What are the best careers for the ESTJ, also known as The Administrator personality type? Before we can discuss that in any detail, we first have to consider what determines the different professional paths we all take.
There are quite a few factors that influence our career choices. On one side you have societal circumstances. These can, in their essence, be cultural, historical, technological, etc., but they boil down to one thing — human necessity. Whatever product or service people see as desirable or necessary, is a potential source of income for someone who can provide it. Food is an indispensable human need, for instance, which creates a myriad of job opportunities in food production and distribution.
Does that mean anyone can be happy as a farmer, cook, or waiter? Not necessarily. An individual’s psychological needs and particular skill set may not be suited for certain jobs. Which brings us to the other big factor that guides our career choices — our psychological makeup. This includes our personality traits and our strengths and weaknesses, and also our likes and dislikes. These determine what occupations we are drawn to and are naturally good at. We can all find occupations we enjoy and see as meaningful, especially if we know ourselves well.
This is where tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator come in. They are a great way for us to discover more about ourselves and find out what makes us tick. This can aid us in our job search. If you know that you are introverted, for instance, you may save time and energy by avoiding occupations that require a lot of interaction, such as event organizers. We can look at each Myers-Briggs personality type as a specific kind of plant, and the professional setting as a specific kind of soil that is best suited for each plant to thrive in.
ESTJs at Work
The ESTJ type (Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging) is one of the most hardworking and responsible personality types out there, so they have the potential to excel in any profession. But some jobs are still better-suited for The Administrators than others, because of their characteristic personality preferences.
One of the defining traits of ESTJs is that they are born leaders. Taking charge of situations and guiding others in pursuit of common goals comes naturally to them. So leadership roles fit ESTJs very well. What’s more, they often climb very high up the ladder in any sphere. The fact that at least ten former U.S. presidents, including Andrew Jackson and Harry S. Truman, are believed to have been ESTJs, is testament enough.
ESTJs are concrete thinkers, oriented toward the practical side of things. So in their work, they like to deal with real-world problems rather than abstract and philosophical matters. Because of their decisive and relentless nature, The Administrators tackle issues head-on, without hesitation, and usually don’t rest until a task is completed.
ESTJs value rules and tradition. This leads them to favor established ways of doing things and to be wary of untested solutions. Although this can make them very productive, it can also make them seem rigid and stubborn to others. However, The Administrators’ honesty and integrity will drive them to accept new solutions if they are logically justified by those who propose them.
In a team, ESTJs’ strong will, determination, and hard work often stand out. Although they are very reliable, The Administrators may sometimes believe in their own solution to a fault. Others may feel that their views go unheard and unappreciated. ESTJs can also come across as too direct. Although their intention is simply to get the job done in the most efficient way possible, an ESTJ’s criticism may feel like a personal attack to some, especially to the more sensitive and introverted types, such as ENFPs or INFJs.
ESTJ Career Matches
Although any field may benefit from a good ESTJ leader, some types of jobs are more in line with The Administrators’ natural affinity for order and stability. ESTJs like to have clear rules on what needs to be done to succeed, so highly structured organizations such as corporations or the military may fit them well.
Furthermore, ESTJs are very loyal and reliable, while also expecting the same of others. So fields that value and foster integrity, such as law enforcement and policy making, is a great fit for The Administrators.
ESTJs are also highly practical, so they usually pick spheres that deal with concrete and directly measurable phenomena, such as finance or engineering. As in other fields, their confident nature often takes them to managerial or administrative roles within such organizations. ESTJs are also very sociable, which further helps them excel in leadership roles.
Following are several specific examples of professions the ESTJ is a good match for:
1. Military Officer
No other setting accentuates order and hierarchy more than the military. And these are conditions that the ESTJ individual not only values highly but also thrives in. The Administrators are likely to be successful in the military because they have an intuitive inclination to respect authority. They perform best when there are explicit rules and standards for achieving clear goals, something that is definitely present in the armed services.
