If you hate working with other people, finding a job you might honestly enjoy can seem like an impossible task. Despite the horrifically social aspect of the workplace in general, don’t despair—there do exist jobs for you and for others like you who simply can’t stand the idea of being around other people day in and day out.
Why might someone want a solitary job?
There are lots of reasons why you might prefer to work alone. Many personality types struggle with social situations. This issue is portrayed in the media as only pertinent when meeting new friends or trying to pick up someone at the bar, and while those situations certainly do cause anxiety, that representation is not complete. In fact, social anxiety can affect many more areas of one’s life than purely social situations, like how you work with others or simply the act of getting coffee in the morning. For that reason, some people don’t feel comfortable with an office environment.
Others might have a more serious issue than introversion — individuals with agoraphobia, the phobia of crowds, have a debilitating fear that can actually hinder their ability to function in society and makes it very difficult to consider taking a job in a bustling office building. Other phobias have similar effects, preventing individuals with fear of heights from taking a job that would require taking an elevator or people with a fear of enclosed spaces from agreeing to a job with an underground commute.
Yet the biggest (and simultaneously simplest) reason to seek out a solitary job is that you just don’t work well with others. For some people, collaborative work is a nightmare, and the idea of being forced to work under a boss or alongside colleagues seems too difficult a cross to bear. Being antisocial is no cause for shame, and in jobs like the ones listed below, it doesn’t have to create problems for your source of income. If you’re happier in situations where you don’t have to interact with others all day, these jobs might just be perfect for you.
What is a good job for someone who doesn’t like people?
1. Mail carrier
Salary: $50,300/yr (Recruiter)
Despite the stereotype of that smiling, friendly mail carrier who knows everyone in the whole neighborhood and ruffles the hair of the kids that run past, a mail carrier actually has to engage in very little social contact throughout the day. Just slip in a pair of earbuds as you deliver the mail, and the neighborhood will get the message.
2. Computer programmer
Salary: $62,126/yr (PayScale)
After getting your bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology, you’ll be primed to be hired as a computer programmer, which means hours on hours of alone time with your tech. You’ll have to work with developers to get a sense of the shape they want their designs to take, but after some preliminary work together, you’re on your own!
3. Night security guard
Salary: $29,231/yr (ZipRecruiter)
Though it requires some funky hours, a security guard who works at night has one of the best jobs for antisocial people. No matter if you’re guarding a museum or a mall, your rounds will be quiet and your security camera will, for the most part, only film empty rooms.
Salary: $77,661/yr (Indeed)
Depending on what you’re researching, this job can be absolutely serene and separate from the human realm. It will require a degree in whatever field you’d like to conduct research in, of course, but that investment will be worth it when you get to hole up in the lab and not talk to another soul until you’ve completed your project.
Salary: $73,022/yr (Salary.com)
For those who hate humans but find no issue with animals, zoology can be a very exciting (and solitary!) career. After getting your bachelor’s in zoology, you’ll be ready to study animals both in captivity and in the wild, and the best part is that you get to record your observations all on your lonesome.
6. Freelance writer
Salary: $68,488/yr (ZipRecruiter)
You don’t need any degree to start freelancing your writing skills, but if you aim to make it into a real career, you should have some sort of English degree under your belt. It’s worth it: freelance writers never even have to meet their employers and can communicate solely via email.
Salary: $45,170/yr (money.usnews.com)
Carpenters have to report to the people who have hired them, but for most of the working day, they are left blissfully alone with their craft. This career requires little schooling and allows you to spend even less time in contact with humans — an antisocial worker’s dream.
Salary: $64,724/yr (Salary.com)
Librarians are essentially the researchers of the literary world. They are highly educated, usually holding a master's in library and information science, and they spend their time researching in the midst of old books and silence.
9. Financial clerk
Salary: $39,570/yr (CollegeGrad)
A financial clerk is in charge of keeping track of money for a business and therefore deals mostly in receipts and administrative records. There are many varieties of a financial clerk, and not all of them must interact with customers, so this career is a very viable option for people who cringe at the idea of customer service.
Salary: $65,176/yr (Salary.com)
Whether you’re filming a TV show or Aunt Carol’s friend’s little brother’s bar mitzvah, this job can be a great fit for someone who doesn’t love human interaction. Being behind the camera means watching other people interact, but the camera acts as a powerful tool to separate you from society, and you don't end up having to deal with people that much.
Salary: $52,590/yr (money.usnews.com)
Obviously, plumbers deal with sewage, a fact which turns most interested parties away from this lucrative and solo career path. Try to reframe it: the sewage aspect of this job discourages clients from sticking around to watch your handiwork, which means even more alone time and less annoying social interaction.
Salary: $34,579/yr (CareerExplorer)
A landscaping job means more than just cutting grass. It requires an intimate knowledge of plants and agriculture, and while you need no accreditation to enter the field, it still manages to be a challenging and stimulating job. With trees as colleagues and the sun as your boss, you’re bound to be content in the solitude provided by this career.
Salary: $48,510/yr (PayScale)
For those who really hate other humans, becoming a mortician is always an option. Many find the idea of hanging around with corpses morbid, but if you can stomach the stench of formaldehyde (and spending a few years getting your associate’s degree in mortuary science), consider this career path — after all, it requires little to no living human contact.
14. Truck driver
Salary: $60,442/yr (Indeed)
This is perhaps the most solitary job possible. It entails long hours alone on the road, an itinerant lifestyle and little contact with the world outside the walls of your truck. You make decent money doing it, and there’s no educational requirement except for a driver’s license.
Salary: $54,694/yr (Salary.com)
Some artists choose to include others in their artistic process, but you don’t have to. Find a secluded place to create your art, and you’ll be happily alone and unbothered from the time you begin to the moment when you realize that you’ll probably have to sell some pieces to pay rent.
Q: What jobs are good for antisocial people?
A: Antisocial people struggle most in customer service. If you consider yourself antisocial, stay away from working in a restaurant, airport or clothing store — these types of jobs require the most person-to-person contact and additionally are the most grueling for people who will be drained by complainers.
Q: What jobs are good for introverts?
A: Jobs that don't require networking are the best choices for introverts. From investment bankers to professional musicians, networking is important for people on many different career paths. Introverts have problems with putting themselves out there in a networking situation, due to a natural tendency to keep to themselves; so if you’re an introvert and you find yourself in a career wherein networking can get you ahead, you might want to reconsider that choice before your lack of networking leaves you behind.
Q: What careers pay well with little schooling?
A: Trade schools that train students to enter lucrative, useful fields, such as plumbing or landscaping, take less time to prepare students to enter the workforce. On the other hand, careers that require more sophisticated degrees such as programming or finance are much more likely to drain your funds and keep you in school for a good, long time.