American Society of Civil Engineers

Consulting Engineers: Myers-Briggs Type and Temperament Preferences

by Gordon Culp, (Principal, Smith Culp Consulting, Las Vegas, NV. E-mail: and Anne Smith, (President, Smith Culp Consulting, Las Vegas, NV.)

Leadership and Management in Engineering, Vol. 9, No. 2, April 2009, pp. 65-70, (doi:

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Document type: Feature Article
Abstract: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator results from 740 professional employees of consulting engineering firms show that a greater percentage of consulting engineers have a Type preference for Introversion over Extraversion, Intuition over Sensing, Thinking over Feeling, and Judging over Perceiving than the national U.S. population. Substantially more consulting engineers have a Intuition-Thinking temperament than the national U.S. population. The differences in Type and temperament between consulting engineers, their clients, and the public can create communication challenges. The full range of Type and temperament preferences are of value in the diverse mix of work and related interactions with clients and the public inherent in the consulting engineering field. However 96 percent of individuals with Extraversion and Feeling preferences who enroll in engineering transfer to other fields in the first two years of college. Adjusting the first-year curricula so that individuals can see the value of their Feeling and Extraversion preferences in the world of consulting could lead to a more balanced mix of Types and temperaments within the pool of graduate engineers that can be drawn upon by consulting engineering firms.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Personnel management
Engineering firms
Engineering education