Furthermore, ESTJs are very confident and decisive — qualities that are bound to come in handy in tense, high-stakes situations. They take responsibilities very seriously and do not rest until they’ve performed their duties. The Administrators also place a lot of importance on loyalty and tradition and expect the same from others, which can make them dependable leaders in the military. Lastly, they are naturally brave — they stand up for what they believe in and are not afraid to challenge others directly.
2. Police Officer
A career in law enforcement is another viable professional path that can put the ESTJ’s fondness for rules and order to good use. With their characteristic integrity, they are bound to become the most dedicated police officers if they choose this career. ESTJs also tend to be very courageous and protective of those around them, so keeping their community safe can be very meaningful work for them.
The Administrators have a strong sense of duty, which can make them accountable officers. They are usually very down-to-earth and focus on the facts, so fairness and objectivity can be expected from them as they serve and protect.
Emotions are an important source of information that helps humans make decisions. But if there’s one profession where relying too much on feelings can be detrimental, it’s that of a judge. Judges are expected to consider facts objectively and to make impartial decisions. These qualities are very much in line with the ESTJ profile. The Administrators rarely take emotions into account when making decisions. They tend to view the world in concrete and practical terms, so if they have an interest in law, they can probably make a great judge.
ESTJs also place a high value on rules and order, so they will probably adhere to and enforce the law very strictly. The Administrators respect honesty, which is an indispensable quality of a good judge. What’s more, ESTJs are usually actively involved in community affairs, so striving to achieve justice in their community is likely to increase their sense of purpose.
4. Senior Manager
Senior management positions such as directors and executives are a great fit for the confident and driven ESTJ. The Administrator is a strong leader and flourishes in highly structured organizations, such as large businesses. They don’t shy away from responsibility, make decisions without hesitation, and keep their eye on the prize — all of which are qualities of a good senior manager.
Executives and directors usually have very tight schedules and clear objectives, which can be appealing to the hardworking and organized ESTJ. The Administrators are also very efficient and productive — attributes that are beneficial in a highly competitive environment. ESTJs can be expected to approach a business leadership role with their characteristic discipline and consistency, so they are likely to achieve whatever they set their mind to.
Working in finance requires an eye for detail and strong logical reasoning, both of which are characteristic of the ESTJ. The Administrators are able to focus on the facts and follow through with complex tasks, so a career in accounting can be a great match for their traits. A senior role in this profession might be even better suited to their strengths, as they love to take charge and review the work of others. This is why the financial managerial role is also often cited as a good fit for the ESTJ.
ESTJs are naturally good with finances, so a job that requires reviewing expenses, maintaining balances, and verifying accounts may appeal to them. They are proficient in streamlining processes to increase efficiency, which could make them successful accountants. The Administrator is also likely to appreciate the strict rules and highly structured workflow of the accounting profession.
Auditing is another career option in finance that can be very appealing to the ESTJ. As with accounting, auditing also requires strong attention to detail and analytical thinking. Auditors often spend long hours combing through financial records, looking for mistakes and irregularities. The organized and methodical ESTJ is likely to find such tasks rewarding.
The Administrators are known for following through with tasks and not shying away from hard work, so the demanding responsibilities of the auditor are probably not going to deter them. The fact that they have to solve clear and practical problems will also increase their satisfaction with this profession.
7. Insurance Agent
Being an insurance agent is essentially a sales job, so it is usually dynamic and requires persistence. The methodical ESTJ possesses the follow-through necessary to be successful in this occupation. ESTJs also have a very high tolerance for stress, which can be beneficial, as the stressful nature of this job is what often discourages people from pursuing it. Furthermore, as extroverts, The Administrators are very outgoing and energetic, which can help them gain and retain clients. Customers can be easily put off by a passive or lethargic disposition.
The ESTJ’s honesty and integrity are two other characteristics that may help them gain long-term success as an insurance agent. Aiming for the highest commission possible in the short-term through various sales tricks may actually backfire in the long run, as such an approach risks losing the client’s trust. The Administrators are also very sharp-witted and systematic, which can be helpful in the highly competitive environment of insurance sales.
ESTJs make great engineers because of their focus on real-world, practical matters and their meticulous approach to tasks. The Administrators like to use logic and deal with concrete facts when solving a problem, which could help them excel in the field of engineering. Being an engineer requires relying on established scientific practices, which comes naturally to ESTJs. But it also sometimes requires finding creative solutions to problems, which could help The Administrators develop their creative side.
As in other professions, ESTJs are at their best when they are in charge. So the best fit for them in the field of engineering might be coordinating a team of engineers to achieve a common goal. This can unleash The Administrators’ full potential, as their leadership skills are put to use in an environment in which most everybody values facts over tact.
Here is a list of some other good options for potential ESTJ jobs:
- Airline Pilot
- Budget Analyst
- Building Inspector
- Business Administrator
- Business Analyst
- Chief Financial Officer
- Chief Information Officer
- Computer Specialist
- Financial Manager
- Government Worker
- Hotel Manager
- Nursing Administrator
- Public Relations Manager
- Real Estate Agent
- Sales Manager
- School Administrator
- School Principal
- Software Analyst
- Stock Trader
- Technical Specialist
ESTJ Careers to Avoid
Do I really want to pursue this career or do I just think I have to? We’ve probably all asked ourselves something akin to this question. It’s very normal to be confused about our true desires with so many outside influences competing for our attention. Our family, our social circle, and society as a whole, all want to chime in on what our ideal career path is. But we all have a slight idea of what is it we really want to do, or most of us do.
If not, then that’s where tests like the MBTI come in — they help us recognize our true inclinations amid all the noise. However, no personality test, no matter how accurate, can make decisions for us. Rather it can help us confirm what we already know deep down. So although the following occupations are generally believed to not be a good fit for the ESTJ personality’s natural strengths and predispositions, any MBTI type can be good at any job with some adjustments.
As one of the most hardworking and determined personality types, it’s especially true for ESTJs that they can achieve success in any setting, as long as they set their mind to it. That said, some occupational peculiarities may be too frustrating for ESTJs, and thus not worth the effort.
The Administrators like order and stability, so a work environment where the natural state of affairs tends to be chaotic or unpredictable may be too draining for them. ESTJs also prefer to have clear rules about goals and accepted behaviors, so ambiguity in that respect can be hard for them to tolerate. Another condition that can put The Administrator off is an environment that doesn’t readily accept ideas for improvement or feedback in general. ESTJs always strive to increase efficiency and definitely wouldn’t like it if their views were ignored or dismissed.
Below are a few specific examples of professions the ESTJ may not be a great match for.
Acting is probably one of the occupations with the least job security out there. Even fairly successful actors can go a long time without work, which is unlikely to appeal to the risk-averse ESTJ. Besides the erratic schedules, actors often have varying and unpredictable work environments, while The Administrators aspire to have structure in their lives. Also, the cold reality is most actors will not reach their desired level of success and ESTJs like to achieve the goals they set for themselves.
Another ESTJ peculiarity is that they are not always in tune with emotions, both their own and of others. So an acting career, where mimicking and evoking feeling is a big part of the job, may not be well suited for them. Nevertheless, we can’t really put ESTJs in a box; they are very determined and like to be in the spotlight. Check out the ‘Actors’ section of our famous ESTJs collection for a fairly long list of exceptions to the rule.
Being a writer is another career that provides little consistency and job security, something that is unlikely to sit well with the stability-seeking ESTJ. Writing is essentially a freelance occupation in most cases — there are ebbs and flows in the workload and a lot of uncertainties. Even if a writer manages to get a full-time, stable gig, hours are still likely to be irregular. This can be pretty disheartening for The Administrators, who like to have a predictable schedule.
Another thing that may not appeal to the ESTJ is the lack of clarity when it comes to goals. Whether a writer sets their own objectives or someone else does, there is an inherent subjectivity in determining what constitutes a good piece. The genre of writing may be nonfiction and the topics may deal with cold hard facts, which an ESTJ will probably be more comfortable with, but the quality is still hard to define in concrete terms.
The fabled rock star lifestyle may not be what most musicians experience, but their work-life is still usually pretty hectic. In fact, musicians may have even less structure and regularity in their careers than actors or writers. This can make the methodical ESTJ uncomfortable.
Musicians often spend a lot of time recording, traveling long distances, and trying to cultivate their inspiration to come up with the next song or album. All of this adds up to less than palpable goals, and strategies to achieve those goals — two things The Administrators like to have in their job. Additionally, music speaks the language of emotions and lofty ideas, while ESTJs like to deal with concrete and practical matters.
4. Data Entry Employee
Although data entry is usually a steady and well-structured job, qualities ESTJs enjoy in their professional life, the repetitive nature of it may not be motivating to the The Administrator. ESTJs like to be challenged and to look for ways to improve a process. Not that data entry is necessarily easy — it may require a lot of skill and speed — but ESTJs tend to prefer taking on big responsibilities and assuming leadership roles.
What’s more, data entry is often a solitary job, so the outgoing and gregarious The Administrator, who enjoys social situations, may not be the best fit for it. ESTJs like to work with other people, show their expertise, and guide others in pursuit of a common goal.
5. Preschool Teacher
ESTJs are proficient at bringing order to chaos. But even they might not be able to tame the anarchy brought on by small children! Jokes aside, preschool-age kids are very spontaneous creatures, they explore through play and are virtually unable to follow strict rules. The lack of structure and predictability in such an environment can exhaust the orderly ESTJs quickly, despite their high energy levels.
The Administrators have an authoritative air and charismatic presence, which could be beneficial if they pursue a teaching career in other spheres. But the immediacy and sporadic needs of little children can make ESTJs feel out of their depth. The preschool teacher job may also not satisfy The Administrator’s need for clear-cut objectives and unambiguous success metrics.
Here’s a list of some other occupations which may not be a good fit for an ESTJ:
- Art Director
- Child Care Provider
- Graphic Designer
- Landscape Architect
- Philosophy Teacher
- Physical Therapist
- Recreation Worker
- Restaurant Host
- School Counselor
- Social Scientist
- Social Worker
- Taxi Driver
- Veterinary Assistant
ESTJ College Majors
Choosing a college major can be a daunting task. But the Myers-Briggs test is here to help. However, as with career choices, personality tests can do little more than provide context and a useful framework for understanding ourselves. Ultimately, it’s up to each person to not only consider job prospects but also to listen to their natural inclinations.
Because of their good work ethic and relentless determination, ESTJs are often high achievers in college. In fact, The Administrators are among the personality types with the highest college GPA on average and are very likely to graduate.
ESTJs tend to focus on concrete and pragmatic matters. They see the world as a set of facts interrelated through logical connections. This is why a major that deals with clear and down-to-earth subjects may be best suited for them. These include majors related to law, business, and finance.
ESTJs also have a strong proclivity to occupy leadership positions, so subjects that focus on management or administration may be a good match for them. Finally, their practicality combined with their attention to detail makes them worthy candidates for scientific fields, such as research, engineering, and computer science.
Below is a list of specific college majors that may be a good fit for the ESTJ:
- Actuarial Science
- Athletic Training
- Business Administration
- Business Information Technology
- Construction Management
- Criminal Justice and Criminology
- Food Management
- Hospitality Management
- Industrial Technology
- Legal Studies
- Mechanical Engineering Technology
- Political Science
- Public Relations
- Residential Property Management
- Risk Management and Insurance