6 Career Personality Types (RIASEC)

“Too many careers; too few careers for me!” If this statement appeals to you – like me – try doing the Holland Code Career Test (or RIASEC test)! This self-assessment will help you identify your preferences and by extension, suitable work environments. Remember to respond based on your level of interest, not ability! I did my first RIASEC test thinking otherwise, and received highly unsatisfactory results.

Here are brief descriptions of each type, with their respective test items:


Prefers working alone with things, but with concrete tasks. Enjoys the outdoors.

RIASEC Test Items

Test the quality of parts before shipment
Lay brick or tile
Work on an offshore oil-drilling rig
Assemble electronic parts
Operate a grinding machine in a factory
Fix a broken faucet
Assemble products in a factory
Install flooring in houses
Perform lawn care services
Repair household appliances
Build kitchen cabinets
Guard money in an armored car
Operate a machine on a production line
Repair and install locks
Set up and operate machines to make products
Build a brick walkway


Prefers working independently, with opportunity to observe/analyze/predict in abstract ways. Mostly introspective.

RIASEC Test Items

Study the structure of the human body
Study animal behavior
Do research on plants or animals
Develop a new medical treatment or procedure
Conduct biological research
Study whales and other types of marine life
Work in a biology lab
Make a map of the bottom of an ocean
Study ways to reduce water pollution
Study the movement of planets
Examine blood samples using a microscope
Study genetics
Determine the infection rate of a new disease
Diagnose and treat sick animals
Do laboratory tests to identify diseases
Develop a new medicine


Prefers unstructured work environments with opportunity for self-expression. Least conventional.

RIASEC Test Items

Conduct a musical choir
Direct a play
Design artwork for magazines
Write a song
Write books or plays
Play a musical instrument
Perform stunts for a movie or television show
Design sets for plays
Paint sets for plays
Sing in a band
Act in a movie
Conduct a symphony orchestra
Create special effects for movies
Compose or arrange music
Write reviews of books or plays
Draw pictures


Prefers working with people, with opportunity to train/heal/enlighten/minister to others, thru feelings/intuition. Often idealistic.

RIASEC Test Items

Give career guidance to people
Do volunteer work at a non-profit organization
Help people who have problems with drugs or alcohol
Teach an individual an exercise routine
Help people with family-related problems
Supervise the activities of children at a camp
Teach children how to read
Help elderly people with their daily activities
Work with juveniles on probation
Take care of children at a day-care center
Teach an elementary school class
Work with mentally disabled children
Teach disabled people work and living skills
Organize field trips for disabled people
Teach a high-school class
Help conduct a group therapy session


Prefers managing/persuading others and taking risks themselves.

RIASEC Test Items

Sell restaurant franchises to individuals
Sell merchandise at a department store
Manage the operations of a hotel
Operate a beauty salon or barber shop
Manage a department within a large company
Manage a clothing store
Sell houses
Run a toy store
Sell newspaper advertisements
Sell a soft drink product line to stores and restaurants
Give a presentation about a product you are selling
Sell hair-care products to stores and salons
Negotiate contracts for professional athletes
Manage a retail store
Start your own business
Market a new line of clothing


Prefers structured work environments with established procedures, prizing attention to detail. Least artistic.

RIASEC Test Items

Generate the monthly payroll checks for an office
Inventory supplies using a hand-held computer
Use a computer program to generate customer bills
Maintain employee records
Compute and record statistical and other numerical data
Operate a calculator
Handle customers’ bank transactions
Keep shipping and receiving records
Keep inventory records
Keep accounts payable/receivable for an office
Calculate the wages of employees
Develop a spreadsheet using computer software
Assist senior level accountants in performing bookkeeping tasks
Transfer funds between banks using a computer
Enter information into a database
Keep records of financial transactions for an organization

How about doing a scaled test?

If you prefer the help of a testing tool, check out this Holland Code Career Test provided by Open Source Psychometric Project. It comprises 48 of these items on a 5-point scale. This means you get to feed your hesitation and rate items as 2 or 4!

I took the RIASEC test too, and I was typed as an ASI (Artistic-Social-Investigative)!

RIASEC Career Test Results: ASI

If you happen to have “Artistic” among your top 2 or 3 preferences, high five! I highly recommend The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People by Carol Eikleberry, in which she outlined various ways to make space for our creativity and included a long glossary of specific occupational jobs suited for different combinations of Artistic types. Find out the 8 career pathways for creative people she identified!

Regardless of your type results, do not rule out occupations just because their cultures don’t fit your personality perfectly. Sometimes being the different one makes you more valuable!

More Resources

Referenced List: RIASEC Markers Scales/Items
Singapore: RIASEC Self-Assessment Tool
Database: O-Net Career Exploration Tool
Book: The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People

Socio Empath

Hi, my name is Eugene. I am a Sociology graduate from the National University of Singapore. This blog is an invitation: To see our selves as colored by cultures, and to brighten the colors of our society. I seek to help you create freedom in everyday life, with empathy and the sociological imagination.

1 Response

  1. Erin Ollila says:

    I don’t think we fit into personality types, it is too generalized. The system I use Face Pattern Recognition, simply identifies the traits we were born with all based on the structure of the face. Then we look at the trait clusters to see how that can modify or negate a trait. For example people who tend to get overly anxious will have close set eyes, now add a narrow with this which indicates they gain their confidence through knowledge, this will add to the level of anxiety when face with new situations. The face is simply a guide to our inner blue print. When we understand the why we are better able to handle situations. This trait combination could be seen in every personality type. Individuals with close set eyes and the backward balance trait, they will run over past situations until they are bigger than life.

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