Introverts are generally described as people who thrive on their own and who feel drained when they must interact often with other people. While introverts often get a bad rap, they should simply be seen as people who are energized in quiet spaces and during alone time rather than in loud, large social gatherings. Although extroverts are very good at making their presence known because they love to talk, share and be seen frequently in public, the number of introverts in the world is truly astonishing. In fact, it is estimated that from 26 to 50 percent of people in the United States are introverts.
Are You an Introvert?
Those who are not sure whether they are introverts should examine how they feel when they are with others. True introverts enjoy alone time, think more clearly when they are on their own, are described as self-starters and avoid uncomfortable run-ins with unhappy or angry people. They may not often call people on the telephone or send many texts or emails even to their friends or family. In general, they feel happier and more content when they keep mostly to themselves, and they try to stay away from casual conversations.
Finding the Right Job as an Introvert
Employment in certain fields can be problematic for introverts who prefer to work alone rather than in large office environments or in teams. Certain careers require plenty of personal interaction or public speaking. Some examples of poor career choices for introverts could include becoming a family practice doctor, a lawyer, a public relations manager, a sales manager or a fundraising manager. Despite their high wages, these careers would be dreaded by many introverts. Introverts who do try to make a living in these careers may find themselves feeling quite unfulfilled at the end of the day or even burned out after a few years.
Therefore, it is important for introverts to choose their careers wisely. Not only must they consider what fields interest them, but also they must consider how much alone time they will have each work day and how often they will need to interact with their coworkers, managers or clients. In addition, these individuals should factor in their salaries, the flexibility that they have in scheduling their hours and vacation time and the level of stress in their jobs to determine the perfect job for them.
The good news is that one does not have to be extroverted to thrive in a job. Introverts do not have to feel as if they are on the sidelines or as if they have been cut out of meaningful jobs that allow them to succeed and grow in their careers. Instead, an introvert should choose a job that allows more time for quiet work on one’s own rather than on personal connections that must be maintained.
Best Careers for Introverts
Whether individuals are heading to college for the first time upon high school graduation or are heading back to further their education for the start of a second career, these 10 career paths are among the most ideal for introverts wanting high-paying careers.
1. Software Developer
Individuals who love computers and technology and who are comfortable sitting behind a monitor for most hours of the day will love the salary and the benefits that they get from a software development career choice. Software developers help to create new computer programs for nearly any commercial or consumer use. They must know how the software will be used, how to create a secure platform and how to write the correct code for the software. In addition, they may also help to install new software or work bugs out of the system if the software does not work correctly.
Many software developers spend most of their working hours on their own. Although they must occasionally meet with clients or coworkers to discuss software needs, graphic design, upgrades or maintenance, many of these individuals can choose to work from home, picking and choosing the best projects for them as a freelancer. In general, software programmers will have more time on their own than will software engineers.
Software development is a growing career in the United States. While there are currently over 1.2 million people employed in this area, the number of software development jobs is expected to rise by 24 percent by 2026, producing over 300,000 more jobs. Not only does the current need for software developers produce great job security for individuals in this field, but also the high average salary of $105,590 keeps people happy in this financially secure career.
2. Computer System Administrator
A spectacular tech job for introverts is computer system administration. This is another behind-the-scenes job that requires individuals to set up computer systems for companies of all sizes. Individuals will work with networks, servers, hardware, software and Internet networks. Although this may be a lesser-known job, it is certainly not unimportant because organized and properly working computer systems are vital to the overall smooth daily flow of a company.
Not only must computer system administrators know how to properly set up networks, but also they must be able to respond quickly and knowledgeably to problems so that companies’ systems remain up and running at all times. In addition, these individuals must stay current with network needs and trends, upgrading equipment and software as needed.
Although this is not a large profession, it is a quickly growing one that has an incredibly low unemployment rate of only 1 percent. With 391,000 jobs currently, this field is expected to grow by 6 percent in the next several years, adding approximately 24,000 jobs by 2026. System administrators can expect to make a healthy $82,050 yearly with the highest pay rates going to those who work in information technology, finance and insurance industries.
