Careers for People Who Want to Work Alone
By Luke Redd
| Last Updated July 2, 2020
Have you ever wondered if there are any jobs for people who don't like people? If there's a chance at finding a career you love if you prefer to work alone?
You might be a true introvert, with a strong preference for being solitary and a tendency to gain energy from your alone time. Or, you might just be someone who prefers the kind of job that allows you to work independently and focus without distraction from others around you.
Either way—if you favor the kind of work that involves little interaction with others—this article can help you find a career path that is both enjoyable and rewarding. Check out several jobs for people who like to work alone. They exist in career areas such as:
- Media, design, and the arts
- Computers and information technology
- Health care
- Science and research
- Skilled trades
And don't overlook the examples of jobs for people who hate people. They offer potential satisfaction if you are disenchanted with humanity and have a slightly twisted sense of humor.
Jobs Where You Work Alone—Do They Really Exist?
Life can be tough if you prefer to work alone. Jobs that require little or no social interaction can seem like they would be hard to find, but there are careers for people who don't like people.
If you are an introvert, then having a career that utilizes your natural strengths and minimizes your contact with other people can be of tremendous help, and could mean you'll be able to really accomplish something worthwhile, which is in and of itself a source of energy, confidence, and happiness.
Like any other general personality type, introverts can display a wide variety of attributes, including surprising ones that contradict their overall temperament. For instance, some people who would consider themselves introverts may find it oddly satisfying to perform or speak in front of large groups of people even though they would dislike having to mingle within them.
Plenty of careers offer introverts the chance to use their inherent abilities—deep concentration, unconventional thinking, commitment, powerful observation, good listening, and many others—in their work.
Finding a career you can be happy with is difficult no matter who you are. But having an introspective personality makes it even harder. The fact is, just about any career will require you to interact with people in some way. There isn't much you can do about it other than learn how to be a little outgoing when it counts. Still, some occupations tend to be better for people who dislike working with others.
Jobs for People Who Like to Work Alone
Jobs for people who like to work alone aren't always easy to spot. But here are a few career choices for introverts that might just get you moving in the right direction.
(Salary estimates are based on Occupational Employment Statistics program data from May 2019. Numbers for total yearly projected job openings are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and are for the decade between 2016 and 2026.)
Writing is also a classic option for introspective people that want to work alone. It can enable you to articulate your thoughts and express yourself in a way that might be impossible for you through verbal communication. Writing can help you sort through all of the feelings and information in your head, so that you can see yourself and the world around you more clearly. Plus, writing well is a skill that is always in high demand.
Other possible careers in this category include architecture, video game development, and even the performing arts. Yes, as strange as it sounds, something like acting can be a good fit for some introverts because it's about getting deep into character and being somebody else while on stage or in front of the camera.
- Average yearly pay—$89,560
- Top-end pay—$137,620 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—10,000
Film or video editor
- Average yearly pay—$87,300
- Top-end pay—$168,320 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—4,300
- Average hourly pay—$29.14 (about $60,611 per year for full-time work)
- Top-end hourly pay—$60.41 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—8,600
Animator or special effects artist
- Average yearly pay—$84,780
- Top-end pay—$139,940 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—8,100
- Average yearly pay—$73,860
- Top-end pay—$122,450 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—14,600
Sound engineering technician
- Average yearly pay—$67,090
- Top-end pay—$121,320 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—1,800
- Average yearly pay—$60,990
- Top-end pay—$96,470 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—6,800
- Average yearly pay—$63,030
- Top-end pay—$112,970 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—3,000
- Average yearly pay—$56,510
- Top-end pay—$89,210 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—27,100
- Average yearly pay—$45,440
- Top-end pay—$79,440 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—13,000
There is something about computer technology that pulls many introverts in like a magnet. And if you like to solve problems, then software development, electronics engineering, and computer programming could be suitable options for your introverted personality.
For introverts with a love for technology and a bit of a creative flair, web design and web development both offer intriguing opportunities to express yourself without needing a lot of interaction.
Applications software developer
- Average yearly pay—$111,620
- Top-end pay—$164,590 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—85,900
- Average yearly pay—$92,610
- Top-end pay—$140,250 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—15,700
- Average yearly pay—$96,110
- Top-end pay—$148,060 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—9,300
Network systems administrator
- Average yearly pay—$88,410
- Top-end pay—$132,520 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—27,000
- Average yearly pay—$82,370
- Top-end pay—$142,080 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—15,200
Electrical or electronics engineering technician
- Average yearly pay—$66,240
- Top-end pay—$96,690 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—12,000
Although many careers in health care require a lot of contact with people, there are a number of options in the field that don't involve so much personal contact.
