Are you an introvert? If you prefer working alone with minimal distractions, feel uncomfortable in crowded environments, and find social encounters exhausting, your personality won’t change just because you get a job. Therefore, you should choose a career that doesn’t require a lot of interaction with people if you don’t want to be stressed out every day. But are there any good careers for introverts?
It seems like our world is largely designed for outgoing extroverts since so many jobs are in retail, sales, fast food, customer service, management, social work, public services, education and media. Even authors have to give interviews, appear on talk shows, and go on book tours. So what is a naturally shy person supposed to do? Don’t worry, there are plenty of careers for introverts too! Here are 50 to choose from:
- Accountant/Auditor – Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that the records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly. They work mostly with numbers, paper, computers, and an adding machine. Very little contact with people is required. Annual median salary: $67,190; projected growth by 2020: 11 percent.
- Actuary – Actuaries use a variety of business skills (math, statistics, finance theory) to assess risk and uncertainty for making insurance policies. There’s a lot of number crunching involved in doing all the stats analysis and probability work. You’ll have to present this work in the form of charts and tables, but you’ll be conducting research and doing math by yourself the majority of the time. Annual median salary: $97,070; projected growth by 2020: 18 percent.
- Animal Caretaker/Trainer – Spend your days working with animals instead of people! Annual median salary range: $19,970 to $25,270; projected growth by 2020: 15 percent.
- Archeologist – Archeologists typically work for research organizations, consulting firms, and the government. They may work in an office, in a laboratory analyzing samples, or out in the field. Fieldwork usually requires working in remote dig sites. Annual median salary: $61,000; projected growth by 2020: 4 percent.
- Archivist/Museum Curator – If you love history and you’d rather spend your evenings holed up in a museum or library than at a party, you might be an ideal archivist, curator, or museum technician. Annual median salary range: $38,300 to $47,340; projected growth by 2020: 11 percent.
- Artist – If you are the solitary creative type who would rather spend hours in the studio than with a large group of people, a career in art may be ideal for you. Annual median salary: $45,000; projected growth by 2020: 2 percent.
- Astronomer – Follow in the footsteps of Galileo, Copernicus, and Isaac Newton as you study the universe and help develop models to better explain what we know about it. You will need plenty of patience while spending a lot of time alone looking at the stars through telescopes. Annual median salary: $96,460; projected growth by 2020: 10 percent.
- Biochemist – Biochemists and biophysicists study the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes such as cell development, growth, heredity, genetics, and disease. The actual research process requires plenty of solitary thought. Annual median salary: $82,150; projected growth by 2020: 8 percent.
- Botanist – If you don’t like talking to people but you like talking to plants, you would be a great botanist, agronomist, mycologist, or horticulturist. The broad field of plant sciences includes the study of everything from the microscopic level to the ecosystem level. They do both field work and lab work. Annual median salary: $79,230; projected growth by 2020: 8 percent.
- Chef/Cook – Even though they can be feeding a very large audience, they spend most of their time with the food, not the people who eat it, making this a great job for introverts. Annual median salary range: $21,720 (cook) to $41,500 (chef); projected growth by 2020: 9 percent.
- Computer Programmer/Software Developer – If you have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong programming skills, not only can you make up to $80,000 or $100,000 a year, but the nature of this type of job requires hours of uninterrupted solitude. Although employment of computer programmers is projected to decline 8 percent as programming is outsourced to countries where wages are lower, employment of software developers is projected to grow 17 percent by 2020.
- Computer Repair Technician – Since introverts enjoy working with things rather than people, fixing computer hardware and troubleshooting software issues is a perfect option. Although you may have some contact with people who bring their computers in for repair, it is very little. Tasks are often done independently in a variety of settings. Annual median salary range: $19,779 to $46,639; projected growth by 2020: 12 percent.
- Court Reporter – If you’re interested in law and you have great listening skills, consider a court reporting job. Interactions with others are few as you sit and transcribe court proceedings, although occasionally you may be asked to read quotes back to the court. Annual median salary: $48,160; projected growth by 2020: 10 percent.
- Criminologist – Criminologists are sociologists who specialize in the cause, correction, and prevention of crime. Typical solo duties include analyzing criminal behavior, studying how law enforcement techniques affect crime rates, and writing reports. Annual median salary range: $33,160 to $84,098; projected growth by 2020: 0 percent.
- Data Entry/Information Processors – These individuals operate a data entry device such as keyboard or typewriter to generate letters, reports, forms, or other material from rough draft, corrected copy, or voice recording. Duties may include verifying data and preparing materials for printing. Annual median salary range: $20,000 to $44,140; projected growth by 2020: unknown.
- Detective – Private detectives and investigators search for information about legal, financial, and personal matters. They offer many services such as background checks, finding missing persons, and investigating computer crimes. But they don’t have much real interaction with people unless they’re field agents. Annual median salary: $45,610; projected growth by 2020: 5 percent.
- Digital Marketer – Many marketing functions, from networking to sales interactions, have been traditionally ruled by extroverts. However, digital marketers can be far more introverted since their work is done mainly on the internet. Digital marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it’s all about developing online content strategies based on data analytics. Annual median salary: $59,000; projected growth by 2020: 12 percent.
