Best careers for ESTJ personality types

Last updated: April 22, 2024
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Paul Baker
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Best careers for ESTJ personality types
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Known for their sensible judgment and fact-based thinking, ESTJ personality types are suited for a variety of roles in the workplace.

However, as with all personality profiles, some roles are more well-suited for ESTJs than others. There are also a number of roles that aren’t a good fit for an ESTJ.

So, if you’re an ESTJ personality type, how should you separate suitable opportunities from poor ones? Which subjects are a good choice for ESTJs to study, and which career paths provide the most fulfillment for these decisive and logical thinkers?

In this article, we’ll provide answers to each of these questions and discuss six of the most suitable ESTJ careers available. We’ll also explain what exactly an ESTJ personality type is and how they often function in the workplace.

Not sure if you're an ESTJ?

Follow these 2 steps to find the best job for your personality type:

  1. Find out your personality type for free on 16Personalities: take the free Personality Test

  2. Return to to visit our resource center and find the best jobs for your personality - it’s a great way to kick off the job search and discover the best match for your personality type!

What does ESTJ mean?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test is a personality test that measures a person’s natural tendencies, temperament, and personality traits.

ESTJ is one of the 16 personality types that result from the ​​Myers-Briggs personality type test. It’s a reasonably common type, with 8.7% of the people who take the test achieving this result.

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The ESTJ personality (also called ‘The Executive’) breaks down like this:

  • E (extroverted): ESTJs derive energy from social interactions. They love being around and working with other people.

  • S (observant/sensing): Observant personalities such as the ESTJs are practical, fact-based, and actionable.

  • T (thinking): ESTJs prefer to lean on objective information rather than feelings and are more interested in the question, “How does this help?” rather than, “Who does this help?”

  • J (judging): judging personality types are high in orderliness. They prefer when there is a clear and detailed path ahead of them rather than figuring things out as they go.

So, what are ESTJs like in the workplace, and how does their temperament affect their career options?

The ESTJ at work

ESTJs are conscientious, hard-working, and ruthlessly organized.

This personality type enjoys managing people and projects, especially when they are able to create in-depth plans that they can follow to drive success for their team.

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ESTJs are trustworthy and reliable, though they are sometimes too eager to take on new opportunities and find themselves overwhelmed with work.

The ESTJ in a team

ESTJs work well in an action-focused team where they have a clearly structured role that they can put into action each day.

However, they may become frustrated with other personality types who prefer to spend more time in lengthy theoretical discussions.

As a result of their methodical and structured nature, they may find themselves bearing the brunt of the workload of a team and will likely become frustrated with other team members who are less deadline-focused and industrious than they are.

The ESTJ as a leader

ESTJs love taking on leadership roles, as they thrive when they are able to craft strategies and plans for actions.

They are also extroverts, so they naturally fit well in leadership positions where they have control over a large team.

ESTJs will likely do better in leadership roles within established hierarchies rather than within startups or companies that are rapidly changing. This is because they value tradition, trust their previous experience, and tend to have a hard time with innovation and turbulence.

6 best jobs for ESTJ

Given their natural personality traits, what are the best careers for ESTJs?

Let’s take a look at six jobs that an ESTJ personality type may thrive in.

1. CEO or managing director

Many ESTJs find that their ideal career is one that progresses into a leadership role.

At the top of a company’s hierarchy is the CEO or managing director, which are positions an ESTJ can succeed in. Other upper management positions such as chief financial officer can be a good fit for ESTJs as well.

The combination of the ESTJ’s thinking and judging personality means they are well-equipped to make difficult decisions and remain cool under pressure.

However, one area that ESTJs may struggle in as a CEO or managing director is in envisioning a future path for the company.

This is because many ESTJs (especially those who tip much more to the S side of the N/S scale, meaning they rely more on observation than intuition) are low in openness, preferring consistency and tradition rather than novelty and transformation.

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2. Police officer

Law enforcement positions such as a police officer are an excellent fit for ESTJs, as their sensing style of information processing means they are quick to assess the facts at hand.

They also value tradition and structure (such as the law), and often excel at decision-making, which is a crucial aspect of a police officer role.

3. Hotel manager

Hotel management positions require a high degree of organizational skills, which is an area where ESTJ characteristics shine.

They are often high in orderliness, which bodes well for running a tight ship and keeping a clean and well-ordered hotel. Plus, their extroverted personality works well in a hospitality environment.

4. Lawyer or paralegal

One of the best career choices for ESTJs who are particularly high on both the S and J scales is to become a lawyer or paralegal.

ESTJs who score high on the S scale are low in openness, meaning they attend strictly to facts, precedents, and established tradition, which is important in legal roles.

This work environment typically asks long hours of its employees, so it’s important that ESTJs in this industry have a strong work ethic, which relates to the J scale (including conscientiousness).

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5. Chef

The food industry is another environment that requires a high degree of stress tolerance and a willingness to put in long hours.

ESTJs who fit these requirements can find work as a chef both challenging and fulfilling.

6. Healthcare

ESTJs will find many great career matches in healthcare. In particular, as a result of their extroversion and reliability, they’ll likely do well in the following roles:

ESTJ careers to avoid

Not all careers are a good fit for ESTJs.

In particular, roles that don’t involve a lot of structure or leave ESTJs isolated from others tend not to be a good choice.

A few examples include:

  • Data entry clerk

  • Preschool or primary school teacher

  • Actor

  • Musician

  • Writer

  • Psychologist

What should an ESTJ major in?

Not all ESTJ careers require a college education.

For example, in many places, you can become a police officer through a specialized training program without specifically needing a college degree.

However, if you are considering going to college or completing a certificate program, then these can be great majors for ENTJs:

  • Pre-dental

  • Pre-medical

  • Residential property management

  • Hospitality management

  • Food management

  • Finance

  • Criminal justice and criminology

Which of these ESTJ careers is right for you?

Choosing a career that fits your personality profile is always a smart choice, as doing so gives you the best chance of finding fulfillment and engagement in your career.

Now that you’ve got a good feel for what kind of careers suit an ESTJ personality type, there’s one question left to answer:

Which ESTJ career is right for you?

If you’ve already decided, then now’s a good time to look for open positions in your chosen field. Check out the Jobcase job board to browse vacancies.



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