Let’s face it, while a lot of professionals claim to have great “people skills,” working with others isn’t everyone’s strong suit. As with any other aptitude, the ability to forge productive working relationships varies widely across the workforce. If you’re not particularly adept at collaborating with others – or find doing so obnoxious – you’re in good company. Conflict among co-workers is exceedingly common, affecting 85% of employees by some estimates.
In this article, we’ve compiled 20 great careers that allow you to work alone. They may not be entirely devoid of interaction because most jobs demand some form of communication, but these roles are largely autonomous – and free of office politics.
20 Jobs Where You Work Alone
If you’re looking for a job that promotes the solo advantage, here are 20 jobs where the introvert in you won’t feel the need to emotionally check out when it’s time to punch in on the time clock.
Data Entry Clerk
Social Media Manager
Being a delivery driver can be a dream job for those who not only love to drive the day away but also feel more driven when they work on their own. A delivery driver — in addition to maintaining a good driving record — is responsible for transporting goods by car, truck, van, or other delivery vehicles. Drivers are also in charge of inspecting their delivery vehicle and verifying shipments in addition to loading and unloading goods to be transported. The deliverables include a competitive salary and benefits — enough to drive many to the career path.
Average salaries for delivery drivers are about $30,000 per year.
It’s true that the digital age has introduced many opportunities for writers to capitalize on their words. These include e-book authors, ecommerce writers, influential bloggers, as well as freelance newspaper and magazine journalists. Established writers understand that they often have to rely on multiple income sources, so they’ve taken multi-tasking to an art form — with many freelancing their way across several platforms.
It’s true that earnings can be inconsistent and the job is sometimes unstable, but at the same time, there is no cap on what an established writer can earn. You also have the freedom to work from home, a coffee shop, or even a beach house in Hawaii. The only tools you need are a phone, a laptop, decent Wi-Fi — and a good cup of coffee or tea. With these in hand, you could very well be on the right (or dare we say, write) path — as long as you don’t mind networking and hustling for gigs.
The average salary of a copywriter in the United States is $60,000 annually.
If you consider yourself to be more of an animal lover than a people lover, then being a pet sitter could very well be up your alley. Pet sitters care for house pets while the pet owners are out running errands, working, or away on vacation. Of course, the primary task is to provide food, water, and clean up after them, but duties can also include walking a dog or attending to any grooming that may be needed. It’s possible that a pet sitter might also be asked to complete light housekeeping tasks — a small sacrifice for a job that promises your ability to work alone.
Pet sitters can make an average of $25,000 per year in the United States.
Picture this: your life and livelihood revolve around only you and your art. Together, you live happily ever after in a digital world of your own making. Does this sound like a fairy tale? Well, it doesn’t have to be. If you’re a graphic designer, the only communication you need to worry about is with your computer as you both create visually-pleasing art, content for websites, and marketing materials like posters and brochures. Common tools for graphic designers include Figma, Sketch, and Adobe Creative Suite — including Photoshop and Illustrator — but if you’re just starting out, a great tool to play around with is Canva. The magic of creative software doesn’t have to allow for the possibility of any other character in this story.
On average, a graphic designer can earn $48,283 annually.
As a virtual assistant, you can work from virtually anywhere, and although you will probably have to provide administrative support to clients, companies, and organizations — you won’t have to physically see virtually anyone, except well, virtually. Tasks involve answering phone calls, responding to emails, and managing contact lists, as well as scheduling appointments and meetings. While having interpersonal skills is paramount to carry out all of these duties, nobody said anything about working with another person in the flesh.
Virtual assistants make an average salary of $40,000 per year in the U.S.
If you’re a truck driver, it’s all about you and the open road — and maybe some music or podcasts to pass the time. Truck drivers are responsible for transporting goods and completing deliveries, and they typically work alone to complete their scheduled route. They tend to travel anytime throughout the day or night to pick up deliveries from warehouses or distribution centers to ensure product fulfillment. So while your sleep schedule might feel topsy-turvy at times, rest assured that you’ll still be on the journey of your dreams as a standalone employee.
Truck drivers make an average of $50,000 annually.
The beauty of being a car detailer is that instead of having to polish those people skills, the only thing you’ll have to polish is the exterior of a vehicle. Rules of the road include being responsible for cleaning the interior and exterior of motor vehicles, vacuuming, shampooing, polishing, and applying wax or other protective products as required.
A car detailer in the United States can earn $25,000 annually, on average.
Cleaning a home can have a soothing effect — especially since you’d be getting paid to do it. Working bonus: you don’t have to be around the people who made the mess in the first place. Cleaning for a living can mean washing and putting away dishes, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, as well as cleaning and sanitizing bathrooms, countertops, and surfaces. Some light laundry might also be required. At the end of the day, there will be no need to sweep co-worker troubles under the rug because you’ll have no co-workers to begin with.
The average annual salary of a house cleaner in the United States is $28,000.