For instance, medical transcription is a good bet if you would like to work from home. Or, if you would prefer something a little more hands-on yet still behind-the-scenes, then you might consider a career as a medical laboratory technician.
If you would prefer to take care of animals instead, there are many great options here, but some of the best include occupations like veterinary medicine and veterinary assistance.
Medical laboratory technician
- Average yearly pay—$54,780
- Top-end pay—$81,530 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—12,900
Medical coding specialist
- Average yearly pay—$46,590
- Top-end pay—$71,150 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—15,800
- Average yearly pay—$35,210
- Top-end pay—$51,260 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—6,600
Sterile processing technician
- Average yearly pay—$39,530
- Top-end pay—$56,910 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—7,600
Veterinary technician or technologist
- Average yearly pay—$36,670
- Top-end pay—$51,230 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—10,700
The business world is vast and offers plenty of opportunities for solo work. In fact, a number of careers in the business field can even allow people to work from home.
Some great options for someone who is business-minded but not interested in the social interaction that can often accompany the field include accounting and marketing. And if you're really intent on crafting a career that suits your traits, you can take an entrepreneurship program and learn to run your own business.
- Average yearly pay—$79,520
- Top-end pay—$124,450 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—143,000
- Average yearly pay—$71,570
- Top-end pay—$122,630 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—78,300
- Average yearly pay—$71,720
- Top-end pay—$129,160 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—28,900
Public relations specialist
- Average yearly pay—$70,190
- Top-end pay—$115,430 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—28,900
Real estate agent
- Average yearly pay—$62,060
- Top-end pay—$111,800 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—36,300
Science and Research
If you're not too fond of being around other people, then careers in science or research and development can provide a highly rewarding way to make a living.
There has probably never been a better time to pursue a career in this category. We're likely to witness an astonishing array of scientific breakthroughs in areas like medicine, biomedical technology, and environmental technology. And with climate change pushing us to develop clean energy sources, there will continue to be a lot of opportunity for bright minds that can imagine a greener future and conduct the research to help bring it about.
- Average yearly pay—$131,080
- Top-end pay—$201,990 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—1,700
- Average yearly pay—$122,270
- Top-end pay—$185,780 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—200
- Average yearly pay—$97,090
- Top-end pay—$148,210 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—1,600
- Average yearly pay—$95,580
- Top-end pay—$142,500 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—900
Environmental engineering technician
- Average yearly pay—$54,740
- Top-end pay—$82,930 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—1,700
Not all legal professionals have to set foot in a courtroom to do their jobs. And if they do, they don't necessarily have to be the one standing up to make arguments before a judge or jury.
There is no reason that an introvert can't thrive as a paralegal, legal assistant, or even as an attorney. Most legal cases never make it to trial, and there is always more than enough in-depth research that needs to be conducted. Plus, many specialties within law involve tasks that are a little more routine such as will and estate planning, contracts, and bankruptcy.
- Average yearly pay—$145,300
- Top-end pay—$208,000 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—41,500
- Average yearly pay—$57,000
- Top-end pay—$89,760 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—4,600
Paralegal or legal assistant
- Average yearly pay—$55,020
- Top-end pay—$82,500 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—34,800
While it's true that most trades require working away from home, many skilled tradespeople will tell you that there is a special kind of Zen that happens when you are using your hands and really focused on building, installing, or fixing something tangible.
- Average yearly pay—$60,370
- Top-end pay—$96,580 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—83,100
- Average yearly pay—$59,800
- Top-end pay—$97,170 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—62,600
- Average yearly pay—$67,100
- Top-end pay—$119,830 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—500
Wind energy technician
- Average yearly pay—$56,700
- Top-end pay—$80,150 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—1,400
- Average yearly pay—$51,420
- Top-end pay—$77,920 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—39,100
- Average yearly pay—$52,850
- Top-end pay—$84,690 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—113,800
- Average yearly pay—$50,360
- Top-end pay—$74,090 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—28,500
Commercial truck driver
- Average yearly pay—$46,850
- Top-end pay—$66,840 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—216,600
- Average yearly pay—$44,460
- Top-end pay—$67,540 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—2,800
- Average yearly pay—$45,190
- Top-end pay—$64,240 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—46,500
- Average yearly pay—$44,890
- Top-end pay—$68,880 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—78,200
- Average yearly pay—$43,440
- Top-end pay—$63,350 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—2,500
- Average yearly pay—$39,970
- Top-end pay—$60,060 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—2,000
Jobs for People Who Hate People
Have you ever daydreamed about taking a one-way trip to Mars in order to escape the annoying mess called humanity? It's a perfectly sane reaction to the world we live in. Jerks and stupid people dominate the headlines—as well as many grocery store aisles. And if you live in a large city, you probably can't walk more than 50 yards in any direction without encountering people who make you wish that you could activate trap doors beneath their feet.
