Get matched with careers that fit your personality.
By Tony Moton
Character traits can go a long way in determining how successful and satisfied you'll be on the job.
Just ask career experts Michael Farr and Laurence Shatkin.
"Your personality type affects your satisfaction with the job, your productivity in it, and the likelihood that you will persist in this type of work," write Farr and Shatkin in their book "Best Jobs for Your Personality".
This connection between personality and jobs became the focus of researcher John L. Holland's studies in the 1950s, when he developed six personality types as they related to occupations:
Keep reading to find your personality type. Then see which careers are a good fit for you.
Personality Type #1: Realistic
If you like hands-on work, then you likely fit into the realistic personality type. "Doers," as they are also known, generally enjoy projects that require tools or machines. Realistic personality types are employed by the largest number of occupations, according to authors Farr and Shatkin.
Smart career options for realistic personality types include chefs and head cooks ($44,240, average annual salary) and computer hardware engineers ($101,410).
Careers for realistic personalities can also be found in the health care industry, including pharmacy technicians and physical therapist assistants ($48,590).
Personality Type #2: Investigative
Do you love to analyze and solve complex problems? Do you consider yourself naturally curious? Are fact-finding missions your idea of a great time? If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are good that you fall into the investigative personality category.
Jobs that require workers to exercise their mental muscles - like actuaries ($97,450) and personal financial advisors ($94,180) - are best suited for investigative personality types. To qualify for these types of jobs, consider earning a bachelor's degree in accounting or finance.
Most investigative occupations require looking for clues and facts in order to get the job done, makingparalegals ($50,080), who assist lawyers in research and investigation, another great career option. To prepare for this job, earn a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies.
Personality Type #3: Artistic
As an artistic type, you find passion in creative expression. You're big on self-expression and thinking outside the proverbial box. When it comes to following rules, you're at your best when working independently or in situations others find too disorganized.
Occupations for artistic types involve working with forms, designs, and patterns. Career options for artistic personalities include graphic and web designers ($47,820) and animators ($62,810).
In today's high-tech job market, workers with an "artsy" side are finding themselves in demand. To train for jobs in this field, look into degree programs in graphic design, web design, or animation.
Personality Type #4: Social
The gift of gab can pay wonderful dividends if you consider yourself a social personality type. Working with tools and instruments isn't your best fit. Social personalities prefer work situations where they can help others learn and develop.
Good fit jobs for social personalities generally revolve around caregiving and helping others. Registered nurses ($66,530) and mental health counselors ($41,710) are just a few examples. Look into nursing and health care schools to get the right training.
Another career option for social personalities is high school teacher ($55,150). To get into this profession, you'll need to earn a degree in the subject you want to teach and complete a teacher prep program.
Personality Type #5: Enterprising
Are you a self-starter with a knack for seeing projects through from beginning to end? You may just fall into the enterprising personality type. You're most interested in persuading others to help your visions become reality. Rather than thinking about getting something done, you go right ahead and act on your impulses.
Enterprising occupations are found in competitive work environments where strong leadership is needed. If that type of environment sounds right for you, consider becoming a financial manager ($113,730).
Jobs that require selling or influencing opinion - like marketing manager ($120,070) or public relations specialist ($59,370) - are also good options. To get into this line of work, earn a bachelor's degree in marketing/communications.
Personality Type #6: Conventional
A conventional personality type prefers to follow the guidelines and rules of tasks at hand. You do things "by the book," which means you are prone to getting the details just right. When exacting standards must be met, you are reliable and have the ability to organize and keep matters in an orderly fashion. Chaos, most likely, is the bane of your existence.
Two of the best careers for conventional personality types are accountant ($67,430) and bookkeeping clerk ($34,750). To train for these jobs and put your conventional skill set to good use, look into accounting degree programs.
Other careers for conventional personalities include pharmacy technicians ($28,940) and dental assistants ($34,000).
*Average annual salaries as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2009.