The 10 Best High Paying Jobs for Introverts

By Paul Michael on 8 July 2015 8 comments

Being shy is cute when you're a little kid. But as you grow up, you realize it can be a huge disadvantage to your career. Many jobs require a lot of interaction with people on a daily basis. Some require you to give presentations and speeches, or to be the life of the party. For a shy person (or as it's now called, a person who "suffers from social anxiety"), those situations are a sweat-inducing nightmare.

However, there are plenty of high paying jobs out there that are perfect for people who are shy, or prefer to be left to their own devices. Here are ten of the best, including the median salaries as reported by the BLS for each.

1. Geoscientist ($88,247)

To be fair, the term "geoscientist" covers a broad range of jobs, including geophysicist, geologist, geochemist, hydrogeologist, and sedimentologist. However, the jobs all have something in common: They require a minimum of human interaction, with more attention being paid to mother nature than other people. As a geoscientist, a lot of your time will be spent outdoors, collecting information in the field. You will do a lot of research, testing, risk analysis, project development, and data interpretation. When you're not out physically collecting specimens, you'll be in front of a computer, or working in a lab. Yes, there will be human interaction, with colleagues of a similar ilk. But you will not be expected to be a social butterfly.

2. Astronomer ($106,360)

The vastness of space means that we can never really have enough astronomers. There is so much we don't know about it, and so much left to discover. For shy people, this job is perfect. You will spend the majority of your time in observatories, studying space, looking through telescopes (including the Hubble Space Telescope), and researching various phenomena. You will usually be employed by a university or college, although the federal government (NASA, the U.S. Dept. of Defense) may want you if you're exceptional. The downside…you need a Ph.D. in astronomy, and a very good head for math. But if this sounds like something you could do, you can earn a great salary despite being very shy.

3. Actuary ($93,680)

Risk management. Two words that can give you a glimpse inside the life of an actuary. Most people don't know what an actuary does, or what their day entails. (Be an Actuary is a great resource for anyone thinking of getting into the field.) In laymen's terms, an actuary crunches a lot of data to evaluate the likelihood of future events. This research can be used to find creative ways to reduce the likelihood of those events ever happening, and this applies most often to the financial sector. In fact, the site itself describes actuaries as "the analytical backbone of our society's financial security programs." If you have a good head for figures, and an analytical mindset, this is the career for you.

4. Political Scientist ($102,000)

If you have more than a passing interest in politics, love research and testing theories, and like writing reports, this could be a great job for you. As a political scientist, you will study the development and operation of political systems around the world. You will be required to look into the day to day operations of governments, analyze decision-making, study public opinion (and how it is swayed), and may be asked to advise political candidates. Usually, political scientists will be called upon to predict political, economic, and social trends. And the salary is not to be sniffed at.

5. Computer Programmer ($74,280)

As our reliance on technology grows, so does the demand for people who know how to use, and program, computers. Although a bachelor's degree in computer science is preferred, this is one of those skills that can be learned without attending a college. Some of the best programmers in the world gained their skills working at home, and are constantly learning, evolving, and influencing the future of coding. As a programmer, you will spend most of your time in front of a computer screen. Don't let TV and movies fool you; this is not a job filled with nerds, geeks, and people who wear thick glasses and eat buckets of Cheetos. It's a skilled profession, requiring little human interaction and therefore is a great job for people who are introverted.

6. Commercial Pilot ($114,200)

If you think about it, this is probably one of the best jobs available for someone shy and retiring. You get to travel frequently, you get a great salary, and you really only have to interact with a select few people on a daily basis. Of course, you do need to get a lot of training to become a commercial, or airline, pilot. Although not required, a college degree is preferred, but it can range in anything from law and finance, to engineering and computer science. You will then go through rigorous training. But when you're done, you can expect great benefits, quick career advancement, and many other perks.