A career as a veterinarian is a great choice for those who prefer working with furry creatures rather than talking to humans. These individuals often work in private clinicals or in animal hospitals. However, others venture out on their own to care for sick farm animals. They can diagnose and treat a variety of animal illnesses, help with animal births and provide vaccinations. As increasing numbers of people are seeing their pets as parts of their families, the role of veterinarians is becoming increasingly important.
While this career does require an advanced degree, which is usually a doctorate, most graduates can quickly find work immediately after graduation. The job market is strong, and veterinarians have only a 1.7 percent unemployment rate. Veterinarians have great options for moving ahead in their careers, but they do often have to take on some increased stress with uncomfortable work hours and increased responsibilities to do so.
Thankfully, the great salary more than makes up for the lack of flexibility in this career. The average annual salary for veterinarians is $93,830 per year, and the number of open jobs is expected to increase by 19 percent by 2026, leading to 15,000 more jobs by that time. These increases are mostly due to the increased number of people who are willing to spend more on their pets than they once were.
While radiologists do work with humans rather than with animals, theirs is a behind-the-scenes job that rarely requires much interaction with patients. This job revolves around diagnostic tests in the health care field. It could include reading X-rays, CT scans and MRIs as well as providing proper diagnoses and recommendations for further testing. Most of these physicians work in clinics and hospitals, and most spend a majority of each day on their own while they analyze images. Some may specialize in oncology while others may work in interventional radiology during in-depth patient procedures. However, the best option for introverts in this field is diagnostic radiology.
Of course, it is no easy task to become a radiologist as these professionals must have well over a decade of higher education under their belts. However, the payoff is great with an annual entry-level salary of over $200,000 and some experienced radiologists making over $400,000 annually. Plus, the job outlook for physicians in general is positive with an expected growth rate of 13 percent in the number of jobs in this field by 2026.
For introverts with a strong background in science, a career as a biochemist is a great option. Social interaction in this field is low as workers spend most of their time on their own in the lab. These individuals study the chemical processes at work within living organisms and work to solve biological problems. They are involved with research, work with DNA and the smallest organisms known to mankind, and help with the creation of drugs and artificial tissues. While they may work in corporate labs, many biochemists work for universities and pharmaceutical companies, and many provide research through fully funded grant programs.
A career as a biochemist begins with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry or a similar science-backed degree. To work on one’s own in a research setting, the individual will need to have. Ph.D. With an unemployment rate currently sitting below 2 percent, biochemists can typically find ready work in a high-paying field. Those with Ph.D.s can expect to make an average of $93,280 per year. Those who worked in wholesale trades often make much more than this while those who work for universities and other educational systems may make less.
6. Marine Engineer
Listed in CNNMoney/PayScale’s top 100 careers for great paychecks and amazing career growth, a career as a marine biologist is one that is perfect for introverts wanting a high-paying job with limited human interaction. Marine engineers help to build the inner-workings of ships and other types of naval transportation. For example, they may help to build engines, refrigerations units, electrical systems and steering systems for ships and watercraft of all sizes. A few marine engineers may also work with electrical power generators, including wind turbines.
While these individuals work in offices and will need to have some interaction with their clients and coworkers on their teams, they will spend most of each work day in front of a desk, working on computer designs. After planning and designing marine systems, they may then need to be on-site during system installations and during marine inspections. Many of these individuals work for engineering firms. However, a good number of them instead work for the federal government.
Although this field of engineering may not be as well known as its mechanical, electrical, chemical and civil engineering cousins may be, it remains as a quickly growing career. The field is expected to grow at a slightly above average rate of 12 percent in upcoming years, far faster than other areas of engineering are projected to grow. Average salaries are $92,560 per year, and workers can expect to enjoy highly fulfilling and generally low-stress careers.
Although not many people are familiar with careers in astronomy, this is an incredible science- and math-based career that allow individuals to study the depths of the universe and develop new theories for the natural world. These individuals also get to work with high-powered devices, such as electron microscopes, lasers and particle accelerators.
