24 Fulfilling Jobs for Introverts

Written by Coursera • Updated on

The most fulfilling job you can have as an introvert is one that aligns with your needs, preferences, and passions.

[Featured Image] A woman is at home sitting at her desk using her laptop while holding her phone.  She's wearing earbuds and on her table is a cup of coffee.

As an introvert, you can succeed in any industry or job. Your qualities can be an asset to the workplace that you can use to achieve the balance you need, even in roles that require more social interaction and energy.

Susan Cain’s powerful book and TED Talk, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking advocate that introverts’ extraordinary talents should be encouraged [1]. Finding the right job fit for you can lead to a fulfilling career, even in a world where extroverted qualities tend to be celebrated.

In this article, you will explore the high-value skills introverts may possess, tips to leverage these skills, and jobs that may be fulfilling for introverts. 

What is an introvert?

An introvert is someone who prefers recharging alone or quieter settings. It occurs on a spectrum—people are neither completely introverted nor extremely gregarious at all times, and it can be situational. Many introverts can be outgoing and enjoy spending time with others, while extroverted individuals can be shy and enjoy long periods of solitude.

Often, introverted individuals are drawn to deeper, meaningful connections, rather than entertaining a crowd, so they are quite skilled at relationship building—a huge benefit in jobs that require leadership, interviewing, or teaching (skills that tend to be associated with extroverts). 

[Chart] Traits of introverts and extroverts

21 fulfilling jobs for introverts by skill

In the workplace, introverted individuals tend to thrive in jobs that emphasize their skills and strengths. Finding the right job fit can help you feel more fulfilled in your career.

Common skills among introverts include:

  • Empathy

  • Analytical thinking

  • Creativity

  • Attention to detail

  • Building relationships

  • Adaptability

  • Listening

  • Independence

Based on these skills, this guide compiles 24 jobs in different industries that might be a good match for you. Consider your own unique skills and passions alongside this list to help you make an informed decision.

*All salary data represents median salaries in 2020 in the United States according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics unless otherwise noted.

Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and feel what another person is experiencing, or “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.” 

Leverage your empathy by leading and acting with compassion. If you are a UX designer, ask probing questions to better understand your user. If you are a social worker, your empathy and care can lead to improving clients’ lives.

1. Social worker

A career in social work can be rewarding for introverts because it requires empathy to advocate for the well-being and empowerment of individuals, families, and communities. Social workers can work within child and family services, health care, mental health, substance abuse, schools, gerontology, criminal justice, and the military. If you want to become a clinical social worker, you will need a master’s in social work from an accredited college or university.

  • Median salary: $51,760

  • Job outlook: 12 percent (faster than average)

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor’s degree for administrative positions and master’s degree for clinical positions

2. Physician assistant

As a physician assistant, you will help physicians and surgeons examine, diagnose, and treat patients, as well as research the latest treatments. Introverts can use their strong empathy skills to connect with patients.

  • Median salary: $115,390

  • Job outlook: 31 percent (faster than average)

  • Typical requirements: Master’s degree

3. UX designer

UX designers are responsible for the end-to-end journey of a user’s interaction with a product, including design, usability, and marketing. This career does require you to conduct user interviews and build connections with people, but it may be fulfilling for introverts because it focuses on empathizing with the user and applying innovation to improve a product or service.

  • Median salary: $77,200

  • Job outlook: 13 percent (faster than average)

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor’s degree

Analytical thinking

Many introverted thinkers seek consistency and logic, which helps in building a framework for how things work and using this to improve ideas. This is particularly useful for problem solving and data analysis.

Use your analytical skills in jobs that involve finding insights or inconsistencies in data, such as quantitative research or IT systems. 

4. Data scientist

Within this rapidly growing field is ample opportunity for analytical thinkers to solve problems for companies and organizations. Data scientists identify patterns and trends in data to uncover insights and create algorithms and models to forecast outcomes. If you enjoy working with data and transforming it into actionable plans, then this in-demand career might be the one for you.

  • Median salary: $126,830

  • Job outlook: 22 percent (faster than average) 

  • Typical requirements: Master’s degree

Get started in data science

Build the in-demand skills you’ll need for a career in data science with the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate. Learn to think like a data scientist from industry leaders at IBM while earning a credential for your resume.

Placeholder

5. Engineer

This highly analytical science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) job can be fulfilling for introverts who enjoy problem solving. Engineers must design, test, modify, and inspect products and systems, applying science and math to address society’s needs and problems with economical solutions. For the right person, this can be a rewarding career that does not require too much constant social interaction.

