It’s not that you don’t like people, per se. It’s just that you’ve never in your life been invited to a networking event and thought, “Well, that sounds fun!” You’d rather spend a quiet night in with a few friends – or by yourself – than go to a packed party. For you, making small talk is a form of torture. Ron Swanson is your spirit animal.
In short, you’re not a people person. And that’s okay. Some people just aren’t built that way. Fortunately for you, there are a slew of lucrative career opportunities that don’t require a lot of customer interaction and group collaboration.
Not only do the following jobs lend themselves to a more introverted lifestyle, they all pay more than $20 per hour and are projected to grow at or above the average pace over the next several years*.
1. Accountant: Are numbers “your thing”? Accounting might be for you. Accountants prepare and examine financial records and prepare taxes for people and businesses. They also help assess businesses’ financial operations and help them run efficiently.
2. Actuary: Are you known as the fiscally responsible one in your group of friends? Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty and help clients develop policies to minimize the cost of that risk.
3. Archivist: Do you fancy yourself a history buff? Would your organization skills put Martha Stewart to shame? As an archivist, you appraise, process, catalog, and preserve permanent records and historically valuable documents.
4. Chefs and Head Cooks: Always experimenting with new recipes? Do your Eggs a la Francaise give Countess Luann’s a run for their money? There might be a career in cooking for you. Chefs and head cooks oversee the daily food preparation, direct kitchen staff and handle any food-related concerns at restaurants.
5. Electrician: Sick of the 9-to-5 grind and cubicle life? As an electrician, you get to work with your hands, there’s no such thing as a “typical day,” and you won’t go into debt with student loans because much of the training is on the job.
6. Film and Video Editors: If you loved the action sequences in movies like “The Avengers,” “Kill Bill” and “The Mummy,” you can thank film and video editors for that. If you have a way with editing software and a passion for storytelling, film and video editing could be the perfect fit.
7. Financial Analyst: Do friends come to you for financial advice? You might be a budding financial analyst. They help guide businesses and individuals toward sound investment decisions.
8. Interpreter: Are you fluent in another language? Consider transferring that skill into a career as an interpreter, one of the fastest-growing jobs over the next five years.
9. Market Research Analyst: There’s a reason some people are strictly Pepsi drinkers while others are team Coke all the way – and it’s the job of a market research analyst to know that reason. They look at consumer buying behavior to help businesses understand who their consumers are, what they want and how much they’re willing to pay for it.
10. Marriage or Family Therapist: Do you pride yourself on your listening skills? Do friends and family members come to you when they need advice or a sympathetic ear? Consider a career as a marriage or family therapist, who helps people manage and overcome problems with family and other relationships.
11. Medical Laboratory Technologist or Technician: Did you live for science lab when you were in high school? Consider looking into being a medical laboratory technologist or technician.These professionals collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue and other substances.
12. Paralegal: Not crazy about the idea of law school, but have a passion for all things “Law & Order”? As a paralegal, you would do a variety of tasks to support lawyers, such as maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research and drafting documents.
13. Software Developer: Does your love for computers run deep? Consider software development. While some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer, others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.
14. Technical Writer: Do you have a knack for simplifying complex information? As a technical writer, you’ll prepare instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles and other documents to break down technical information and communicate it more easily.
15. Zoologist or Wildlife Biologist: If you’ve always preferred the company of animals over people, than a future in zoology may be for you. Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals and other wildlife, how they interact with their ecosystems, animal behaviors and the impact humans have on wildlife.