The best-selling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain, has raised people’s awareness of introversion. Although I have not achieved a similar level of success with my 2008 book 200 Best Jobs for Introverts, the video in which I discuss this book has received 48,000 hits on my blog to date and lots of comments. With the passage of time, some of the facts in the video have gone out of date, so I thought it would be helpful to create an updated list of 200 best jobs for introverts.

To create this list, I followed a procedure similar to what I used for the book. Using the latest edition of the O*NET database (release 17), I found the ratings for the work value Independence (which is defined as doing the work alone) and for three work context descriptors: Contact with Others, Face-to-Face Discussions, and Work With Group or Team. All of these descriptors are rated on a scale from 1 to 5. For the three work context descriptors, I subtracted the rating from 5 and thus created a rating for the lack of the feature. For an overall introversion rating, I calculated the average of the four ratings. Then I ranked the 605 occupations for which I had introversion ratings and discarded the lowest-ranked half.

Next, I removed 24 occupations with median annual earnings of less than $22,380; three-quarters of salaried workers earn more than that. I removed another 24 occupations because the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that they will shrink in size from 2010–20 and create fewer than 500 job openings per year. Two more occupations had to go because they lacked annual earnings figures.

At this point, 251 occupations remained on my list. I sorted these three times, based on these major criteria: median annual earnings, projected growth through 2020, and number of job openings projected per year. I then added the three numerical rankings for each job to calculate its overall score. To emphasize jobs that tend to pay more, are likely to grow more rapidly, and have more job openings, I selected the 200 job titles with the best total overall scores.

Here’s the list. The earnings figure represents the medians for May 2011. The growth percentage is projected for the years 2010–20. The job openings number is the average annual number of openings projected for the same period.

