages, plays well with this job.

    The ESTJ may have a little trouble being empathetic in some situations and flexible when there’s a unique situation. Their desire to adhere to the rules can be a bit of a downfall once in a while. But ESTJs are good at picking great people to support them. With the right staff choices, they should be able to overcome this downfall.

    Find School Administrator jobs near me.

  4. Accountant

    Average Yearly Salary: $52,000

    Accountants are all about numbers and order. This is a great career for someone who appreciates rules as an ESTJ does. Not only do they enjoy getting the numbers to line up and the symmetry involved, but they also like the rules involved in tax law, auditing, and other branches of this profession.

    The downside to some accounting jobs is that they can be very solitary, which isn’t great for the ESTJ. But the upside is, they don’t need to go into one of those accounting jobs. Other branches of accounting are very involved with other people, and that changes frequently, so they’re constantly getting to engage with others.

    Find Accountant jobs near me.

  5. Human Resources Manager

    Average Yearly Salary: $80,000

    Human resources managers not only have to learn a lot of legal and technical rules, but those rules also seem to change regularly. This job easily fuels their need to put things into categories and constantly stay on top of changes in how different aspects of a business run.

    Another great benefit for ESTJs who choose to go into HR is they are always dealing with other people.

    When they’re dealing with others, they are usually in charge of telling them about their benefits or job duties and other information related to the company they all work for. This lets them show off their leadership skills and their human interaction abilities at the same time.

    Find Human Resources Manager jobs near me.

  6. Banker

    Average Yearly Salary: $67,000

    Bankers, like accountants, are interested in money. Money is about numbers, and this is an industry that thrives on rules. There are federal banking rules and state ones. You’ll even find that there can be local and institutional bank rules. They just keep stacking up, and the banker is great and figuring out how they all work together.

    Another reason that ESTJs make great bankers is when they’re dealing with people. Their ability to get along with people and sway opinions with their personalities can go a long way toward developing relationships.

    That relationship is then used to continue to get business in the future, or it’s used to smooth over bad news about the available loans.

    Find Banker jobs near me.

  7. Office Manager

    Average Yearly Salary: $43,000

    Office managers are sometimes called administrators and in some situations. They’re referred to as secretaries. These individuals are critical players in any business, running the day-to-day operations.

    They tend to be the unsung heroes in many companies, with people not realizing how important they are and all that they do. Interestingly, this is just fine for a lot of ESTJs. They’re not in it for the glory. They like the control and making sure things are working correctly.

    ESTJs are uniquely suited to this job because they are also good at telling everybody what to do. Being able to tell their boss what to do and even executives in a company can be tricky for some people but for ESTJs working as office managers, it’s as easy as can be.

    Find Office Manager jobs near me.

  8. Real Estate Attorney

    Average Yearly Salary: $105,000

    All branches of law can be a good fit for an ESTJ. It’s all about the rules, right? The one thing that makes real estate law better for ESTJs is that it rarely deals with emotions, and being sensitive or compassionate typically doesn’t come into play.

    For instance, ESTJs would not make good divorce attorneys, and they are not great in other realms of family law either. They can also struggle in court, where they need to relate with a jury. Most real estate attorneys get to stick to facts and figures and the very intricate and confusing world of property sales.

    Find Real Estate Attorney jobs near me.

  9. OSHA Inspector

    Average Yearly Salary: $48,000

    An ESTJ will do well in any career as an inspector. They memorize the rules and then go out and make sure others are following them.

    This is a thrilling career for them as it provides them with the authority and responsibility to make sure others follow codes and act responsibly. They can also use their leadership skills to convince people that they need to comply.

    OSHA, or Occupational Health and Safety Administration, inspection jobs are great for ESTJs because there are different levels of compliance and rules. This appeals to their innate ability to translate facts they learn into categories and then apply that knowledge to the outside world.

    It’s a great little niche for all aspects of an ESTJs personality.

    Find OSHA Inspector jobs near me.

  10. Financial Planner

    Average Yearly Salary: $66,000

    Financial planners lean a little more heavily on their extrovert qualities than some of the other professions mentioned. They use their leadership skills to establish authority with clients, and then they use their knowledge to show people how they should invest.

    They can draw people to them and speak to them genuinely, making others trust them with their financial future. If you’re looking for a financial planner, finding an ESTJ is a smart bet. They are very loyal, trustworthy, and dependable. This is exactly what you want from a financial planner.

    Find Financial Planner jobs near me.

Careers ESTJ People Should Avoid

These careers tend to be poorly suited for ESTJ people and don’t play into their innate strengths. This doesn’t mean that an ESTJ should quit if they have one of these jobs or that they’ll fail; it just means that they might not be as suited for them as they are for one of the jobs above.

  1. Artist

    There simply aren’t a lot of rules in art, and that leaves most ESTJs feeling uncomfortable. We’re not saying that an ESTJ can’t find a form of art that they love and that makes them feel passion, but this tends to be an area that isn’t appealing to them as it requires more emotion than laws.

  2. Nurse

    Nurses need people skills, which makes this career seem like it’s very well suited for ESTJs, but the empathy part of their people skills matters most to people in the healthcare field.

    While ESTJs can thrive in the nursing field, they might be seen as uncaring or lacking in sympathy. They might also find this part of the job too taxing and difficult.

  3. Physical Therapist

    A physical therapist, like a nurse, needs a lot of empathy when dealing with their patients. They not only need to have a good bedside manner but being able to understand the pain their patients feel helps them devise a treatment plan.

    Facts in this field are useful, but sometimes the best therapy treatment plans are born of creativity and a willingness to step outside of traditional approaches.

  4. Cosmetologist

    Cosmetologists need to be good with people, so the extrovert personality of an ENTJ will make them a good cosmetologist, but beyond that, there is a lot of creativity necessary. Creativity is typically not a strong suit for ENTJs, and when there aren’t rules dictating actions, life feels messy and unpredictable.

  5. Daycare Owner/Teacher

    Speaking of messy and unpredictable, dealing with young children is both of those things. Kids have a hard time following some rules, and an empathetic personality is essential for building rapport with children. Anyone who expects little ones to always follow the rules and listen to orders is bound to be immediately frustrated.

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Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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