General Occupational Themes

The 10 General Occupational Themes summarize your Basic Interest Scale results into fewer, but broader interest patterns. They reflect general orientations toward work, not interests in specific areas.

Be sure to read the General Occupational Theme Descriptions and study the profile on your own Extended Report.

The graphical General Occupational Themes profile is based on same-sex percentiles.


If you scored high on this theme, you will likely be considered artistic by others, even if you are not presently engaged in any artistic work. You will likely enjoy creative activities such as drama, music, writing, visual art, or any of the applied or fine arts. You will also enjoy the creative work of others. High scorers tend to consider themselves perceptive, inventive, sensitive, imaginative, and aware of their environments. People in the arts receive high scores on this theme, but many others combine this theme with others in finding expression for their interests.


High scorers enjoy rational abstract thought that is characterized by testable generalizations, deductive reasoning, and precision. They enjoy the challenge of difficult intellectual work, particularly in the areas of mathematics and physical sciences, and in applications such as engineering, work with computers, as well as a variety of other areas where quantitative and exacting work is required. If you scored high on this theme, you may prefer working with the physical world and abstract ideas to working primarily with people.


A high score on this theme indicates that you have a great deal of curiosity about your environment, living things, other people and social institutions. You have a desire to learn about many areas of knowledge, and may be described as investigative, intellectually probing, and reflective. Consider entering one of the social or biological sciences, one of the professions, or combine this theme with others when choosing a career.


If you scored high on this theme, you are likely to enjoy activities requiring physical or mechanical skill -- seeking satisfaction from the quality of your work, rather than from exercising influence or power over others. You are also likely to enjoy outdoor work and not to be overly concerned about physical risks. You may tend to avoid activities that require you to be the center of attention, and may prefer practical arts to the world of abstract ideas. You are also likely to enjoy close family ties and may enjoy arranging for the comfort and well-being of others. High scorers can be found in a wide variety of activities, such as agriculture, skilled trades, and service occupations.


A high score on this theme may indicate a preference for working in situations in which you can exercise control, and where your authority is clearly defined. You may enjoy exercising authority over others, and will do so self-confidently, without the need to seek advice or assistance. High scorers may sometimes be seen as outspoken and direct with others, and will enjoy working with others, especially in a dominant role. People working in environments, such as the military, where this style of leadership is appropriate, frequently receive high scores on this theme.


If you scored high on this theme, you are likely to be regarded as a responsible, stable worker -- disciplined, prompt, systematic and deliberate, but not usually creative. You would rather be confident about a relatively certain future at a predictable salary, than accept the uncertainty of a riskier but possibly more rewarding prospect. You will likely favor occupations that offer stability and reward traditional virtues.


People with high scores on this theme express a genuine concern for others, particularly those with problems or requiring assistance. High scorers enjoy social interaction, giving advice, and may be described as benevolent, comforting, sympathetic, supporting, charitable, assisting and cooperative. If you scored high on this theme, consider occupations in which you may take a direct role in helping, serving or teaching others.


If your score on this theme is high, you may prefer a well-defined role in a business or other larger organization. You will likely enjoy the day-to-day operations of a business, such as operating an office, selling products, making decisions, and supervising others. You may prefer working in a smoothly running organization to working in a highly-charged or variable environment. You may also thrive on detail, preferring not to be required to be highly creative, nor to work at tasks involving mechanical skill, discomfort, or physical risk.


Scoring high on this theme indicates that you will likely enjoy work involving talking with others, especially if the purpose of that discussion is to persuade or influence. Self-confident, rarely shy in difficult situations, dominant, forceful; high scorers are usually interested in the marketing or management aspects of business, rather than in the details of daily operation or in particular specialties. They are often motivated by the conventional symbols of social status -- money, influence and prestige -- rather than by other forms of recognition. In addition to business, high scorers can be found in the legal profession, administration, public relations, diplomacy, and related areas.


If you scored high on this theme, you will tend to be interested in ideas and in communicating these ideas to others. You are likely to enjoy serious expressions of thoughts, reading, attending lectures, studying, or engaging in intellectual discussions. Your enjoyment of communication may focus more on the formulation and expression of concepts than on the entertainment of others. High scorers tend to be described as intellectual, articulate, and well-informed, having a broad range of interests. Professional writers score highly on this theme. However, since communication is important in a wide range of occupations, many others score highly as well.