Occupation Earnings Growth Openings
1 Personal Financial Advisors $66,580 32.10% 9,020
2 Financial Analysts $75,650 23.00% 10,420
3 Cost Estimators $58,460 36.40% 10,300
4 Electricians $49,320 23.20% 28,920
5 Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration
Mechanics and Installers
$43,380 33.70% 13,760
6 Accountants and Auditors $62,850 15.70% 45,210
7 Brickmasons and Blockmasons $46,800 40.50% 5,450
8 Actuaries $91,060 26.70% 1,890
9 Industrial Machinery Mechanics $46,270 21.60% 11,710
10 Operating Engineers and Other Construction
Equipment Operators
$41,510 23.50% 16,280
11 Environmental Scientists and Specialists,
Including Health
$62,920 18.70% 4,320
12 Lawyers $113,310 10.10% 21,200
13 Commercial Pilots $70,000 21.20% 1,930
14 Construction and Building Inspectors $53,180 17.90% 4,860
15 Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and
Geographers
$84,470 21.20% 1,710
16 Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers $37,930 20.60% 64,940
17 Biochemists and Biophysicists $79,230 30.80% 1,340
18 Credit Analysts $60,730 19.70% 2,590
19 Medical Equipment Repairers $44,870 31.50% 2,230
20 Operations Research Analysts $71,950 14.60% 3,000
21 Telecommunications Equipment Installers and
Repairers, Except Line Installers
$53,960 14.60% 5,930
22 Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers $35,600 34.60% 7,290
23 Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics, Except
Engines
$45,600 16.20% 5,250
24 Sheet Metal Workers $42,730 17.50% 4,700
25 Technical Writers $64,610 17.20% 1,830
26 Telecommunications Line Installers and
Repairers
$51,720 13.60% 5,140
27 Automotive Body and Related Repairers $38,180 18.40% 6,520
28 Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics $36,180 17.20% 31,170
29 Graphic Designers $44,010 13.40% 12,380
30 Environmental Science and Protection
Technicians, Including Health
$42,270 23.60% 1,950
31 Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists $57,010 11.30% 5,210
32 Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine
Specialists
$41,640 14.50% 8,780
33 Painters, Construction and Maintenance $35,430 18.50% 15,730
34 Statisticians $73,880 14.10% 1,870
35 Tapers $44,910 34.70% 1,430
36 Tile and Marble Setters $37,080 25.40% 2,770
37 Boilermakers $56,910 21.30% 1,180
38 Billing and Posting Clerks $32,880 19.70% 18,760
39 Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers $35,920 15.00% 14,070
40 Hazardous Materials Removal Workers $38,120 23.10% 1,890
41 Medical Records and Health Information
Technicians
$33,310 21.00% 7,370
42 Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks $37,160 14.60% 6,570
43 Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators,
Metal and Plastic
$35,220 19.20% 4,780
44 Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians $36,950 14.70% 5,510
45 Reinforcing Iron and Rebar Workers $37,990 48.60% 1,320
46 Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks $34,740 13.60% 46,780
47 Pest Control Workers $30,220 26.10% 4,850
48 Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline
Operators
$37,380 17.30% 2,890
49 Bus Drivers, Transit and Intercity $35,720 14.80% 6,350
50 Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors $32,280 20.20% 6,970
51 Physicists $106,360 14.20% 800
52 Cartographers and Photogrammetrists $55,970 22.20% 610
53 Ship Engineers $70,840 18.00% 620
54 Music Directors and Composers $47,410 10.20% 3,220
55 Transportation Inspectors $62,230 14.40% 1,070
56 Biological Technicians $39,480 13.50% 3,790
57 Geographers $74,760 35.40% 130
58 Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment
Operators
$35,270 22.10% 2,200
59 Surveying and Mapping Technicians $39,350 15.90% 2,000
60 Writers and Authors $55,870 6.50% 4,760
61 Machinists $39,220 8.50% 9,950
62 Mechanical Drafters $49,200 11.10% 2,050
63 Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians $54,590 6.30% 4,520
64 Audio and Video Equipment Technicians $41,630 13.40% 2,560
65 Insurance Underwriters $60,830 5.90% 3,910
66 Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers $23,410 20.90% 44,440
67 Hydrologists $75,680 17.80% 360
68 Rail Car Repairers $47,740 16.90% 930
69 Helpers—Carpenters $26,400 55.70% 3,820
70 Stonemasons $36,640 36.50% 890
71 Epidemiologists $64,220 23.60% 150
72 Anthropologists and Archeologists $56,070 20.70% 380
73 Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers $29,080 14.70% 29,590
74 Parts Salespersons $29,350 16.00% 10,720
75 Chemists $69,760 3.80% 2,990
76 Social Science Research Assistants $38,800 15.00% 1,700
77 Elevator Installers and Repairers $75,060 11.30% 820
78 Marine Engineers and Naval Architects $84,850 17.50% 230
79 Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters $35,170 15.70% 2,830
80 Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue
Agents
$50,130 7.30% 2,300
81 Microbiologists $65,230 13.30% 720
82 Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging, and
Systems Assemblers
$46,210 14.30% 1,220
83 Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate $48,870 7.40% 2,220
84 Radio, Cellular, and Tower Equipment
Installers and Repairers
$42,160 29.40% 450
85 Mathematicians $101,040 15.70% 230
86 Soil and Plant Scientists $58,940 12.10% 860
87 Pile-Driver Operators $45,500 36.00% 230
88 Sociologists $73,670 18.10% 180
89 Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters $30,530 16.80% 4,020
90 Postal Service Mail Carriers $55,160 –12.0% 10,340
91 Materials Engineers $84,550 8.70% 810
92 Insulation Workers, Floor, Ceiling, and Wall $32,420 23.40% 1,460
93 Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs $22,760 19.60% 7,670
94 Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and
Weighers
$34,040 8.00% 12,390
95 Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators $60,440 15.50% 320
96 Coin, Vending, and Amusement Machine Servicers
and Repairers
$30,820 22.10% 1,630
97 Motorboat Mechanics and Service Technicians $35,520 20.60% 960
98 Fence Erectors $29,580 23.80% 1,640
99 Court Reporters $48,530 14.10% 640
100 Locksmiths and Safe Repairers $36,680 17.70% 930
101 Mechanical Door Repairers $36,640 24.60% 550
102 Bus Drivers, School or Special Client $28,110 12.00% 14,450
103 Tire Repairers and Changers $23,440 18.50% 4,390
104 Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and
Tenders, Wood
$26,220 24.70% 1,810
105 Legal Secretaries $42,460 3.50% 3,940
