High paying jobs for people who don't like people
Something we’re often expected to convey during a job interview is that we’re people people.
We need to demonstrate that we play well with others, function well as part of a team, and can’t wait for those workplace social gatherings. But what if you’re not a people person? What if you really just don’t like people and don’t want to be around them?
Maybe you’re an introvert, maybe you’re a misanthrope (they’re not the same thing and one does not necessarily go hand in hand with the other). Whatever the case, you’re not a fan of homo sapiens.
You can fake it ‘til you make it – the best option in a lot of circumstances – or you can try to find a job in which being a people person is not a requirement.
I looked into this, with an eye to finding the best paying, and found several lists of jobs with minimal human interaction – here’s one from CareerCast and another from The Richest. There’s also a book: 200 Best Jobs for Introverts.
One obvious issue is that most of the loner jobs are also nerdy ones with a focus on math or science. (Coincidence? Discuss!) so I found a couple that are less science-y, and ditched choices like actuary and political scientist, which took a bite out of wages but offered a few more options. But geeking out seems to be something of a requirement if you want lots of alone time and a good living.
At the upper end of most of these gigs, you can do pretty well financially. All salaries are from Jobbank.gc.ca unless otherwise noted.
In most cases, you’re going to have to deal with people sometimes. I didn’t find any great jobs with zero human interaction. So, if you can think of any, please share them in the comments.
10 high paying jobs for people who don’t like people
Astronomer: This is The Richest’s top pick. You would spend some time looking into a telescope and a lot of time parsing data and doing calculations, then writing about your findings for scientific journals – alone. And maybe you would even discover a comet and get it named after you (that’ll show ‘em)! Keep in mind, though, that you might find yourself having to present your comet to an audience. Also you’ll probably need a PhD and excellent math skills. Salary: $24,000 – $143,000
Long-haul truck driver: This is not one of the higher paying jobs at the top end but we couldn’t leave it out, since driving long distances is the quintessential loner job. Two recent reports also listed long haul trucker among the most difficult jobs to fill in Canada, meaning there is a demand. You’ll need a driver’s licence for the appropriate class of vehicle, and, according to Service Canada, a vocational diploma in trucking is increasingly required. Salary: $27,040 – $62,400
Technical writer: Technical writer is one of the better paying writer gigs, and though you might be required to work in an office, there are plenty of tech writer gigs that you can do from home. Tech writers translate complex tech information into simple language for dummies like me. They usually have a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, communications, or a something related. Salary: $30,160 – $87,464
Translator: Translators spend a lot of time alone while translating documents from one language to another. If you speak a less common language, such as Urdu or Japanese, competition is going to be less fierce, perhaps, though French translators are always in demand in Canada. You might need some sort of degree but not necessarily. Salary: $31,200 – $90,667
Zoologist: For those who say they prefer animals to humans. Jobs can range from caring for zoo or sanctuary animals to research and drug development. Potential specialty areas include ecology (animal environments), herpetology (reptiles), entomology (insects), parasitology (parasites) or paleozoology (fossil remains),says eco.ca. An advanced degree is required for independent research. Salary: $33,280 – $103,812
Content producer: Before I got a job in an office I did this job from home. Other than client calls and telephone interviews, there were entire weeks during which I interacted with nobody but my husband. This job generally requires some sort of degree, as well as writing, editing, and research skills, and it helps if you have a general-to-passionate interest in whatever area you’re writing about. Knowledge of analytics, social media, user engagement tactics, and traffic generation is also quite useful. You can make a lot more than the median salary. I know people who earn six figures. Salary: $34,593 – $75,170 (via Payscale)
Skilled trades: While one does have to deal with customers or work with a team in many skilled trades, a lot of time is spent working independently as well. Electricians, plumbers, and mechanics – all may be left to their own company for long periods. The Richest points to the elevator installer and repairman as an example of a job with lots of alone time. These jobs usually require certificate programs. Salary (for an elevator mechanic): $37,793 – $101,920
Computer programmer: This just seemed like a no-brainer. Most of your time is spent coding and testing programs, blissfully hidden away from other people, right? Maybe. This research tells a slightly different story, claiming the lone programming nerd is an antiquated stereotype, but I’m guessing that if you want to play the loner card you can do it with this job. You can get a degree or teach yourself the ropes. There are many ways in. Salary: $38,688 – $97,073
Mathematician: My Plan explains that a mathematician conducts “research in fundamental mathematics or in application of mathematical techniques to science, management, and other fields.” He/she might also “solve problems in various fields using mathematical methods.” So, you know, math stuff. If you like math, you can do it in seclusion. You will need to be very smart and to probably to have an advanced degree. Salary: $44,803 – $155,438
Radiologist: Radiologists, other than interventional radiologists, don’t spend as much time directly interacting with patients as other physicians, says about.com. For example, an oncologist orders a CT scan, a technologist takes the scan, and the radiologist then interprets the scan, often without interacting with any of the above. So you hardly have to talk to any annoying people (yay!). Radiologists often even work from home. It pays really well at the top, but you need to go to medical school. Salary: $45,600 – 379,694