Five Excellent Careers for Antisocial People

We are constantly told how important social skills are to career success. But what if you don’t have many people skills — and don’t want to acquire any, either? Here’s a look at five stimulating, well-paying jobs where the quality of your work matters more than your ability to schmooze.

Air traffic controller

As an air traffic controller, you don’t need to talk to anybody except the pilots under your control. Even then, your conversations tend to be strictly business, as there is simply no room for small talk when you are responsible for keeping people safe in the sky. The job isn't easy, and best suited to people who can grasp details quickly and think on their feet. But if there ever was a career that judged you on your ability to handle the unexpected, rather than your ability to handle idle chitchat, this is it.  

The salary is aspirational, too. Air traffic controllers earn a mean annual wage of $118,780, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with high earners topping the $170,000 mark.

Tax accountant/Actuarial accountant

Two different careers with one major similarity — the solitary, task-oriented nature of the job makes it ideal for asocial people. As an accountant, you’ll spend most of your workday dealing with data rather than clients. Tax and actuarial (risk-assessment) accountancy in particular are very technical areas where your knowledge and ability to find the right answer through research are valued more than your people skills. These qualities do not demand a lot of interaction with others, and the research focus becomes even more pronounced when you choose sub-specialties within the field, such as oil and gas extraction or insurance.

The median annual wage across the accountancy profession is $73,670, but accountants working in the Securities and Commodities Industry can earn over $95,000.  Actuaries fare better, earning a mean annual wage of $110,090.

Court reporter

To an outside observer, a court reporter sits in the thick of high-profile criminal trials surrounded by the usual media circus. But in fact, they are not permitted to interact with anyone. Their job is simply to create word-for-word transcriptions at trials and other legal proceedings. The only time they have to communicate is when a Judge asks them to read back the words they have just transcribed. The rest of the time they are like the proverbial fly on the wall — listening, recording, then buzzing away.

Median salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $55,000. Court reporters lucky enough to work in California and New York State can expect to earn closer to $85,000 per year.

Zoologist

If your misanthropic tendencies are directed towards creatures with two legs, not four, then an animal-related job could be the perfect career choice for you. A zoologist is a specialist type of scientist that studies the behavior, genetics and diseases of animals, as well as the ecosystems they live in. You’ll find them in zoos, wildlife reserves, universities and laboratories across the globe.

Because zoologists spend a lot of time observing animals in their natural habitat, they rarely interact with people. Those who work out in the field can be away from civilization for long periods of time, sometimes months — perfect for those who would rather get the job done than talk about it.

You won’t be broke, either. The mean annual wage for a zoologist is $63,230 unless you’re a resident of the District of Columbia, where the average salary tops $100,000.

Acting

A curveball, surely? Not at all. Performance-related professions such as acting, dancing and motivational speaking suit socially anxious personalities extremely well. That’s because standing up in front of a crowd has nothing to do with people skills — it’s a performance.

Acting, presenting and public speaking are all about delivering a well-rehearsed production for the people you’re performing for. There’s no interaction with the masses and no impromptu conversation. And because asocial types tend to listen rather than talk, they are extremely good at spotting the nuances in other people’s mannerisms and dialogue that people-pleasing types might miss, leading to a richer performance.

There’s no data on actors’ salaries, because, well, how long is a piece of string, but motivational speakers pull in around $61,000 per year, according to job site Indeed.com.

Molly Owens

Molly Owens is the founder and CEO of Truity. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and holds a master's degree in counseling psychology. Since 2006, she has specialized in helping individuals and organizations utilize personality assessments to develop their potential.

In 2012, Molly founded Truity with a mission to make robust, scientifically validated personality assessments accessible to everyone who may benefit from them.

Molly is an ENTP and lives in San Francisco, where she enjoys elaborate cooking projects, murder mysteries, and racing toy cars with her son.

Comments

brownin329 says...

Antisocial means "against" society; criminal. I do not like working with people, mostly because people (mostly extroverts) get on my nerves while I am trying to get real work done, but I am not antisocial. I wish people who write these kinds of articles will learn to differentiate between the two.

Guest (not verified) says...

What if the author actually meant antisocial?

Greta (not verified) says...

Yes, thank you! Sociopaths are antisocial. A sociopath would be terrible as a air-traffic controller! Immense potential for disasters! Truity editors, please use your dictionaries.

Ree Gee says...

Thank you for knowing what this term really means instead of using it incorrectly. I like working alone. I don't like to focus on small talk I just want to do my work. Wanting to get my work done in peace does not make me a criminal. Small talk makes my skin crawl, if you ask me those who insist on small talk are the criminals lol.

Guest (not verified) says...

ALL of those careers involve a LOT of social interaction. Do you even understand what it means to be anti-social? It's not that I am shy, I just really do not like interacting with other people very much. I have a sensory overload disorder, which means I find most people to be too abrasive. Whether that's their intention or not. In either how they speak, how they react, or both. I either need to work with people like myself or alone.

Guest (not verified) says...

Yeah, I don't think the author actually means antisocial. Just that on a personality assessment that you're more antisocial than social. Hopefully no-one could seriously suggest court reporter to anyone who's predominant character trait was that they were antisocial.

Guest (not verified) says...

author describes a-social personality, not antisocial personality disorder

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