Astronomers must usually have a Ph.D. in astronomy to get a job in research or education. While the educational road to acquire this job may be a long one, the pay-off is high with those carrying a Ph.D. making an average of $105,680, and some working for the government making over $148,000 per year.
Many astronomers work alone and at night so that they can observe the universe without the sun’s radiation hampering their efforts. Many work in scientific research labs or in public or private universities where they carry on a majority of their daily work on their own. Others work for the government and for health care companies. Job openings for astronomers in the United States are expected to grow by 10 percent by 2026, giving up-and-coming graduate students a chance to find a great job immediately.
8. Technical Writer
Although the majority of the best jobs for introverts focus on math, science and technology, there are a few rare exceptions, such as is the case for technical writers. These writers do not focus on blogs, fiction, journalism or entertaining writing. Instead they focus on writing manuals, deep non-fiction articles and in-depth documents that are fact-based, analytical and clear. These writers must have a great grasp of vocabulary and grammar and must be very detail-oriented. This career typically begins with a bachelor’s degree in English or journalism. Most writers begin in a related field before making their way into technical writing.
This is a great job option for introverts because many technical writers work from home or work on their own in quiet offices. Those who are self-employed pick up freelance jobs either as short-term work or as recurring assignments. Wherever these individuals work, the environment must be quiet and solitary.
Technical writers make surprisingly good money with average annual paychecks of $71,850. However, some can earn over $100,000 per year. Self-employed writers often get paid for each completed project rather than on a weekly or monthly basis. With the increase in technical products and electronics sold to consumers today, the need for technical writing is growing. This field is expected to expand by 11 percent by 2026 with over 5,000 new jobs added in that time.
Although accounting may not be the highest paid career on this list, it is still a great job for introverts who love working with numbers, want to be upwardly mobile in their careers, prefer a great deal of autonomy and value financial security. Unlike a financial advisor who spends much of each work day talking with his clients and discussing the best financial plans for them, accountants spend most of their time looking at numbers and spreadsheets. While some client interaction is certainly necessary, most time will be spent in front of a computer screen as the accountant seeks to make sense of numbers and balance accounts.
Accountants may work for a specific company or may freelance, choosing their own clients. They may keep company records, make recommendations to businesses regarding financial welfare, compute taxes and examine financial documents. Some accountants will also need to prepare written reports of their findings, and some may have to present these reports in face-to-face meetings. However, this career path allows for a great deal of specialization, allowing introverts to choose a career path that works for them.
Accountants remain in high demand as very few people can understand the tax code and many struggle to organize and compute complex numbers. The number of accounting jobs is expected to rise by 10 percent over the next several years, and accountants can expect a healthy salary of $70,500 on average.
Becoming an actuary will give individuals a chance to enjoy an even higher-paying numbers-based career when compared to accounting. In fact, this job may be even better for introverts than accounting is because they will most likely have even less interaction with clients. Many actuaries work in the insurance industry and spend most of their time behind desks. Introverts should be sure to stay in the office-based realm of actuarial services rather than becoming an actuary consultant.
Actuaries work with numbers and statistics primarily in the financial and insurance industries but occasionally for professional and technical companies or even for the government. They analyze economic and monetary data to help businesses make wise decisions as they forecast the possibility of future costs. In addition, actuaries may help design insurance policies, retirement plans and business strategies to help businesses bring in more money. Most actuarial work is done behind a computer although workers may occasionally be called on to share their findings with management, shareholders or other professionals.
A job as an actuary can be highly rewarding with an average annual salary of over $100,000. Plus, this field is expected to have a growth explosion by 2026, adding 5,300 jobs by that time in a 22 percent expansion.
Obviously, most of the best, high-paying jobs for introverts are found in the realms of mathematics, science and technology. Thankfully, these are often the fields in which these types of people excel. These ten jobs definitely minimize the necessity of frequent connections with others whether they be coworkers or clients and focus more on one’s connection to his own work. They focus on independent work in quiet spaces as well as the need for highly focused attention to detail. When introverts choose one of these careers, not only will they see great improvements in their bank accounts, but also they will daily feel more satisfied with their jobs.