As a landscaper, you’ll earn your living from the lush paradise of your own making. Your days will be spent giving life to flowers, plants, and other greenhouse or nursery stalks. Some days might be spent transplanting and maintaining flowers or plants, while other days you could be operating and maintaining watering systems, or installing rock gardens, ponds, decks, fences, drainage systems, and playground equipment. You won’t feel like you’re missing out on company: after all, no person could be as good-natured as your plants.
On average, landscapers can earn $29,000 a year in the U.S.
The only professional relationship a park ranger has to worry about nurturing is the one with his or her natural environment. Sure, there will be park visitors, but even they have to go home at some point. As a park ranger, it will be your job to patrol and enforce rules and regulations, and you’ll be surrounded by the beauty of Mother Nature. If you consider yourself to be an environmentalist of sorts, this could be a passion you take to the bank.
Park rangers in the United States can earn an average of $38,500 per year.
Once you have your security license, you can use it to get a job as a security guard for a bank or office, in airport security, security companies, loss prevention employees, concierges, event security, and even as bodyguards or bouncers — talk about a lot of options!
Suffice it to say, security officers are responsible for ensuring the safety and protection of a company's employees, visitors, and associated property. Because most security officers are tasked with patrolling a designated area and establishing a security presence, they often get to work independently. And the steady work will feel like a security blanket for your lifestyle.
A security guard makes an average annual salary of $28,000 in the U.S.
Just because an accountant interprets a client or company’s financial records, doesn’t mean they have to account for a lot of in-person communication — except maybe during tax season. An accountant’s main task is to analyze financial data to create reports, and assess business plans. Of course, accountants are also responsible for maintaining accurate documentation for tax purposes. The numbers don’t need to add up where colleagues are concerned: as an accountant, you can have the luxury of working for yourself for a majority of the year.
Accountants typically earn an average of $55,000 annually.
Actuaries are known for working in the insurance industry to determine foreseeable financial consequences for their clients. They do this by using statistics to calculate client insurance rates in order to reduce potential future risks. As long as actuaries have access to all the applicable documents, they can actually complete their work remotely and alone.
On average, actuaries earn an average of $122,000 per year in the United States.
Being a grocery shopper is a custom-made job for people who prefer focusing on customer shopping lists than the customers themselves. Grocery shoppers work independently when shopping to carefully select customer items, fulfill orders, and ensure timely deliveries. Grocery shopping can be fun when you’re making money from it!
Grocery shoppers in the United States can take home an average of $33,872 annually.
Being a transcriptionist is like being a fly on the wall: you don’t have to contribute to the conversation, and people tend to forget you’re even there. A transcriptionist often works alone in quiet spaces — their main task is to listen to videos or audio files to convert what they hear into a typed transcription. These services are often used to create legal or medical records. Where do we subscribe to transcribe?
A transcriptionist can earn an average of $31,500 per year in the U.S.
When we think of photographers, our minds often see a snapshot of those associated with weddings and family portraits. But there are also those who take photographs of products or people for marketing purposes, and they’re responsible for ensuring their images achieve marketing campaign objectives and other business goals.
The beauty of being a photographer is that the main focus of the job is on pictures rather than people. It’s true that photographers communicate with clients to make negotiations and discuss photo shoots, but they complete most of their work independently. This kind of role is great for people like seeing life through a lens!
Photographers working in the U.S. make an average of $43,100 annually.
Data entry clerks input data using spreadsheets and databases to maintain organized information for a company. They are responsible for updating records, such as names or addresses to ensure data accuracy. A data entry clerk can complete their work remotely and alone, depending on the software their company uses.
A data entry clerk can earn an average of $40,000 a year in the U.S.
There’s no need to be scared of the word “social” in social media manager. Despite the title, a social media manager oversees a company or organization's social media accounts to assess the most effective ways to reach target audiences. You would be responsible for analyzing performance metrics, making social media posts, and monitoring interactions across various social media platforms to increase community engagement. A role like this allows you to work remotely and independently, which means it’s actually less "social" than it seems!
Social media managers in the U.S. have an average salary of $50,000 per year.
A research scientist’s job is to hold experiments in controlled laboratory settings to record data and analyze key findings. Common tasks include documenting trials and preparing reports. Research scientists are known for testing the hypotheses of their research questions to develop data-driven results and propose effective solutions. Professional scientists work in many settings including universities, research institutes, public agencies, as well as the private sector. Some research on our part has indicated that research scientists work almost entirely on their own; even reporting their progress to colleagues happens rarely. Now that’s some fact-finding that we can get behind.
Research scientists can get paid an average of $81,000 annually in the U.S.
Electricians do a lot of troubleshooting in their line of work. They diagnose electronic systems and replace faulty components. They also have to read and interpret drawings and blueprints, in addition to conducting a lot of preventive maintenance programs. Electricians are adept at connecting power to communications equipment, signaling devices, as well as heating and cooling systems. They also install and repair lighting fixtures and equipment — including switches and circuit breakers. With all that troubleshooting, why bring people into the circuit?
An electrician makes an average of $50,000 annually.