106 Materials Scientists $84,600 10.20% 370
107 Computer, Automated Teller, and Office Machine
Repairers
$36,360 6.50% 4,540
108 Motorcycle Mechanics $32,410 23.60% 890
109 Demonstrators and Product Promoters $23,770 17.50% 4,210
110 Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers $22,720 15.50% 7,400
111 Painters, Transportation Equipment $39,600 9.40% 1,430
112 Architectural and Civil Drafters $47,250 3.20% 2,090
113 Food Scientists and Technologists $58,340 8.00% 680
114 Atmospheric and Space Scientists $89,790 10.60% 210
115 Medical Equipment Preparers $30,050 17.50% 1,620
116 Carpet Installers $36,750 10.40% 1,520
117 Outdoor Power Equipment and Other Small Engine
Mechanics
$30,200 19.10% 1,350
118 Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators $53,070 6.20% 1,060
119 Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and
Tenders, Except Sawing
$27,090 20.20% 1,740
120 Metal-Refining Furnace Operators and Tenders $38,680 16.30% 550
121 Economists $90,550 6.10% 580
122 Astronomers $95,500 11.00% 90
123 Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment
Installers and Repairers
$34,470 13.90% 1,410
124 Political Scientists $103,860 7.90% 280
125 Earth Drillers, Except Oil and Gas $40,200 13.80% 620
126 Animal Scientists $61,230 12.80% 180
127 Maintenance Workers, Machinery $39,490 6.50% 1,740
128 Electrical and Electronics Repairers,
Commercial and Industrial Equipment
$52,320 1.10% 1,770
129 Photographers $28,860 12.50% 3,100
130 Recreational Vehicle Service Technicians $34,000 22.30% 480
131 Subway and Streetcar Operators $63,820 9.80% 280
132 Electrical and Electronics Repairers,
Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay
$67,450 4.90% 690
133 Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists $57,420 7.40% 590
134 Chemical Technicians $42,070 6.70% 1,290
135 Driver/Sales Workers $22,770 10.30% 12,290
136 Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool
Programmers, Metal and Plastic
$45,890 10.80% 490
137 Farm Equipment Mechanics and Service
Technicians
$34,230 13.40% 1,290
138 Mail Clerks and Mail Machine Operators, Except
Postal Service
$26,610 12.10% 3,960
139 Order Clerks $28,940 7.40% 7,520
140 Tax Preparers $32,320 9.80% 2,630
141 Broadcast Technicians $36,570 9.00% 1,380
142 Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors,
and Illustrators
$44,600 7.80% 810
143 Set and Exhibit Designers $48,480 9.90% 480
144 Weighers, Measurers, Checkers, and Samplers,
Recordkeeping
$27,390 12.00% 3,420
145 Couriers and Messengers $24,750 12.60% 4,300
146 Avionics Technicians $54,720 6.90% 580
147 Archivists $46,750 11.70% 240
148 Layout Workers, Metal and Plastic $39,870 13.70% 290
149 Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters,
Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
$32,300 8.30% 2,090
150 Butchers and Meat Cutters $28,460 7.90% 4,680
151 Helpers—Production Workers $22,520 8.70% 9,980
152 Reservation and Transportation Ticket Agents
and Travel Clerks
$33,300 5.80% 3,080
153 Terrazzo Workers and Finishers $41,240 15.00% 110
154 Postal Service Clerks $53,100 –48.2% 1,550
155 Chefs and Head Cooks $42,350 –0.8% 1,800
156 Floor Sanders and Finishers $33,350 18.20% 420
157 Bicycle Repairers $23,210 37.60% 630
158 Rolling Machine Setters, Operators, and
Tenders, Metal and Plastic
$36,920 8.20% 880
159 Traffic Technicians $42,300 11.20% 280
160 Conservation Scientists $59,530 5.20% 400
161 Fashion Designers $64,690 0.20% 670
162 Telemarketers $22,520 7.40% 8,350
163 Conveyor Operators and Tenders $29,320 11.50% 1,490
164 Painting, Coating, and Decorating Workers $25,660 17.20% 980
165 Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials $23,190 19.90% 880
166 Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine
Setters, Operators, and Tenders
$34,770 6.60% 1,380
167 Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians $28,750 12.80% 1,320
168 Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine
Setters, Operators, and Tenders
$30,020 6.10% 2,310
169 Slaughterers and Meat Packers $23,490 8.30% 3,330
170 Molders, Shapers, and Casters, Except Metal
and Plastic
$28,940 8.00% 1,930
171 Home Appliance Repairers $35,440 6.50% 1,190
172 Control and Valve Installers and Repairers,
Except Mechanical Door
$49,600 –0.1% 810
173 Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators,
and Tenders
$33,590 –2.2% 3,720
174 Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and
Tenders
$25,620 3.80% 6,840
175 Embalmers $43,800 5.30% 370
176 Separating, Filtering, Clarifying, Precipitating,
and Still Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
$37,720 5.10% 810
177 Engine and Other Machine Assemblers $36,420 5.30% 830
178 Refractory Materials Repairers, Except
Brickmasons
$42,700 8.60% 60
179 Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine
Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
$28,480 5.10% 2,510
180 Paperhangers $37,760 10.30% 190
181 Wellhead Pumpers $41,320 4.60% 520
182 Fish and Game Wardens $50,070 4.70% 220
183 Chemical Equipment Operators and Tenders $45,550 –7.5% 760
184 Museum Technicians and Conservators $38,010 6.80% 410
185 Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and
Tenders, Metal and Plastic
$33,220 3.80% 1,610
186 Agricultural and Food Science Technicians $33,550 7.00% 870
187 Plating and Coating Machine Setters,
Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
$29,640 9.30% 960
188 Pesticide Handlers, Sprayers, and Applicators,
Vegetation
$29,980 10.20% 820
189 Camera and Photographic Equipment Repairers $37,140 10.30% 120
190 Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters,
Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
$36,070 –4.7% 1,520
191 Radio and Television Announcers $27,280 6.90% 1,720
192 Agricultural Inspectors $41,390 1.50% 600
193 Statistical Assistants $38,570 6.00% 410
194 Parking Enforcement Workers $35,340 9.60% 340
195 Dental Laboratory Technicians $35,590 0.80% 1,320
196 Meter Readers, Utilities $35,400 1.20% 1,270
197 Electro-Mechanical Technicians $51,220 0.50% 320
198 Bakers $23,250 2.30% 4,680
199 Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters,
Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
$29,720 2.50% 1,820
200 Crushing, Grinding, and Polishing Machine
Setters, Operators, and Tenders
$32,390 5.10% 1,170

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