Student Info & Guide

10 REALISTIC careers you could consider

by on May 6, 2016 | Top Stories, Career Guide

10 REALISTIC careers you could consider

Have you ever wondered why your career counsellor makes you answer questions about what you like (or don’t like) doing? Have you ever filled out a questionnaire that helped reveal your personality? Well, according to Holland, people who need help with career decisions can be supported by understanding their similarity to the following six vocational personality types:

  • Realistic (R)
  • Investigative (I)
  • Artistic (A)
  • Social (S)
  • Enterprising (E)
  • Conventional (C)

Don’t know your personality type? You can find out using one of many free online personality tests. Here are a few you can choose from.

This test consists of 48 statements that you will have to rate by how much you would enjoy doing

Prefer pictures to words? Take this test

Here’s one multi-language test you can take


Realistic individuals are active and 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.

In the first of a six-part article, we explore 10 careers for each of these six personality types.

1. Airline Pilot

Personality Type: Realistic-Conventional-Investigative

Airline Airport

Job description: Pilot and navigate the flight of multi-engine aircraft in regularly scheduled service for the transport of passengers and cargo. Use instrumentation to guide flights when visibility is poor. Work as part of a flight team with other crew members, especially during take-offs and landings. Contact control towers for take-off clearances, arrival instructions, and other information, using radio equipment.

Career Cluster: Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics

Work Environment: Pilots work primarily in aircraft. They may spend a considerable amount of time away from home because of overnight layovers. Many pilots have variable schedules.

Courses you can take: Commercial Pilot License (CPL) or an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL)

Read more about how you can become a pilot.

2. Architectural Drafters

Architectural Drafters

Personality Type: Artistic-Realistic-Investigative

Job description: Prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect. Analyse building codes, by-laws, space and site requirements, and other technical documents and reports to determine their effect on architectural designs. Operate computer-aided drafting (CAD) equipment or conventional drafting station to produce designs, working drawings, charts, forms, and records. Coordinate structural, electrical, and mechanical designs and determine a method of presentation to graphically represent building plans.

Career Cluster: Architecture and Construction

Work Environment: Although drafters spend much of their time working on computers in an office, some may visit jobsites in order to collaborate with architects and engineers.

Courses you can take: Certificate in Architecture Draughting, Diploma in Architecture, Diploma in Architectural Studies, BSc (Hons) Housing, Building & Planning

3. Audio and Video Equipment Technicians

Personality Type: Realistic-Investigative-Conventional

Audio and Video Equipment Technicians

Job description: Set up or set up and operate audio and video equipment, including microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, recording equipment, connecting wires and cables, sound and mixing boards, and related electronic equipment, for concerts, sports events, meetings and conventions, presentations, and news conferences. Monitor incoming and outgoing pictures and sound feeds to ensure quality. Install, adjust, and operate electronic used to record, edit, and transmit radio and television programmes.

Career Cluster: Arts, Audio/Video Technology, and Communications

Work Environment: Audio and video equipment technicians typically work indoors in radio, television, movie, and recording studios. They can also work in hotels, arenas, or in offices and school buildings.

Courses you can take: Certificate in Audio Production, Diploma in Sounds and Music Technology, Bachelor (Hons) Recording Arts

4. Civil Engineers

Civil Engineers

Personality Type: Realistic-Investigative-Conventional

Job description: Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures and facilities such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbours, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Manage and direct staff members and construction, operations, or maintenance activities at project site. Provide technical advice regarding design, construction, or program modifications and structural repairs. Inspect project sites to monitor progress and ensure conformance to design specifications and safety or sanitation standards.

Career Cluster: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Work Environment: Civil engineers generally work in a variety of locations and conditions. Many spend time outdoors at construction sites so that they can monitor operations or solve problems onsite.

Courses you can take: Diploma in Civil Engineering, Bachelor in Civil Engineering
To practise as an engineer in Malaysia, one must graduate with an engineering degree recognised by the Engineering Accreditation Department, Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) and be registered as a graduate engineer. Subsequently, one can apply to become a professional engineer.

Read more about becoming a civil engineer.

5. Computer User Support Specialists

Personality Type: Realistic-Investigative-Conventional

Computer User Support Specialists

Job description: Provide technical assistance to computer users. Answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients in person, via telephone, or electronically. Provide assistance concerning the use of computer hardware and software, including printing, installation, word processing, electronic mail, and operating systems. Install and perform minor repairs to hardware, software, or peripheral equipment, following design or installation specifications. Oversee the daily performance of computer systems.