- Editor – Although many editors work in offices, a growing number now work remotely from home as print media continues to face strong pressure from online publications. The work can be stressful because editors often have tight deadlines, but it’s a good job for introverts because editors deal more with words than with people. Annual median salary: $56,000; projected growth by 2020: unknown.
- Electrician – Electricians are not only constantly in demand, but can do most of their work in relative solitude, especially if they run their own electrical business. As a skilled trade requiring only a high school diploma and apprenticeship, they also make decent money. Annual median salary: $51,880; projected growth by 2020: 14 percent.
- Embalmer – A career as an embalmer may not come to mind for most people, but this is definitely a job for introverts. While the funeral director meets with the family and makes the funeral arrangements, as an embalmer you will spend most of your time preparing dead bodies for display. You will use chemicals like embalming fluid and formaldehyde to preserve the bodies. You will also dress them, arrange their hair, and apply makeup. Some embalmers work for medical centers or universities where they embalm bodies for students and doctors to study. Annual median salary: $41,490; projected growth by 2020: unknown.
- Farmer/Rancher/Agricultural Worker – Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers produce crops, livestock, and dairy products. Whether harvesting corn or rounding up cattle, you will typically work outside in wide open spaces without a lot of people around. Annual median salary range: $33,110 to $64,170; projected growth by 2020: 2 percent.
- Film/Video Editor – Introverts prefer to work behind the scenes, and no media job is better suited to an introverted personality than a film/video editor. This job lets the introvert be quietly creative while editing films, TV shows, or videos. Annual median salary: $51,300; projected growth by 2020: 3 percent.
- Financial Analyst – This job for the mathematically inclined introvert revolves around analyzing business trends, financial statements, the performance of stocks and bonds, and similar data as well as writing financial reports. Annual median salary: $75,950; projected growth by 2020: 16 percent.
- Forester – This job involves plenty of solitude while maintaining and studying parks, forests, lakes, and other natural areas. Since foresters spend their time communing with nature instead of communicating with crowds, it’s the perfect job for an outdoorsy introvert. Annual median salary: $48,000; projected growth by 2020: unknown.
- Game Designer – Gamers spend more time interacting with virtual friends and foes than they do with real-life counterparts. The people who design the games create virtual worlds to make these experiences come alive, and they do it mostly without having to interact with people. Annual median salary: $50,000; projected growth by 2020: unknown.
- Gardener/Groundskeeper – This is a job for introverts who like to work outdoors in all weather conditions. They keep the landscapes around houses, businesses, and parks attractive, orderly, and healthy to provide a pleasant environment. Annual median salary: $27,000; projected growth by 2020: unknown.
- Geoscientist/Petroleum Geologist – Geoscientists work for engineering, environmental, and scientific firms. They do as much field work as they do lab work, so this is a great job for outdoorsy introverts. They conduct field studies where they collect rock samples using hammers and drills, and then study them in a lab using microscopes and x-ray machines. They take those findings and create maps, scientific reports, and so on. Petroleum geologists are typically employed by oil and gas companies, and their work revolves around the discovery and production of oil. You might find them out in the field but they also spend a lot of time indoors analyzing data and running simulations to test their hypotheses of where petroleum reservoirs can be extracted. Annual median salary range: $90,890 to $112,500; projected growth by 2020: 10-16 percent.
- HVAC Mechanic – Another one of the best jobs for introverted people, HVAC mechanics work on heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems that control the temperature and air quality in buildings. Little to no social contact is involved. As a skilled trade, they also make decent money. Annual median salary: $45,110; projected growth by 2020: 14 percent.
- Janitor/Custodian – Janitors keep many types of buildings clean, orderly, and in good condition. Since office buildings are best cleaned while they are empty, many cleaners work evening hours after all the regular employees have left. Annual median salary: $23,440; projected growth by 2020: 6 percent.
- Lab Technician – Most of your duties, which involve testing medical, forensic, or agricultural samples for various normalities and abnormalities, will be done independently in hospitals and freestanding laboratories. Annual median salary: $38,000 ($56,000 for forensic lab techs); projected growth by 2020: 16 percent (27 percent for forensic lab techs).
- Librarian/Library Assistant – This has always been the stereotypical job for an introvert. In reality, however, librarians and library assistants who work in public services interact with people all day long checking out books, answering questions, and helping patrons find what they are looking for. The place for introverts to work in a library is technical services, the back room where they select, catalog, and prepare books for the collection. Annual median salary range: $27,930 (assistants) to $56,880 (librarians); projected growth by 2020: 2 percent.
- Maid/Housekeeper – You should have a true love of cleaning for this job since you’ll be doing a lot of it whether you work in a home, hotel, or hospital. But you’ll do most of your work independently with no one else in the room. Annual median salary: $20,000; projected growth by 2020: unknown.
- Mail Carrier/Sorter – Mail carriers mostly work outdoors, delivering mail to homes and businesses. Mail sorters and processors work indoors, typically in a post office facility where they prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. They load and unload postal trucks and move mail around processing centers. As long as you’re not a clerk at the front desk you won’t have much interaction with people. Annual median salary: $51,000; projected growth by 2020: 0 percent.
