When you are not sure about what type of job you want or what you would like to do next with your career, a career aptitude test can help you narrow down your job choices and choose a career path that is compatible with your interests, skills, values, and personality.
Taking a career test is a little like playing "What do you want to be when you grow up?" but with a twist. The twist is that career tests don't just give you a chance to dream about what you want to do; they can give you concrete ideas about what you may be best suited to do. They can help you understand the type of environment and work that will help you thrive as a person.
Review information on how career assessments can help guide your career choices and what the assessments will evaluate, and try free career tests that you can use to learn about jobs that may be a perfect fit.
- Career assessments can help you narrow down your job choices and explore career options.
- Most career aptitude tests ask questions about interests, values, and preferred tasks, then generate information on potential occupations.
- Taking career tests can be a good starting point for learning about different types of jobs that are a fit for the next step of your career.
What Is a Career Assessment?
A career assessment is a way to learn about career options that may be a match for your skills, interests, and values. There are different types of assessments that can help you determine which types of careers may interest you—and which don’t.
Most assessment tools ask questions about what you like, what you don’t like, the type of work environment you’re comfortable in, and how your personality meshes with different jobs, and then suggest careers that are a match.
Career aptitude tests won’t give you a definitive answer on what the best job for you is, but they will give you options to explore and can help you narrow down your career interests.
How a Career Test Can Help
When you're looking for your first job or considering switching careers, it’s much easier when you have some ideas about what you’d like to do.
There are a variety of free career tests and quizzes available that address interests, values, and skills, but it is not essential to find a test that captures all of the elements.
Do keep in mind that some tests aren't scientifically validated. However, they are quick and easy to take and can provide insight into what types of jobs you might want to research.
Spend some time taking a few tests and quizzes and see what results you get. Afterward, compare the job options you're given to decide which of them are worth exploring further.
Free Career Aptitude Tests
The following tests are available free online and can be a good start to identifying your next career.
123 Career Aptitude Test
This popular aptitude test can help you gain insight into the careers that best fit your personality. You can take the test in minutes by viewing sets of pictures that show specific work activities. You’ll choose the activities that appeal to you the most and those you aren’t interested in to learn about the type of work environments and occupations that suit you best. Plan on spending five to 10 minutes to complete the test.
CareerExplorer is a free platform for users to assess their interests, personality types, abilities, career values, and preferred work and social environments in order to find matches that will lead to satisfying careers. The assessment suggests careers after you respond to a series of questions, and it will take about 30 minutes to complete.
There's detailed information available on each of the suggested career options. In addition, users can browse occupations by clusters such as health and nutrition, law, arts and entertainment, animals, food and drink, politics and law, sports, travel, music, engineering, and science.
CareerOneStop Interest Assessment
CareerOneStop’s Interest Assessment is a quick and easy way to get a list of careers that might be a good fit for your interests. It will take about five minutes to answer 30 questions about what you like to do—and what you don’t like.
After you complete the assessment, you’ll get a list of careers that are a match, with information on salary, educational requirements, and job outlook. For the careers that interest you the most, you’ll be able to review more information about the job and how to get a career started.
CareerOneStop Values Matcher
Work values are what a person believes is most important about their work. It could be finding a high-paying position, working as part of a team, working independently, or working in a job helping others.
Use CareerOneStop’s Work Values Matcher tool to find careers and employers that match your personal values. The test asks questions about different aspects of a job or workplace to help you find your ideal work environment. It only takes a few minutes to complete by sorting cards in order of what’s most important to you.
CareerOneStop Skills Matcher
CareerOneStop’s Skills Matcher enables users to assess the skills they want to incorporate into their careers. You will rate basic skills such as reading, writing, speaking, scientific reasoning, and critical thinking, as well as more specialized social, technical, analytical, computer, problem-solving, and resource management skills, to find careers that are a good match.
Keirsey Temperament Sorter
The Keirsey Temperament Sorter assessment helps you understand your personality type and discover what type of temperament you have. Test results suggest a predominant personality type, including Artisan, Guardian, Rational, or Idealist. Your temperament influences career satisfaction, job search strategies, and job performance.
It will take 15-20 minutes to complete the assessment. A free description of your profile will be provided with an option to purchase the full report.
O*NET Interests Profiler
My Next Move’s O*NET Interest Profiler is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. Users take a 60-question interest inventory that yields a profile of interest tendencies, including six areas: Realistic, Investigative, Social, Enterprising, Conventional, and Artistic.
You will see a list of careers related to each cluster and will then be able to sort those careers into five job zones representing different levels of preparation, ranging from little job preparation to extensive preparation. The site also has extensive career information related to a variety of careers.
Red Bull Wingfinder
Take a free 35-minute online personality assessment to identify and leverage your strengths in four different areas of your personality, including connections, creativity, thinking, and drive.
Wingfinder test-takers immediately receive a free feedback report containing an analysis of their strengths, career advice, and coaching from Red Bull athletes who have the same strengths.
With the TestColor test, a team of clinical psychologists, psychoanalysts, and mathematicians leads you through a two-part color selection process to determine your personality and aptitude. It only takes a few minutes to complete by first clicking the colors you like the best, then those you like the least. While the initial results are free and comprehensive, you can pay for a more in-depth analysis.
Truity Career Personality Profiler
Truity’s Career Personality Profiler evaluates your interests and your personality traits to help you find the best career options. You’ll learn about college majors, careers, and industries that match your results. The test also reports on activities, projects, and tasks that you would enjoy working on.
The test has 94 questions and takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. A summary of your results and career suggestions is free, but there is a fee to receive a comprehensive report.
Truity Photo Career Quiz
This quiz only takes a few minutes, and it’s fun and easy to take. Simply click on which picture you like best in a series of photographs to take the free Photo Career Quiz. You’ll receive a profile of your career interests, and then you can search for careers and review more information based on your interest profile.
How To Explore Career Options
Once you’ve generated a list of potential career options, you can take a closer look at what each job entails to learn whether it would be right for you. Enter a job title in CareerOneStop’s Occupation Profile tool to get details on the occupation, including a job description, required experience, education or training, earnings potential, and job outlook.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook is a career guide with information on occupation groups and individual jobs. It provides details on what workers do on the job, the work environment, training, education, and certification needed to get started in the occupation, median pay, and expected job prospects.
Where To Get Career Advice
Even though career quizzes and aptitude tests are helpful, getting professional assistance is one of the best ways to get help planning your career. A career counselor or coach can help you explore options, plan your career, and achieve your employment goals.
Many colleges and universities offer free career counseling for both students and alumni. If you’re a college graduate, check to see what services are available.
You may also be able to find free or low-cost career coaching services to help you with the career planning process.