That's why, when it comes to other people, it's understandable that you might have, at minimum, a slightly twisted outlook. Besides, who cares if you're not a people person? Jobs for loners can be found in lots of different industries. So you don't necessarily have to hold humanity in high regard in order to earn a good living.
But if you hate people, you also don't necessarily need to narrow your search to careers where you work alone. Instead, maybe you can expand your options by considering occupations that allow you to gain a little bit of satisfaction from your frustration with humanity. For example, consider the following career ideas:
Forensic science technician—Help ensure that bad people who commit crimes end up getting the punishment they deserve by collecting and analyzing evidence from crime scenes.
- Average yearly pay—$63,170
- Top-end pay—$97,350 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—2,200
Tax collector—Imagine being able to make tax evaders actually contribute their fair share for the public services that they benefit from just like the rest of us.
- Average yearly pay—$60,960
- Top-end pay—$101,780 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—4,200
Mechanical engineering technician—Play at least a small role in helping to replace irritating human workers with more pleasant and predictable robots and other machines.
- Average yearly pay—$59,160
- Top-end pay—$88,640 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—4,200
Underwater welder—Use a powerful blowtorch beneath the surface of a lake, ocean, or other body of water while enjoying the relative isolation of having one of the best jobs for people who like to work alone.
- Average yearly pay—$67,100
- Top-end pay—$119,830 or more
- Expected yearly job openings (for all commercial divers)—500
Mortician, funeral director, or undertaker—Feel some delight each day as you are constantly reminded that all of those people you hate will eventually meet their ends.
- Average yearly pay—$58,360
- Top-end pay—$89,880 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—3,700
Industrial machinery mechanic—Give yourself a chuckle every day by helping to fix, maintain, or install large automated machines that reduce the need for pesky human workers.
- Average yearly pay—$55,320
- Top-end pay—$79,660 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—33,100
Journalist—Help expose the lies, misdeeds, corruption, and hypocrisy of people in your community who don't seem to care about the negative impacts that their selfish actions have on other people.
- Average yearly pay—$62,400
- Top-end pay—$117,170 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—3,900
Fitness trainer—Enjoy the satisfaction that comes from guiding other people through tough and unenjoyable exercises while imagining yourself as a slightly gentler kind of drill sergeant.
- Average yearly pay—$45,110
- Top-end pay—$75,400 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—57,500
Parking enforcement officer—Experience the delight of having a job that actually requires you to be a jerk by giving out parking tickets to all kinds of different people.
- Average yearly pay—$43,420
- Top-end pay—$64,210 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—400
Phlebotomist—Can you imagine a more satisfying job than one that literally involves "sticking it" to people all day with needles and collecting their blood?
- Average yearly pay—$36,480
- Top-end pay—$49,750 or more
- Expected yearly job openings—16,900
More About Introverts
The term "introvert" encompasses a broad range of personalities that share a few similar traits. It is foolish to think that anyone can be so easily categorized. Therefore, take all career suggestions with a grain of salt. There are probably introverts that have found happiness and success in careers that one would never expect a person who dislikes being around other people to thrive in.
And remember this: Preferring to be alone doesn't necessarily make you antisocial. In fact, it makes you just like billions of other people on this planet who share that trait with you. It's normal. But even if you regularly have hostile feelings about humanity, you may find it reassuring to know that many other introverts share your experience.
So go ahead and let other people call you antisocial if they must. But don't let their ignorance hold you back. As the many examples listed above illustrate, several jobs for "antisocial" people are worth pursuing. And you deserve to find your own path toward happiness and success.
Get Your Future Underway
Many jobs for people who like to be alone require some college-level vocational training. Thankfully, that kind of training is usually easy to find. In fact, the school finder below will allow you to quickly search for program options in your own region. Simply enter your zip code to get started!