Best Career Paths For ESTP Personality Types

By Chris Kolmar - Oct. 11, 2021

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Have you ever wondered if your career is the right one for you? You might feel that you’re good at your job, but maybe it’s not fulfilling something inside you. Perhaps, it’s just not suited for your personality.

One way to line your personality up with your career is to learn more about your personality. Taking a personality test can help you learn more about yourself and what makes you tick.

There are a lot of different personality tests out there, and they’re not all the same. One of the more respected ones is based on the work of psychoanalyst Carl Jung. He theorized that personality is made of cognitive function, and it’s the order of these functions that determine personality types.

Translating Jung’s theories into a personality test is most famously done by The Myers Briggs Type Indicator® personality inventory. This test will give you a four-letter personality category, and each letter designates a personality trait and its “position” in your character.

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What Is an ESTP?

If you’ve taken the Myers-Briggs personality test and discovered you’re an ESTP, you are probably wondering what that means. Even when you discover what the acronym stands for, it can still be confusing. Let’s take a closer look.

  • Extroverted

  • Sensing

  • Thinking

  • Perceiving

If we break down those four traits even further, you’ll find different levels of dominance, starting with the first letter and working toward the last. Each trait is better defined below:

  • Extroverted thinking in ESTPs means they are energized by spending time with others, and they also like to look at things with a big-picture mentality rather than focusing on the details.

    They have great people skills, and they are concerned with what other people are thinking. They also tend to be likable and the people who pay attention to details – like remembering birthdays.

  • Sensing for ESTPs is a pretty dominant characteristic that they’re not even that aware of. Because they’re good at listening to others and they process what others say, do, and even what their internal feelings appear to be, they are very adept at sensing things.

    Their intuition is so acute that they can be seen as almost psychic because they can put those details together better than most, and they do it naturally and in their subconscious.

  • Thinking in the ESTP personality means they’re quick-witted. They’re those people who always come up with the best impromptu punchlines because they’re great at spontaneity. They’re also very flexible thinkers. What they’re not good at is planning.

  • Perceiving for ESTPs is how they look at the results of situations. They’re not caught up in how something will affect others. Instead, they are sitting back and mentally taking notes on the results. This can make them seem a bit insensitive.

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Strengths and Weaknesses of ESTP Individuals

Like all personality types, there are some strengths and some downfalls that ESTPs face. Overall, they are energetic, doers, and the life of the party. They can easily be categorized as type A personalities and even risk-takers. They bring energy to every situation and are active and playful.

On the flip side, they can feel like a lot to handle and be difficult to deal with after an extended period. They are also surprisingly sensitive and can take things personally in ways that others couldn’t have predicted. They also tend to cover their emotions with jokes and be seen as silly at times instead of serious.

Strengths that you might find in an ESTP Include:

  • Sense of humor

  • High energy

  • Influential and persuasive

  • Action-oriented

  • Observant

  • Flexible and quick

Weaknesses that ESTPs are known for include:

  • Impulsive

  • Competitive

  • Overly dramatic

  • Easily bored

  • Insensitive

Top Careers for ESTP Personality Types

Being classified as an ESTP means some professions might be better suited for you. Professions that make the most of your strengths and downplay your weaknesses so you can really shine. Some of the better careers for ESTPs are listed below.

  1. Stockbroker

    Average Yearly Salary: $55,000

    A stockbroker needs to get along with people well and instantly create rapport and feelings of trust. Being a good salesperson is also an essential part of their business. The ESTP tends to excel in this area because they’re so good at reading people and quickly adapt to speak their language, figuratively, of course.

    Another reason ESTPs should consider a career in stock trading is that they might be better positioned to predict the market than some other personality types.

    Their innate ability to sense what is happening and put those facts together without even realizing it can make them seem to have magical powers when predicting trends. They’re the ones to follow if they hone their knowledge of the market.

    Find Stockbroker jobs near me.

  2. Real Estate Investor

    Average Yearly Salary: $82,023

    A real estate investor is not the same as a real estate broker, but an ESTP could honestly do well in either of those fields. They make good real estate investors because they can dive deep into a market and understand the nuances of trends.

    Knowing what people in that region want, where the popular neighborhoods will be, and what investment properties will gain the most income is key.

    Not only are ESTPs good at predicting what will happen in the real estate market and what renters or tenants will be interested in, but they’re also good at persuading other investors. This can be a key part of their business, getting other investors to hop on board with their plans.

    Find Real Estate Investor jobs near me.

  3. Hospitality Management

    Average Yearly Salary: $45,000

    Hotels, vacation destinations, event venues, cruise ships, spas, etc. – all of these businesses fall into the hospitality field and need management personnel. Whether the managers help the guests directly or manage a team of employees, ESTPs will love this work.

    Each day, they work with other people, and keeping them happy and their spirits up is a big part of the job. There’s no time to focus on problems; they must be dealt with and then move on.

    All of this plays right into the strengths of an ESTP, making hospitality management a fun field for them to be in. Their inner desire to keep things light and watch the results of their efforts makes this career very rewarding.

    Find Hospitality Management jobs near me.

  4. Comedian/Actor

    Average Yearly Salary: $65,311

    Known for being funny and the life of the party, it’s no wonder why ESTPs make great comedians and actors. Driven to make people laugh and gifted with quick wit, it’s easy to see why people who have these skills often end up in entertainment. Even their negative traits can make them stand out and push them to achieve in these professions.

