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Understanding Your Inner Engineer

What type of engineer are you? Here are several different personality types – and the corresponding engineering profession they may relate best to. Where do you fit?

Realistic individuals are active, stable and enjoy hands-on or manual activities such as building, mechanics, machinery operation and athletics. They prefer to work with things rather than ideas and people. They enjoy engaging in physical activity and often like being outdoors and working with plants and animals. People who fall into this category generally prefer to “learn by doing” in a practical, task-oriented setting, as opposed to spending extended periods of time in a classroom. Realistic types tend to communicate in a frank, direct manner and value material things. They perceive themselves as skilled in mechanical and physical activities, but may be uncomfortable or less adept with human relations. The preferred work environment of the realistic type fosters technical competencies and work that allows them to produce tangible results. Typical realistic careers include those in the military, electricians, engineers and veterinarians. Corresponding engineer type: Electrical

Investigative individuals are analytical, intellectual and observant, and enjoy research, mathematical or scientific activities. They are drawn to ambiguous challenges and may feel stifled in highly structured environments. People who fall into this category enjoy using logic and solving highly complex, abstract problems. They are introspective and focused on creative problem solving; therefore investigative types often work autonomously and do not seek leadership roles. They place a high value on science and learning, and perceive themselves as scholarly and having scientific or mathematical ability but lacking leadership and persuasive skills. The preferred work environment of the investigative type encourages scientific competencies, allows independent work, and focuses on solving abstract, complex problems in original ways. Typical investigative careers include medical technologist, biologist, chemist and systems analyst. Corresponding engineer type: Chemical

Artistic individuals are original, intuitive and imaginative, and enjoy creative activities such as composing or playing music, writing, drawing or painting, and acting in or directing stage productions. They seek opportunities for self-expression through artistic creation. People who fall into this category prefer flexibility and ambiguity, and have an aversion to convention and conformity. Artistic types are generally impulsive and emotional, and tend to communicate in a very expressive and open manner. They value aesthetics, and view themselves as creative, non-conforming, and as appreciating or possessing musical, dramatic, artistic, or writing abilities while lacking clerical or organizational skills. The preferred work environment of the artistic type fosters creative competencies and encourages originality and use of the imagination in a flexible, unstructured setting. Typical artistic careers include musician, reporter and interior decorator. Corresponding engineer type: Architectural

Social individuals are humanistic, idealistic, responsible and concerned with the welfare of others. They enjoy participating in group activities and helping, training, caring for, counseling or developing others. They are generally focused on human relationships, and enjoy social activities and solving interpersonal problems. Social types seek opportunities to work as part of a team, solve problems through discussions, and utilize interpersonal skills, but may avoid activities that involve systematic use of equipment or machines. They genuinely enjoy working with people; therefore, they communicate a warm and tactful manner and can be persuasive. They view themselves as understanding, helpful, cheerful and skilled in teaching, but lacking mechanical ability. The preferred work environment of the social type encourages teamwork and allows for significant interaction with others. Typical social careers include teacher, counselor and social worker. Corresponding engineer type: Sales

Enterprising individuals are energetic, ambitious, adventurous, sociable and confident. They enjoy activities that require them to persuade others, such as sales, and seek out leadership roles. They are invigorated by using their interpersonal, leadership and persuasive abilities to obtain organizational goals or economic gain, but may avoid routine or systematic activities. They are often effective public speakers and are generally sociable, but may be viewed as domineering. They view themselves as assertive, self-confident and skilled in leadership and speaking, but lacking in scientific abilities. The preferred work environment of the enterprising type encourages them to engage in activities such as leadership, management, and selling, and rewards them through the attainment of money, power, and status. Typical enterprising careers include salesperson, business executive and manager. Corresponding engineer type: Sales

Conventional individuals are efficient, careful, conforming, organized and conscientious. They are comfortable working within an established chain of command and prefer carrying out well-defined instructions over assuming leadership roles. They prefer organized, systematic activities and have an aversion to ambiguity. They are skilled in and often enjoy maintaining and manipulating data, organizing schedules, and operating office equipment. While they rarely seek leadership or “spotlight” roles, they are thorough, persistent and reliable in carrying out tasks. Conventional types view themselves as responsible, orderly, efficient, and possessing clerical, organizational and numerical abilities, but may also see themselves as unimaginative or lacking in creativity. The preferred work environment of the conventional type fosters organizational competencies, such as record keeping and data management in a structured operation, and places high value on conformity and dependability. Typical conventional careers include secretary, accountant and banker. Corresponding engineer type: Industrial