The 10 Best Jobs for Shy People

tony-leeBy Tony Lee, Chief Alliance Officer & EVP of East Coast Operations, Adicio

Ask any successful job seeker, and they'll say that some level of networking - combined with solid interviewing skills - helped them land a new job. Yet if you're an introvert, the communication that's required to network and interview with others creates intense fear and, in some cases, makes it impossible to job hunt.

The same is true when determining the types of jobs that are best suited for shy people. Sam Williamson worked for more than 10 years as an accountant in the New Jersey state finance department, where he spent his days alone at a computer reviewing and approving spending requests. When he was reassigned to a different division, the new job required that he travel each week to various municipalities to discuss spending plans and budgets with local finance officials.

Unfortunately, Sam was as introverted as it gets, and he was horrified at the thought of having to meet and then lead discussions with people he didn't know. Fortunately, his boss understood his issues and intervened on Sam's behalf, and the reassignment was recalled. Sam was relieved at the change, but also sad because he realized the new job would have been both a promotion and a chance to advance his skills and knowledge. Yet his fear of having to interact daily with others was too much for him to overcome, and within a few days he was happily managing the same responsibilities he'd handled for years, confident that a dramatic change was averted.

Somehow, many introverts overcome their fears just long enough to land a new job. But for introverts already in the workplace, the security of having a job where the routine is clear and interaction with others is either non-existent or kept to a minimum is critical. For them, having a stable, quiet career often outweighs the need for advancement, say career advisors.

"Shy people often are attracted to positions that limit their exposure to new people, so they're typically found in jobs with functions that tend to be focused around a limited group of people," says Larry Stybel, CEO of Stybel Peabody Lincolnshire, a Boston-area career management firm, who cites accounting, office management and engineering design or research as jobs most appealing to introverts.

"Shy people often feel like left-handed people in a world dominated by right-handed individuals," says Stybel. "Most of their competitors for good positions are outgoing and aggressive, while introverts often have impossibly high standards of excellence and take failure quite hard."

To succeed in the working world, successful introverts find jobs that play to their strengths while avoiding an overload of interactions each day. To help with that effort, has identified the following 10 jobs from our Jobs Rated report that are best suited to shy job seekers. If that's you, consider whether these jobs match your skills and abilities.

BLS Annual Median Salary: $19,970 (caretakers)/$25,270 (trainers)
Projected Growth by 2020: 15%
Why It Suits Introverts
Do you prefer the company of four-legged creatures more than their bipedal counterparts? A career as an animal care and service worker may be right for you. Spend your days working with horses, cats, dogs, birds—but limited interaction with people.

BLS Annual Median Salary: $47,340
Projected Growth by 2020: 11%
Why It Suits Introverts
The interaction an archivist has in a workday is typically one-sided in that he or she manages and reviews historical documents for appraisal and safekeeping. Those with a knack for organization and an enjoyment of history should be right at home in the archives. Most entry-level positions require a graduate degree.

BLS Annual Median Salary: $96,460
Projected Growth by 2020: 10%
Why It Suits Introverts
“Spacing out” isn’t frowned upon if you’re an astronomer—in fact, it’s encouraged.
Astronomers spend their workday studying outer space and the Earth’s atmosphere. Some in specialized fields of study monitor satellites in our orbit. This isn’t exactly a field to just jump into without paying your dues, however. A doctoral degree and extensive knowledge of various applied sciences typically are required.

BLS Annual Median Salary: $48,160
Projected Growth by 2020: 10%
Why It Suits Introverts
A court reporter is the courtroom’s proverbial fly-on-the-wall. While the job of attorneys, judges and to a certain extent even bailiffs is to interact with the other courtroom participants, the court reporter takes an unassuming role in recording all the goings-on.

BLS Annual Median Salary: $51,300
Projected Growth by 2020: 3%
Why It Suits Introverts
Film and television could be the single most intimidating medium for an introvert—so long as she or he is in front of camera. But there are numerous jobs working behind the scenes, and none is better suited to an introverted personality than a film/video editor.

BLS Annual Median Salary: $36,850
Projected Growth by 2020: 11%
Why It Suits Introverts
A financial clerk focuses on keeping detailed records and documents with an emphasis on economic data. Some might be required to provide customer service depending on their specific industry, but for those working in fields that require only record-keeping, this is the perfect job if you prefer to focus on work without forced interaction.

BLS Median Salary: $90,890
Projected Growth by 2020: 16%
Why It Suits Introverts
Long hours spent on outdoor explorations and studying minerals in a laboratory allow a geoscientist to focus on his or her work, free from outside distractions. The growth outlook per BLS estimates is also favorable, the result of an ongoing energy industry boom. An entry-level research position as a geoscientist usually requires a graduate degree in geology or earth science.

BLS Median Salary: $46,920
Projected Growth by 2020: 17%
Why It Suits Introverts
The technologically savvy with a penchant for working on heavy-duty machinery will thrive as industrial machine repairers. Because the equipment typically is located in a factory or construction site, they rarely have to deal directly with customers.

BLS Annual Median Salary: $34,160
Projected Growth by 2020: 22%
Why It Suits Introverts
Like financial clerks and archivists, the work of a medical records technician demands meticulous attention to detail to streamline the storage and recovery process of important documents. Computer savvy is necessary with more focus on moving personal health records online.

BLS Annual Median Salary: $54,170
Projected Growth by 2020: 12%
Why It Suits Introverts
You wouldn't think that a job with social right in the name is suited to introverts, but it's a great fit. While in-person interaction may not be an introvert’s cup of tea, technological outlets allow an introvert to maintain person-to-person communication electronically without the stresses of actual conversation.

tony-leeTony Lee is the current Chief Alliance Officer and EVP of Adicio, the Internet’s leading developer of Web-based classified-advertising solutions, and also the publisher of & In addition, Tony is the founder of The Wall Street Journal Online Vertical Network and all of the sites within that network, several of which have won a wide range of awards and accolades, including a Webby, an EPpy, a Codie and multiple WebAwards. Combined, the sites attracted an average of 2.5 million unique visitors per month! Prior to moving online in 1997, Lee was editor-in-chief of the National Business Employment Weekly and of Managing Your Career, both published by Dow Jones & Co. Tony earned an M.S. in Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and a B.A. in Global Issues and Communications from Regis University in Denver. To network with Tony Lee: E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Web Site: