INTP (The Architect)

Level-headed and ready to troubleshoot, the INTP prefers tackling professional pursuits independently, or with a small team of like-minded individuals. When they develop an interest in a topic, they approach their understanding through a holistic framework, which often integrates into other subjects.

The INTP personality type is part of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). It represents an individual who is Introverted (I), iNtuitive (N), Thinking (T) and Perceiving (P). This indicates that they are a person who is energized by spending time alone, who focus on ideas and concepts rather than facts and details, who makes decisions based on logic and reason, and who prefers to be spontaneous and flexible opposed to planned and organized.

The INTP is often referred to as “the Architect”, “the Autodidact” or “the Thinker” because they show an intuitive understanding of complexed systems. Individuals in this personality type most commonly favor thinking (as opposed to feeling) and use introverted thinking (Ti) as the first or dominant function in their “functional stack”. INTPs are typically philosophical innovators, analytical observers and seek understanding. They are often deeply absorbed in thought and as a result, may appear oblivious to the world around them.

INTPs are typically very intelligent and thoughtful, and prefer to focus on ideas and concepts rather than pure data and observations (though they are good with both). They are part of the NT temperament subgroup within the Keirsey and MBTI frameworks, nicknamed “the rationals” or “the intellectuals”. They are usually very logical and can sometimes have difficulty in (or dislike for) social situations unless they have matured and developed their extraverted feeling function (Fe) which is the last in their functional stack. That said, since their feeling function is extraverted they may be more attuned to others feelings than most INTJs or ENTJs who are also in the NT temperament group.

INTP key characteristics:

  • Nonchalant, detached, and collected
  • Tolerant of chaos and last-minute changes
  • Quick to propose suggestions and alternatives
  • A bit offbeat and aloof to people at first
  • Can let loose and be goofy around close friends

INTP Careers

The INTP typically prefers independent forms of work: digital nomadism, freelancing, moonlighting, small business owner structures. If working collaboratively, they usually prefer a small team with like-minded individuals.

They can also creatively blend work and leisure, which makes architecture, interior design, technical writing, and data journalism potentially fulfilling career spheres. If in academia, they prefer higher-level roles such as professors-in-residence or consulting after years of digging into a subject of interest.

Natural strengths in the workplace:

  • Remaining emotionally neutral and detached from feelings
  • Taking work commitments with a deep, holistic understanding
  • Learning subjects with several lenses of thinking
  • Finding the intersection between art and science
  • Self-teaching new skills and areas of knowledge

Areas for improvement:

  • Communicating emotional needs and boundaries
  • Understanding how to mingle with different people
  • General time and energy management
  • Physical presentation (e.g. attire, mannerisms)
  • Being more expressive and assertive with personal opinions

General career paths INTPs may want to avoid:

  • Any sense of micromanagement on- or off-site
  • An emotions-first approach to feedback and collaboration
  • Promotional value being determined by camaraderie as opposed to skill
  • High stress situations coupled with emotional awareness (e.g. nursing, midwifery)
  • Repetition and excessive teamwork, with constant interruptions

Type:  [Introverted – Intuitive – Thinking – Perceiving]

Keirsey Temperament group:  Rationals (NT)

INTP Jungian cognitive functions stack:

  1. Introverted Thinking (Ti)
  2. Extraverted Intuition (Ne)
  3. Introverted Sensing (Si)
  4. Extraverted Feeling (Fe)

Career matches for INTP's:

Career Guide Category