7. Ship Engineer ($76,534)

The median salary for a ship engineer actually goes up considerably if you move to Maryland, where you will get closer to $118,790. Unlike many of the gigs on this list, this is a job that will require you to get your hands dirty. Typical duties for a ship engineer include fabricating engine parts, maintaining and repairing engines, monitoring test operations, performing general maintenance, and being the liaison between the ship's captain and the shore personnel. You will need to be well educated in the fields of science, technology, and engineering. You may also need to get an MBA to advance to a leadership role.

8. Elevator Installer ($76,650)

The job is very much as it sounds; you will be responsible for assembling, installing, maintaining, and repairing hydraulic freight or passenger elevators, and well as escalators and dumbwaiters. Much of your time will be spent working with machinery and equipment, although you will have to work with other skilled installers from time to time. You will also need to read and interpret blueprints. This is a job that is learned the old-fashioned way — through on-the-job training, often starting out as an apprentice and learning the ropes (and cables). If you have a working knowledge of electronics, and electronic components, this could be a good career for you.

9. Economist ($91,860)

This is another career that is perfect for shy people with a head for figures. As an economist, you will deliver specialist advice based on the application of theories you develop. To do this, you will spend much of your time studying data and statistics. It's no exaggeration to say that most of your day will be spent in front of a computer, crunching numbers and writing reports. The only time you will really have to interact with people is when you have to deliver your facts and findings to the client, which will be a small-scale meeting. You could find employment in the government, or work in the private sector for even more money.

10. Biochemist ($81,480)

If you have a flair for science, and don't mind spending most of your days in a laboratory, this job could be just for you. As a biochemist, you will spend a lot of time looking into electron microscopes, studying chemical and biological processes. You will have to work well with a small team of people, but you will get to know and trust them. This is a very studious and mentally-draining job, and requires a minimum of a bachelor's in science biochemistry, with a preference for a Ph.D. in the same subject.

Are you an introvert? How do you pay the bills?

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The 10 Best High Paying Jobs for Introverts

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Guest's picture

Train Driver (Engineer) in the UK makes $80,000

Guest's picture

Accountancy should be up there.

Guest's picture

I chose to become a translator because the actual task requires absolutely no human interaction.

Guest's picture

Not all introverts are shy, and not all shy people are introverts. Shy is social anxiety. Please stop putting these two together! I'm introvert and am far from shy.

Guest's picture

First of all, introversion is not at all the same thing as being shy, although I suppose the two can sometimes overlap. Secondly, the tone of this article seems rather condescending and flippant. It seems clear that the author thinks introverts are immature weirdos who just need to quit being stubborn and "snap out of it." Why does the author put the word *anxiety* in scare-quotes, as if to imply that it's a made-up concept? Clinical anxiety is a medically diagnosed condition which can wreak havoc in people's lives, it's not someone being fussy just for the heck of it.

The article then proceeds to list a bunch of highly technical careers which require specific advanced degrees; nothing entry-level. How is this helpful to the general public or recent graduates or people without a STEM background? Oh, I forgot, only science nerds are introverts, and vice versa. Author needs to learn some basic terminology and contain their disdain for people whose personality differs from theirs.

Guest's picture

Ridiculous. You list salaries that are as high as they are because they include manager level positions, which introverts would hate. NO geoscientist is making $88k doing field work or sitting in a lab, they are managers. Field geologists routinely have to present their findings as

Guest's picture

The author obviously doesn't understand what introversion is. Introversion is NOT shyness! Both introverts and extroverts can be either shy or outgoing.

Guest's picture

Commercial pilot? We start out at a regional airline at $23,000 a year. Several years later, we get hired at the majors with a step down in seniority and possibly double/triple our annual pay. And yes, you DO need a Bachelors degree to get hired for the majors!

Guest's picture

The author obviously does not know jack about introversion, shyness is not the same thing as introversion and I do not know why the author would write about introverts if they don't even know the meaning of introversion. Get it right!