Trades Win Career Categories

Kim Charlson
Librarian, Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library

To showcase people who are blind and visually impaired working in a variety of occupations, Trades Win uses the same "RIASEC" categories as the assessment and career exploration tools that Polus uses with job seekers and students, such as the Strong Inventory, Self-Directed Search, and O'Net. Based on categories created by career development pioneer John Holland, RIASEC is an acronym of the first letters of six types of work interests: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Most jobs and career interests include a combination of these interests, and career assessments usually unveil at least two or three areas of interest.

Realistic Jobs

Realistic occupations involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. People with realistic career interests may work materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Realistic work may include constructing, building, repairing, working outdoors, and being physical and adventurous. This might include trades like plumbing or construction, but it also might include working on computers (hardware), working with food (like chef, baker or food prep), working with animals or plants, or working in a production environment doing assembly work or running machines.

You might be interested in realistic work if for hobbies you enjoy outdoor activities such as camping or mountain climbing, if you like taking things apart and putting them back together, or if you like to repair things and Do It Yourself projects. Jobs might include architect, mechanic, carpenter, technician, or wildlife management. See profiles of people with Realistic Jobs...

Investigative Jobs

Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and concepts that require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can include searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally, researching and analyzing. Investigative professionals may have a strong interest in science or working in academic or research environments. They like facts and data. People who enjoy investigative work like tasks that involve critical thinking, experimentation, or doing research in a laboratory.

As students, people with investigative interests typically like science, history, or math. They often prefer to work independently and by themselves, or with a small group of co-workers who share their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They may work in computer companies, medical institutions, universities, or laboratories. They prefer work environments which are logic based and scientific. They believe in problem solving and ambiguous challenges in their work. Hobbies may include reading, chess, astronomy, or sailing. Some examples of investigative careers include data analysis, research, engineering, computer scientist, chiropractor, university professor, and geologist. See profiles of people with Investigative Jobs...

Artistic Jobs

The artistic job field provides limitless possibilities for people who are creative thinkers. Artistic careers provide an opportunity for passionate people to bring their ideas to life. This can include any sort of artistry, including musicians, website designers, photographers, painters, actors, writers, and beyond. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs, and patterns. Artistic professionals enjoy self-expression and work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.

While the word Artistic creates an image of performing arts such as painting, drama, music, and writing, for work options it can also include occupations such as graphic design, culinary arts, and mass communication. They all involve creating something, whether it’s a painting or sculpture or next week’s newsletter article. Artistic job seekers typically possess good linguistic and communication skills. They prefer adaptable work environments and the freedom to express themselves. Hobbies might include attending musical or theater performances, writing poetry, collecting art, playing an instrument, and dance. People with artistic interests may work in an art studio, a museum, a gallery, a design firm, or often for themselves. Jobs might include photographer, journalist, musician, writer, attorney. See profiles of people with Artistic Jobs...

Social Jobs

Social occupations involve helping or providing service to others. Social jobs involve working with, communicating with, teaching, or caring for people. People with social career interests are often known for their humanistic nature, and they will often be the first to volunteer to help others in some capacity. They are typically friendly with good communication and empathy skills, and most importantly they hold a desire to help others. They value work environments that demonstrate cooperation, teamwork, and a sense of community.

Even the hobbies of people who prefer social careers often include helping others, like volunteering at food pantries and human service agencies, organizing neighborhood get-togethers and entertaining others. Jobs might include teacher, counselor, nurse, minister, speech pathologist, or social worker. People with social career interests are often found in healthcare, non-profits, Human Resources, and school settings. See profiles of people with Social Jobs...

Enterprising Jobs

Enterprising occupations include the tasks of selling, managing and persuading. They often involve leading people and making many decisions, sometimes requiring risk taking, and often dealing with business. Enterprising jobs may involve starting up and carrying out projects. People with enterprising career interests tend to seek positions of power, status, and leadership. They can be found persuading, leading discussion or talks, and managing others.

People with preferences for enterprising career paths are often described as having high energy and confidence. Work environments are typically fast-paced and stimulating, and may include government, corporations, financial institutions, private businesses and large for-profit firms. Jobs might include sales, marketing, political office, realtor, Wall St. trader, business owner, manager. Hobbies might include political activities, competitive sports, adventure and risk-taking excursions. The “E” in RIASEC is sometimes called Enterprising, reflecting the high number of business entrepreneurs who share this career preference. See profiles of people with Enterprising Jobs...

Conventional Jobs

Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority that they appreciate and rules that they adhere to. Conventional jobs may include accounting, organizing, and processing data, They can also involve working with different software and technology. Organization, detail, and accuracy are indicators of conventional work.

Conventional job seekers may enjoy organizing and analyzing data, developing procedures, and keeping detailed financial records. They prefer work environments such as office settings or institutions that handle money, such as banks, accounting firms, or credit companies. For hobbies they might enjoy collecting things, like stamps or coins. They prefer a structured work environment, with a clear beginning and ending of the day and measurable results. Jobs may include accountant, banker, paralegal, administrative assistance, office manager, or bookkeeper. See profiles of people with Conventional Jobs...