    If an ESTP finds that their current profession isn’t quite right but doesn’t want to quit, then getting involved with local theatre and comedy groups can fill that void in their lives and give them the balance they crave. This is a great equalizer and outlet for some people who feel unfulfilled in their professions.

    Find Comedian/Actor jobs near me.

  5. Fitness Instructor

    Average Yearly Salary: $41,000

    Getting many people to exercise when they would rather sit on a couch takes a lot of skill. It also takes a truly dynamic personality. This is where an ESTP will shine. They are people that others naturally want to follow. Their sense of humor also can push through and distract people from how difficult their fitness routine is.

    In addition to getting others on board, ESTPs do enjoy the spotlight, and teaching a fitness class is just that. Not only will people be listening to you, but they’ll be watching you, and that’s just fine with this personality type.

    Find Fitness Instructor jobs near me.

  6. Bartender

    Average Yearly Salary: $22,000

    Few people get to listen to the problems of others and dig into their lives without any professional liability as a bartender can. Sure, an ESTP could be a therapist, but they’d quickly tire of their clients’ problems never changing. They’d also get bored of the attention being on someone else.

    A bartender position is ideal for ESTPs who love to listen to others, engage with them, offer advice, and then collect their tips and leave at the end of their shift. They’re the bartenders that everyone loves and wants to visit, which makes them even more money, and that’s a great thing.

    Find Bartender jobs near me.

  7. Paramedic

    Average Yearly Salary: $41,000

    In a way, a paramedic is a medical health professional with a short attention span. They come in and do their best to help in life and death situations, but then they have to leave the patient in the care of others and move on to the next emergency. It’s a hard role to fill, but ESTPs are well-suited to fill it.

    They enjoy having that rush of adrenaline and using their innate skills to quickly assess a situation and step in with proper care.

    Another gift of the ESTP personality that can help immensely in emergency medicine is their flexibility. If one thing isn’t working, paramedics need to make snap decisions on whether that’s the right thing to keep doing or if they need to change directions. This can be a life-saving talent.

    Find Paramedic jobs near me.

  8. Restaurateur/Chef

    Average Yearly Salary: $44,000

    Owning a restaurant or being a chef has become a high-profile position in the last few years. Many of these people are seen as the center of the business, a key player in people’s free-time enjoyment, and even celebrities.

    In some restaurants, the chef is silent and stays in the background, and some restaurateurs are silent business partners. But, when the chef or the restaurateur becomes a personality in the community, that’s where an ESTP will shine.

    They will greet people and remember their names. They’ll engage everyone in conversation and share a joke or two. They keep the atmosphere fun and lively, which makes their restaurant even more popular and in demand.

    Find Restaurateur/Chef jobs near me.

  9. Police Officer

    Average Yearly Salary: $47,000

    Like paramedics, police officers have to come into a situation and quickly assess what’s going on. Often, they have to diffuse tense environments, and an ESTP can be quite good at that.

    They’re quick to understand people, and their ability to put those pieces together effortlessly can help them know what’s going on behind the scenes.

    The only part of an ESTPs personality that doesn’t always work is their tendency to put humor over seriousness to avoid uncomfortable situations. While this might not work on some of their calls, it can also be what others need to hear to feel better. It can also brighten the days of their co-workers.

    Find Police Officer jobs near me.

  10. Outdoor Adventure Guide

    Average Yearly Salary: $26,142

    ESTPs are prone to being type-A personalities and risk-takers. They’re also people that others love to follow and innately trust. That makes them great guides for all sorts of outdoor adventures. If they know their stuff, they’re the people who make new experiences enjoyable, educational, and fun.

    They’re likely to enjoy the activity as much as the people paying them to lead, which makes it that much more exciting. Plan to enjoy your next trip when you find an ESTP to guide you.

    Find Outdoor Adventure Guide jobs near me.

Careers ESTPs Should Avoid

These might not be the worst places for ESTPs to land, but there’s a good chance these careers won’t fit with their personality and leave them feeling uncomfortable or bored.

  1. Writer

    Writing can be a very solitary profession, and while a quick wit can help, it’s not necessary. ESTPs will find the hours of sitting in thought and contemplation, not to mention the massive amounts of research that writers do completely tedious. They want to be out there, engaging and then trying new things. Not tied to a computer.

  2. Chemist

    Chemists need an incredible ability to hold information and apply it meticulously. This is not an area where ESTPs excel, and they need human interaction to thrive and not applied sciences. ESTPs also want to work in a more dynamic atmosphere where chemists often avoid drama and excitement.

  3. Oncologist

    Oncologists indeed need to relate with people well, but not in the same ways that ESTPs do. Oncologists treat patients with cancer daily, so a sense of humor might seem out of place and inappropriate.

    Having great compassion is more in line with this profession and an ability to stick with a patient, no matter what they’re going through, makes a great oncologist.

  4. Epidemiologist

    Sitting in a lab studying disease and illness is something most ESTPs would never even consider as a profession. This job is almost the complete opposite of their personality and doesn’t allow them to interact with others in a light and humorous way. Their talents would be lost in this profession.

  5. Veterinarian

    While it’s entirely possible for an ESTP to love animals and want to work with them, it might be better for them to try a career training animals or breeding them. Veterinarians offer wellness checks and other happy services, but they also need to deal with very sick animals, surgeries, and death.

    Not only that, but they have to be good with the owners of those animals as well. This tends to be a field that’s too serious for most ESTPs.

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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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