Jobs for People Who Dislike People
By Bridget Quigg, PayScale.com
Do human beings annoy you? Do you have a limited capacity for dealing with the inane chatter and emotional nonsense of coworkers and bosses? Good news -- we’ve found some jobs with as few interactions with homo sapiens as possible.
These jobs typically involve working with numbers, data, animals, plants and heavy machinery, since they don’t talk back. “Nonpeople people should look for jobs that require a lot of heads-down work, where time alone is necessary to complete tasks,” says Katie Bardaro, lead analyst at online salary database PayScale.com.
Below are eight jobs that typically involve minimal contact with people.
Median Annual Salary: $95,400
There must be some outgoing actuaries out there, but extroversion is not required for this job. Helping insurance companies and other businesses figure out the likelihood of injury or death in various scenarios requires a sharp mind, sharper math skills and a bachelor’s degree. Employment prospects are excellent -- the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects higher-than-average job growth for actuaries through 2020.
Find actuary jobs.
Media Annual Salary: $79,500
Once again, numbers provide a shield against human invaders. Statisticians’ capacity to organize and analyze data matters most. While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement, master’s degrees are common and usually focus on math, statistics or survey methodology.
Find statistician jobs.
3. Software Developer
Median Annual Salary: $72,200
Software developers must build software that people like, but they can often ignore people while doing so. A bachelor’s degree is typical, and demand for this job is due to grow 30 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the BLS.
Find software developer jobs.
4. Technical Writer
Median Annual Salary: $53,300
Like software developers, technical writers must have a good understanding of their human audience, but the time they spend working can be fairly solitary. A bachelor’s degree is typical, and you’ll find most jobs in the technical or engineering industries.
Find technical writer jobs.
5. Data Analyst
Median Annual Salary: $51,400
Numbers, facts and more numbers. A data analyst can create spreadsheets that would make most people dizzy, and then tell you exactly why the information on that spreadsheet is interesting. However, while they’re making sense of all those numbers, they typically work alone. “I can put on my headphones, listen to music, zone out and do my work,” says Patrick Moore, a data analyst for a Seattle tech company. A bachelor’s degree will get you started, though further education and specialization can help with job opportunities. For market research analysts in particular, the BLS predicts job growth of 41 percent between 2010 and 2020.
Find data analyst jobs.
Median Annual Salary: $46,400
As a zoologist, you can not only avoid humans, but also feed giraffes and help baby pandas have fewer tummy aches as well. You must love biology and be ready to spend time in the lab and the field. The job requires at least a bachelor’s degree, though further education is typical and will help in a job search. Demand for zoologists isn’t expected to grow much in the coming years, but here’s a tip: More zoologists work in California than in any other state, according to the BLS.
Find jobs working with animals.
7. Heavy or Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver
Median Annual Salary: $39,300
You’ll be on the road again and again if you become a truck driver. For long hours, you’ll be driving down lonely highways, over snowy passes or across hot deserts. But if you like to be alone with your thoughts while seeing beautiful scenery and listening to music, this job could be for you. A high school diploma or GED is typically required as well as a Commercial Driver’s License. Some previous professional driving experience can help you land your first gig.
Find truck driver jobs.
Median Annual Salary: $31,000
Plants are not only beautiful and fascinating, but they are also typically silent. A horticulturist knows plants well, even their Latin names like malus domestica (apple tree). They use their vast scientific knowledge to improve plants’ production and resistance to disease. Sweeter wine grapes? They can do that. A bachelor’s degree is needed to start; higher degrees improve job prospects.
Find horticulturist jobs.
Source: All salary data provided by online salary database PayScale.com. Salaries listed are median annual salaries for full-time employees with five to eight years of experience in their field or career, and include any bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions and other forms of cash earnings. Equity compensation, cash value of retirement benefits or value of other noncash benefits (e.g., health insurance) are not included.