Career Cluster: Information Technology

Work Environment: Most computer support specialists have full-time work schedules; however, many do not work typical 9-to-5 jobs. Because computer support is important for businesses, many support specialists must be available 24 hours a day. As a result, many support specialists must work nights or weekends.

Courses you can take: Diploma in Information Technology, Diploma in Computing, Bachelor in Information Technology, Bachelor in Computer Science

6. Environmental Engineering Technicians

Environmental Engineering Technicians

Personality Type: Realistic-Investigative-Conventional

Job description: Apply theory and principles of environmental engineering to modify, test, and operate equipment and devices used in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental pollution, including waste treatment and site remediation. May assist in the development of environmental pollution remediation devices under direction of engineer. Receive, set up, test, and decontaminate equipment. Perform environmental quality work in field and office settings. Conduct pollution surveys, collecting and analysing samples such as air and groundwater.

Career Cluster: Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

Work Environment: Most environmental engineering technicians work full time. They typically work indoors, usually in laboratories, and often have regular working hours. However, they must sometimes work irregular hours in order to monitor operations.

Courses you can take: Diploma in Environmental Health, Bachelor of Environmental Health, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Environmental Science, Bachelor of Environmental Science and Technology

7. Food Science Technicians

Personality Type: Realistic-Investigative-Conventional

Food Science Technicians

Job description: Record or compile test results or prepare graphs, charts, or reports. Conduct standardised tests on food, beverages, additives, or preservatives to ensure compliance with standards and regulations regarding factors such as colour, texture, or nutrients. Maintain records of testing results or other documents as required by state or other governing agencies. Taste or smell foods or beverages to ensure that flavours meet specifications or to select samples with specific characteristics. Provide assistance to food scientists or technologists in research and development, production technology, or quality control.

Career Cluster: Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

Work Environment: Technicians work in a variety of settings, including laboratories, processing plants, farms and ranches, greenhouses, and offices.

Courses you can take: Diploma in Agricultural Science, Bachelor of Agricultural Science, Bachelor of Food Technology, Bachelor of Food Science

8. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians

Personality Type: Realistic-Investigative-Conventional

Job description: Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist. Obtain specimens and conduct chemical analyses of bodily fluids, such as blood and urine, using microscope or automatic analyser to detect abnormalities or diseases, and enter findings into computer. Set up, adjust, maintain, and clean medical laboratory equipment.

Career Cluster: Health Science

Work Environment: Most medical laboratory technologists and technicians work in hospitals; others work in doctors’ offices or diagnostic laboratories. They work in facilities that operate around the clock, and may work evening, weekend, or overnight hours.

Courses you can take: Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology, Bachelor in Medical Laboratory Technology

9. Radiologic Technologists

Personality Type: Realistic-Social

Radiologic Technologists

Job description: Take X-rays and CAT scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient’s bloodstream for diagnostic purposes. Review and evaluate developed X-rays, video tape, or computer-generated information to determine whether images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes. Explain procedures and observe patients to ensure safety and comfort during scan. Operate or oversee operation of radiologic and magnetic imaging equipment to produce images of the body for diagnostic purposes.

Career Cluster: Health Science

Work Environment: Radiologic and MRI technologists work in healthcare facilities. Technologists are often on their feet for long periods and may need to lift or turn patients who are disabled. Because imaging is sometimes needed in emergency situations, some technologists work evenings, weekends, or overnight.

Courses you can take: Diploma in Medical Imaging, Diploma in Diagnostic Imaging, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Medical Imaging, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Radiotherapy

10. Surveyors


Personality Type: Realistic-Conventional-Investigative

Job description: Make exact measurements and determine property boundaries. Provide data relevant to the shape, contour, gravitation, location, elevation, or dimension of land or land features on or near Earth’s surface for engineering, mapmaking, mining, land evaluation, construction, and other purposes. Verify the accuracy of survey data including measurements and calculations conducted at survey sites. Calculate heights, depths, relative positions, property lines, and other characteristics of terrain. Prepare and maintain sketches, maps, reports, and legal descriptions of surveys to describe, certify, and assume liability for work performed.

Career Cluster: Architecture and Construction

Work Environment: Surveying involves both fieldwork and indoor work. When working outside, surveyors may stand for long periods and often walk long distances, sometimes in bad weather. Most work full time.

Courses you can take: Diploma in Land Surveying, Diploma in Quantity Surveying, BSc (Hons) Housing, Building & Planning (Building Surveying), Bachelor of Quantity Surveying


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