In the immortal words of Barbra Streisand, people who need people are the luckiest people in the world. But what about the rest of us? We don’t all have what it takes to be gregarious, and outgoing, and one’s ability to be sociable, or lack thereof, can affect the type of employment one ends up taking.
The extroverted have a bevy of jobs that let them press the flesh. There are sales, management, life coaching and any number of other jobs that demand constant interaction with others. On the other hand, the introverted simply don’t have what it takes to be a people person, and they have to look for jobs more suited to their status as loners.
Many jobs that allow more reserved types to work in solitude are menial and offer little in the way of decent salary or challenging work. However, there are plenty of other careers that are stimulating, well-paying and require little in the way of human contact. Read ahead to see some of the best jobs in the U.S. for loners.
By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 07 May 2012
If you’re in love with books, and you like shushing people more than you like meeting them, then a job as a librarian may be for you. A librarian’s duties include cataloguing, classifying and maintaining such materials as books and periodicals.
These professionals aren’t limited to working in public libraries — their services are needed at law firms, healthcare providers and government agencies. The mean annual wage for the profession is $57,020, but people employed in this capacity with the federal government can earn over $80,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
You don’t have to have the gift of gab when the only sentient beings you encounter during the working day are animals. The job of a zoologist is ideal for the loner who loves living things, provided they’re not human beings.
Zoologists study the behavior of animals and wildlife for research and management purposes. The mean annual wage for the job is $61,880, but zoologists employed in the state of Maryland can earn almost $98,000 per year.
Few words strike terror in the hearts of taxpayers like “audit.” The image of an unsmiling figure rummaging through your 7-year-old receipts to make sure that your write-offs are legitimate is an anxiety-provoking one. However, someone has to do it, and the solitary, project-oriented nature of the job makes it ideal for the loner.
The mean annual wage for this job is $70,130, but auditors working in the District of Columbia can earn over $86,000. Those working in the New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division can earn almost $90,000.
It’s usually necessary for aspiring statisticians to have a master’s degree in statistics, and many in this field hold Ph.D.s. The reward for all those long and lonely hours of work is a job with a mean annual wage of $77,280.
There were more than 25,000 statistician jobs in the U.S. in 2010, the most recent year for which BLS data is available. Employment for this occupation is expected to increase by 14 percent between 2010 and 2020, and statisticians who ply their trade in New Jersey can earn more than $107,000.
Biochemists analyze chemical substances in living organisms. Without them, we might still be seeking treatments for diseases that were conquered long ago. While they don’t work alone, the research-oriented nature of their work doesn’t lend itself to gabbing with co-workers.
Biochemists’ findings are applied in more fields than just medicine; they are also needed in agriculture, manufacturing and science. They are frequently employed by biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies as well as academic institutes. The mean annual wage for this job is $87,640.
If you want to extract minerals from the earth, you can’t just start digging up a random patch of dirt. Without a precise subsurface survey, there’s no way to tell if the ground is safe for development, and the geological engineer is the person who conducts that survey.
The mean annual wage for this occupation is $90,070, but jobs with petroleum and coal products manufacturers can pay over $155,000 per year. The state with the highest employment level for this job is California.
There are different kinds of computer software developers. There are software developers who create applications, and software developers who create system software. The operating system on your PC or Mac was created by a developer in the second category.
The mean annual wage for this job is $100,420. Unsurprisingly, developers can earn the most money in California, home of Silicon Valley and a robust tech sector. Developers in this state can earn almost $114,000 per year.
Mathematicians can work in numerous fields, such as scientific research, technical consulting and academia. Their mean annual wage is $101,320, but a mathematician working in the scientific research and development services industry can make almost $118,000 per year.
That industry isn’t just the highest paying. It also has the highest levels of employment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state with the highest-paying jobs in this field is New Jersey, where a mathematician can earn over $125,000 per year.
Contrary to popular belief, modern astronomers don’t actually spend much of their time looking through a telescope. They’ve been relying on photographic technology for years, and they spend the majority of their time analyzing the data that pictures provide.
Astronomers are commonly employed by the federal government, scientific research groups and schools. They earn a mean annual wage of $101,630, but astronomers who work for the government can earn almost $132,000 a year.
In the 1970s, the popular Ford Pinto automobile was found to have a potentially fatal design flaw. The cost of fixing it was determined, and that cost was weighed against the cost of paying out hypothetical settlements. Both figures were determined by actuaries, and if you like to spend long hours in solitude, crunching numbers and assessing risk, it’s one of the highest-paying jobs you can get.
Actuaries earn a mean annual wage of $103,000, and are most commonly employed within the insurance industry. The highest-paying state for this occupation is Montana, where actuaries can earn more than $131,000, followed by New York, where the job can pay almost $126,000 per year.