The ISTP Personality Type: The Maker

An ISTP personality type is someone who has Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Perceiving personality traits based on the Myers-Briggs personality types.

ISTP Meaning

Being classified as a ISTP means you value setting yourself apart from the crowd and are a natural goal-setter. You are curious, and want to use your mechanical knack to solve problems and build something tangible. Also called the Virtuoso (16 personalities) and Mechanic. We like to think of the ISTP as a Maker.

As far as ISTP careers go, the ISTP needs variety and physical activity, even a bit of risk. In other words, a desk job where the days blur together would not be fulfilling work.

ISTPs explore the world with their senses. They touch, see and assess their environment by what is, not what if. Curiosity and common sense work together as the ISTP literally makes their way in the world. They build, tinker, make create just for the fun of it. If they can put their mechanical skills into their career, then that’s all the better.

You can recognize Makers by their excitement for getting their hands dirty, digging in and taking apart things to see how they work. Don’t worry, the ISTP can put the item together again and make it work even better.

The Best Careers for ISTP

Maker personality types connect ideas and outcomes, as such, they need a job that allows them to experiment. They love troubleshooting, trial and error and getting first-hand knowledge from doing the thing themselves.

You’ll find Makers in engineering, technology, construction and business related jobs. They need a fair amount of freedom to figure out the best solution, but don’t mind colleagues who take an interest in their work. No micromanagers please.

As employees, ISTPs want to help out and share their knowledge.

ISTP Career Interests: The Type of Work They Like to Do

The ISTP personality type enjoys doing realistic work, meaning they like to work with their hands and produce tangible results. They also have enterprising tendencies, which means they like to make decisions and solve problems.

ISTP Work Values: What the Maker Wants From a Job

ISTP job wants

The Makers top wants from a job are independence, a chance to set and make goals, and a job security.


Makers want to do their work without being micromanaged. They want to have the freedom to make decisions and find solutions that may not be “what has always been done.”


Jobs that fulfill this work value are goal-oriented. Maker personality types are good at setting and achieving goals. They want to see projects through and have a clear plan on how to get there.

Working Conditions

ISTPs want a career that offers security and stability. This doesn’t mean doing the same thing over and over again. It means they want a job that offers variety but is fairly established and has good working conditions.

Best Career Matches for ISTP

These jobs are ones that are most likely to fulfill an ISTP personality type, but everyone is unique, so there may be another option for you. This careers list is meant to be a starting point to exploring your potential next career move.

Whether you are just starting out, or want a career change, these best jobs for an ISTP are meant to help you focus finding work that you love. Each job has a career interest or secondary career interest as realistic. The jobs also satisfy the combination of work values for independence, achievement and stability.

Why These Are the Best Jobs for ISTP

Maker personalities may appear what-you-see-is-what-you-get, but in reality, they will keep you guessing. This goes for careers, relationships and life in general.

These personalities are private and have a cool exterior. Yet, from what seems out of nowhere, they will take a new job, go on a trip to Europe or decide to shave their head of long hair, just to change things up.

These careers offer freedom and the chance for the ISTP to solve problems, have variety and try tactics just to see if the tactics work.

They love to try different approaches for the sake of novelty. ISTPs need work where they are only told what needs to be done, not how to get the task done.

The ISTP Outside of Work

This impulsiveness can drive their friends and family crazy. What was is no more, and with no warning you could be left in their dust. While the ISTP wants variety and something different, not all personalities can deal with the ISTP about face.

Taking Things Too Far

The Craftsman is a rather puzzling personality type, once you get to know them. Or rather think that you know them.

While they believe in treating others the way they want to be treated, they tend to trample on people’s toes and expect to be trampled as well. Maybe that’s why they work in steel-toed boots. What goes around comes around, and that is fine by them.

ISTP Compatibility

Other personality types may be offended by the ISTP’s bending of the rules, social or otherwise. You can’t just say or do whatever you want and expect everyone to reciprocate.

ISTP personalities are action oriented, and this applies to their relationships. They throw spaghetti at the wall to see what works.

They try this, troubleshoot that. And being a test subject in a relationship can be frustrating for some. Just be aware that the ISTP wants to color outside of the lines because why not?

The more emotionally charged intuitive personality types such as INFJ or ENFJ are likely to think ISTPs are insensitive.

While the judging part of theses types may think the ISTP is sloppy or at the very least disorganized. The ISTP doesn’t want to be boxed in by rules and a little chaos makes things exciting right?

Curiosity and How Things Work Motivate ISTP

ISTPs view the world as something to tinker with. They are the least likely to attend college, but that doesn’t mean this personality doesn’t want to learn.

ISTPs study how things work and are naturals when it comes to using and operating machines, instruments, and equipment.

This personality type can be detached and prefer the logic of machines rather than emotional, touchy-feely professions. These workers are independent and need plenty of space to do their thing.

Famous ISTPs

These are famous ISTPs according to this site.

  • Steve Jobs, Apple founder
  • Jack Dorsey, Twitter founder
  • Donald Rumsfeld, former Sec. of Defense
  • Melania Trump, former First Lady
  • Clint Eastwood, actor
  • Miles Davis, musician
  • Tom Cruise, actor
  • Harrison Ford, Actor