- Materials Engineer – These guys study and develop the materials used to make different products. A few of those materials are ceramics, plastics, and metals. They do a lot of work with computers and design equipment, and usually work in offices, factories, or lab settings. Annual median salary: $85,150; projected growth by 2020: 3 percent.
- Mathematician – The fields of computers, business, and science all need mathematicians. They do a lot of research and analysis to solve real life problems. Naturally this means that they’ll need a lot of quiet time alone to get any real work done. Annual median salary: $100,000; projected growth by 2020: 21 percent.
- Mechanic – It’s hard to socialize when you have your head buried in an engine, so working as a mechanic is a good career for introverts as it requires very little interaction with others. Annual median salary: $37,850; projected growth by 2020: 5 percent.
- Medical Transcriptionist – One of the best jobs for introverted people is being a medical transcriptionist. Those in this job transcribe medical notes and many of them work from home. Annual median salary: $34,890; projected growth by 2020: 0 percent.
- Medical Equipment Preparer – A great job for introverted people, medical equipment preparers set up the medical equipment in the operating room before surgery. This requires working in a hospital where there are a lot of people, but you will have limited contact with them. Annual median salary: $34,950; projected growth by 2020: unknown.
- Paralegal – Not every law career requires you to argue before judges and juries. In fact, most attorneys depend on highly skilled teams of paralegals, legal assistants, and legal researchers who work behind the scenes. Paralegals and legal assistants do a variety of tasks including organizing files and drafting documents. Legal researchers look up important details and case histories, a job which does not require much contact with people because the research is done on the internet and in law books. Annual median salary: $48,810; projected growth by 2020: 8 percent.
- Physicist – A job in this field will be very complex, often requiring a Ph.D. and a lot of solitude to any real work done. Physicists conduct research using all sorts of equipment such as radios, microscopes, x-rays, lasers, etc. Annual median salary: $96,460; projected growth by 2020: 10 percent.
- Records Technician – Like archivists, the work of a records technician demands meticulous attention to detail for the storage and recovery of important documents. Organized introverts will enjoy the job of keeping files in order whether they are medical, legal, or other types of records. Annual median salary: $34,160; projected growth by 2020: 22 percent.
- Social Media Manager – Ironically, managing a company’s social network is a good job for an introvert. So if you don’t like meeting people face-to-face but don’t mind conversing with Twitter followers and Facebook fans online, this job is perfect for you. Annual median salary range: $45,000 to $54,170; projected growth by 2020: 12 percent.
- Statistician – Statisticians let the numbers speak for themselves rather than rely on small talk in business, engineering, healthcare, or other fields. They spend their days immersed in spreadsheets and equations, which makes this a great job for introverts. They are also paid well, although they need a master’s degree. Annual median salary: $80,000; projected growth by 2020: 34 percent.
- Stocker – Jobs in inventory and stocking are crucial to keeping stores’ shelves filled. You’ll be responsible for loading and unloading materials and organizing the new inventory. In this position you’ll be surrounded by boxes rather than people. Annual median salary: $25,900; projected growth by 2020: unknown.
- Translator – If you are a bilingual introvert, consider this fast-growing career field that involves quiet solitary work converting written documents from one language to another. Annual median salary: $45,430; projected growth by 2020: 46 percent.
- Truck Driver – Truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most tractor-trailer drivers are long-haulers who can be away from home for days or weeks at a time. If you enjoy driving, and a solitary life on the open road appeals to you, being a trucker may be the ideal job for you. Annual median salary: $40,260; projected growth by 2020: 5 percent.
- Water Treatment Plant Operator – Water and wastewater treatment plant operators manage a system of machines to treat water or wastewater. In a small plant, one operator may be responsible for maintaining all of the systems. This solitary job often relies on computerized control boards to help monitor plant processes. Annual median salary: $44,790; projected growth by 2020: 6 percent.
- Web Developer – The internet is the introvert’s dream – a virtual world where communication takes place online rather than in person. Is it any surprise then that web development is one of the best jobs for introverts? Annual median salary: $64,970; projected growth by 2020: 27 percent.
- Writer – If you stick to writing magazine articles, web content, screenplays, or ghost-writing a book, you won’t have to worry about doing author interviews and book tours. Annual median salary: $60,250; projected growth by 2020: 2 percent.
- Zoologist/Wildlife Biologist – Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals and how they interact with their ecosystems. You will spend a lot of time out in the field gathering data and studying animals in their natural habitats, far away from people. Annual median salary: $59,680; projected growth by 2020: 4 percent.
If none of the above jobs appeal to you, you might want to start your own business. An e-commerce business of any type would be perfect for a self-motivated introvert with an entrepreneurial spirit, as everything can be done online from the comfort of your own home. Even as the owner of a brick-and-mortar store, you can work behind the scenes while hiring a manager to take charge of the day-to-day operations and dealing with customers. The average salary for a small business owner is $48,000. Projected employment growth will vary by industry, depending on the rate of industry growth.
Do you know of a good career for introverts that we missed? Leave a comment!
Data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics