ESTJ vs. ESTP – Key Personality Type Differences

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The ESTJ and ESTP are the two boldest and grounded of the 16 personality types. They are down-to-earth and make the most of each moment. If there’s an issue, both personality types will tackle it head-on and as quickly as possible.

But how can we tell them apart? Or better-yet, what if you aren’t sure if you are an ESTJ or ESTP? This article will illustrate the differences between the ESTJ vs. ESTP personality types.

Before we jump in, you should know this post is part of a series dedicated to answering the question: Am I a judging or perceiving personality type?

A High-Level View

ESTJs’ knack for leadership make them natural CEOs and managers, and they prefer to have a predictable, organized life that helps them provide and care for their families. They take their work seriously and believe in the value of hard work.

In contrast, ESTPs’ physical strength and stamina help them navigate through careers that require quick thinking and agility. They enjoy exciting and spontaneous lifestyles, often packed with a dose of risk-taking and a shock factor.

How do the two differ in greater detail? Let’s take a closer look at their functions stack.

Functions Stack: ESTJ vs. ESTP

Carl Jung’s functional stack model arranges the different cognitive functions according to preference for each personality type.


  1. Extraverted Thinking (Te)
  2. Introverted Sensing (Si)
  3. Extraverted Intuition (Ne)
  4. Introverted Feeling (Fi)


  1. Extraverted Sensing (Se)
  2. Introverted Thinking (Ti)
  3. Extraverted Feeling (Fe)
  4. Introverted Intuition (Ni)

Doing vs. Experiencing (Te vs. Se)

ESTJs learn through doing and executing. They appreciate a hands-on, practical classroom and professional setting to learn real-world skills. Their primary function, extraverted thinking (Te) shows up in the form of organized schedules, to-do lists, actionable goals, and targets they aim to hit (or exceed) each month. ESTJs value productivity, hard work, and responsibility in themselves and their colleagues—and will not back down when they have to remind someone to improve their work ethic.

ESTPs learn through their five senses —making them kinesthetic learners. Many ESTPs work extremely well as paramedics and in the skilled trades. When it comes to last-minute changes of plans and spontaneous trips, ESTPs are the best people to call. They can adapt to the atmosphere and pace of each moment, which is a highly valuable skill for activities that require dexterity and agility. ESTPs, best of all, are easy-going and happy to live in the present.

Facts vs. Systems (Si vs. Ti)

ESTJs want the numbers and dates. They value precision and want to methodologically work through problems. Their brains have the capacity to store massive amounts of information which they can retrieve later when necessary. ESTJs are loyal, value traditions, and generally respect a streamlined process of work and culture. Thanks to their auxiliary function, introverted sensing (Si), ESTJs can excel in fields that require vast amounts of memorization such as law and medicine.

ESTPs are internally rigid in their logical thinking. Their form of logic comes in the form of, “What makes sense to me?” and can confuse others by their blatant displays of reckless behavior and risk-taking. However, if someone asks an ESTP why they did an activity, they can often be articulate in their reasoning, which often inspires others by their thought processes. All in all, ESTPs are natural problem-solvers and troubleshooters—thanks to their auxiliary function, introverted thinking (Ti).

Ideas vs. Emotions (Ne vs. Fe)

ESTJs, although known to be more stringent and focused in their work, can make excellent brainstormers. They work well with colleagues who can share thoughtful ideas that can later be placed into reality. Their tertiary function, extraverted intuition (Ne) helps them work on several projects at once with energy and drive. In a team, ESTJs can bring out the best in more creative personality types (such as intuitive feelers) by focusing on each others’ natural talent for ideating.

ESTPs are naturally popular and win friends through their quick thinking and goofy demeanor. Their tertiary function, extraverted feeling (Fe) allows them to connect with others through shared interests and sense of humor. ESTPs as children are often deemed the class clown or jokester and may have been fun-loving troublemakers teachers either loved or hated. As ESTPs mature, they learn how to hone their people skills for good to better connect with others and form lasting, genuine relationships.

Morals vs. Hunches (Fi vs. Ni)

ESTJs have a strong moral code that may show up violently when violated. They hold their values dear to their heart and may try to impose them upon others through force or coercion when they’re under a lot of stress. This is due to their inferior function, introverted feeling (Fi). When ESTJs consider someone a trusted, close friend, any sort of betrayal will throw them off guard and cause them to question each of their pre-existing relationships (e.g. “Does anyone truly enjoy my company?”).

ESTPs, as lax and carefree they may seem on the surface, can have ingenious flashes of intuition under stress. Their inferior function, introverted intuition (Ni), allows them to create a vision (which could be out-of-reach or idealistic) they can strive to crystallize in the future. Under extreme stress, ESTPs may jump to random conclusions out of nowhere to confirm their pre-existing cognitive biases and feel more in control of their lives.

Career Differences: ESTJ vs. ESTP

ESTJs value leadership, structure, and power. They are well-suited for careers in management, public relations (PR), construction, law, military, and the police force. (more ESTJ careers)

ESTPs are more keen on showcasing their athleticism and ability to find the best course of action in the spur of the moment. They work well in fitness, strength training, sports coaching, professional sports, carpentry, entrepreneurship, travel, real estate, and paramedic services. (more ESTP careers)

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