Careers For People Who Like to Work Alone
If you're a loner looking for a career that suits your personality, consider one of these options.
Does your idea of a perfect workday include more alone time and less interaction with clients and co-workers?
You aren't alone in preferring a more solo-based career.
In fact, "a significant portion of our working population prefers to work alone," says Pamela Slim, a business coach and author of "Escape From Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur."
Ready to find the right career fit for your loner personality? Check out these six options that could offer the alone time you desire.
Career #1 - Accountant
Think you'd prefer to spend more quality time with a calculator versus colleagues? Perhaps you should consider pursuing a career as an accountant.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, accountants are often responsible for computing taxes, preparing tax returns, examining financial records, and improving profits.
Why it's fit for a loner: "Depending on the type of accounting, most of the work in this field is done independently," says Dani Babb, founder of the Babb Group, an online educational consulting firm.
In fact, "often accountants are left to crunch numbers or generate reports on their own, with independent deliverables that often are not team-based," says Babb.
Education options: Does this career sound like a good match for your solitary personality? Know this: Most accountants are required to have a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field, according to the Department of Labor. Some employers prefer to hire candidates with a master's in accounting or business administration with an accounting concentration, adds the Department.
Career #2 - Software Developer
If you are a loner who enjoys spending one-on-one time with your computer, a career as a software developer may be a good fit for you.
Software developers are the geniuses designing computer programs and developing applications and systems that run on computers and other types of devices, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Typical duties include designing and testing software to meet the needs of users and upgrading and performing software maintenance.
Why it's fit for a loner: According to Babb, "once code or development assignments are made, each programmer usually works independently on his or her component."
But developers won't always be alone. In fact, "software developers that work in companies often work with a team of developers," adds Babb.
Education options: Think that this career fits your loner personality? According to the Department of Labor, software developers usually have a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. But for some positions, employers may prefer candidates with a master's degree.
Career #3 - Paralegal
Do you have an interest in the law and enjoy doing research on your own? Perhaps you should consider pursuing a career as a paralegal.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, paralegals generally provide support to lawyers on a variety of tasks, including writing reports to help them prepare for trials, conducting research on laws and regulations, and updating case-related information in computer databases.
Why it's fit for a loner: "Much of what a paralegal does is researching and writing," says Babb. "While they may need to meet with clients or attorneys, documents and other filings paralegals create are usually done on their own."
Education options: Think this career might complement your desire to work independently?According to the Department of Labor, most paralegals have an associate's degree in paralegal studies. Or if you already have a bachelor's degree in another field, you could earn a certificate in paralegal studies.
Career #4 - Graphic Designer
Think you'd prefer spending more time interacting with images on your computer rather than collaborating with co-workers in an office? If so, a career as a graphic designer could be a good choice for you.
By creating visual concepts with computer software or by hand, graphic designers generally communicate ideas that enlighten or inspire consumers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. With this combination of art and technology, they can develop graphics for logos and websites or create images for a product.
Why it's fit for a loner: According to Babb, "once the creative work begins, this is often a solo job."
But even if most of a graphic designer's work can be done independently from a home or office computer, keep in mind that a designer may face some interaction with clients. "Graphics designers need clients to survive, so they will be working with clients," notes Babb.
Education options: If you want to sharpen your artistic skills and pursue this career, keep in mind that a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related field is usually required, according to the Department of Labor. Already have a bachelor's? Look into technical training in graphic design to qualify for most job requirements, says the Department.
Want to work in the health field but prefer a more behind-the-scenes position? A career as a medical records and health information technician could complement your desire to work alone.
How? As a medical records and health information technician, you could be responsible for organizing and maintaining data for clinical databases, reviewing patient records, and recording data electronically, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why it's fit for a loner: "In many cases, medical records technicians are sitting in their offices or cubicles helping to organize and manage the vast amounts of information that is sent through health information systems," says Babb.
Just keep in mind that while these technicians will almost always work solo, they still have to be part of a larger team for bigger providers, adds Babb.
Education options: Does this career offer the alone time you desire? According to the Department of Labor, medical records and health information technicians typically need a post-secondary certificate or an associate's degree in health information technology. In addition, most employers like to hire technicians with professional certification, such as Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT).
Career #6 - Computer Programmer
Looking for a tech-related career with plenty of alone time? A career as a computer programmer might be a good choice.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as a computer programmer you could write instructions (or code) that a computer can follow to perform specific tasks. Common duties include debugging programs, writing programs in different languages like Java or C++, and updating existing computer programs.
Why it's a good fit for a loner: Since writing code can be done anywhere, chances are a programmer might be able to work from home, notes the Department of Labor.
Just keep in mind that while a majority of a programmer's tasks can be done solo, programmers can't completely shut out the world. "Computer programmers need to be able to work on initiatives with other team members, but are most often free to code solo," says Babb.
Education options: Want to get in on this loner- and tech-friendly career? According to the Department, most programmers earn a degree in computer science or a related field. And while a majority of programmers have a bachelor's degree, an associate's degree could be sufficient for some employers, adds the Department.
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