  • Median salary: (Mechanical) $90,160 (Civil) $88,570 (Industrial) $88,950

  • Job outlook: (Mechanical) 7 percent - as fast as average (Civil) 8 percent - as fast as average (Industrial) 14 percent - faster than average

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor’s degree

6. IT manager

An IT manager oversees activities that deal with organizations’ computer systems, requiring an analytical mind to find workable solutions to improve for enhanced efficiency and security. Keep in mind that you will still have to work closely with teams to troubleshoot technical issues, but this can be a rewarding career for introverts who enjoy digging in and solving problems.

  • Median salary: $151,150

  • Job outlook: 11 percent (faster than average)

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor's degree

Creativity

Creative thinking is about being able to draw connections between unexpected situations. Creativity is not merely about artistic or aesthetic ability, but using your imagination to find new solutions to problems.

7. Social media manager

As a social media manager, your role is to use social media platforms to engage with and attract customers. Your creativity can empower you to dream up innovative concepts and implement high-traffic social campaigns. Much of the work involves engaging with online consumers and building partnerships in industries as varied as banking, fashion, tech, and government.

  • Median salary: $55,117

  • Job outlook: 10 percent (as fast as average)

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor's degree

8. Graphic designer

Graphic designers have the exciting job of creating visual concepts that communicate ideas about products and services that captivate consumers. Critical to nearly every marketing and communications team, many graphic designers also have the pleasure of working remotely and/or on a freelance basis, which can contribute to well-being and job satisfaction.

  • Median salary: $53,380

  • Job outlook: 3 percent (lower than average)

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor’s degree

9. Software developer

Software development may seem like a highly technical pursuit, but it’s also an excellent field for harnessing creativity to solve problems in new and interesting ways. This highly analytical career that involves creating computer applications, systems, and networks for users is suitable for introverts who enjoy solving problems independently.

  • Median salary: $110,140

  • Job outlook: 22 percent (much faster than average)

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor’s degree

Attention to detail

Keen attention to detail derives from being observant and mindful of your surroundings, including people’s actions and reactions. Harness your ability to notice the tiny details that others might not see. This skill is useful in editing, data analysis, and medicine.

10. Accountant

In accounting, you prepare financial documents and reports for tax purposes and handle financial information relevant to your company. Accounting requires a high level of detail and analysis.

  • Median salary: $73,560

  • Job outlook: 7 percent (as fast as average)

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor’s degree

11. Market research analyst

Market research analysts study market conditions to forecast potential sales for products and services. This in-demand job requires strong math and analytical skills, as well as attention to detail, sifting through data and statistics to determine feasibility and outlook given economic trends.

  • Median salary: $65,810

  • Job outlook: 22 percent (much faster than average)

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor’s degree

12. Industrial machinery mechanic

As an industrial machinery mechanic, you are responsible for maintaining and repairing factory equipment and other industrial machinery. Many detail-oriented, analytical introverts are suited to this type of work.

  • Median salary: $54,920

  • Job outlook: 19 percent (much faster than average)

  • Typical requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

Building relationships

Introverted individuals tend to seek meaningful connections. In the professional setting, this can foster strong, long-lasting relationships. You can employ this workplace skill to manage, lead, and collaborate with colleagues.

13. Health services manager

Also known as health care executives or administrators, health services managers direct and coordinate health services in a facility, department, or medical practice. This career is a good fit for an organized introvert who is comfortable working collaboratively with a small team, especially those who enjoy helping people.

  • Median salary: $104,280

  • Job outlook: 32 percent (much faster than average)

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor’s degree

14. Veterinarian

As a veterinarian, you have the privilege of caring for animals, reducing your levels of human interaction. It can be fulfilling for introverts to use empathy to provide high-quality care and research for pets and livestock. You will also build relationships with animal owners, suppliers, and animal activists. 

  • Median salary: $99,250

  • Job outlook: 17 percent (much faster than average)

  • Typical requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

15. Marketing manager

As a marketing manager, you are in charge of leading campaigns and projects to promote a brand or product. It can be a fulfilling career for introverts who prioritize creative and analytical thinking, and who can collaborate with cross-functional teams and build connections with stakeholders. 

  • Median salary: $141,490

  • Job outlook: 10 percent (as fast as average)

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor’s degree

Adaptability

Being adaptable and flexible means adjusting to and thriving in new conditions, especially important for introverts who may need to extend outside of their comfort zone to become a successful salesperson or another typically extroverted job role. As an introvert, you may need to adapt to a more extroverted workplace by managing your time wisely so as to not get burned out. 

16. Cybersecurity analyst

Cybersecurity analysts, sometimes called information security analysts, help protect a company’s networks and systems by monitoring for and reporting security breaches. This is among the most common roles on a cybersecurity team, so it is an excellent entry point into this field. The role requires you to keep up with IT security trends and be agile in developing strategies to maintain security. 

  • Median salary: $103,590

  • Job outlook: 10 percent (as fast as average)

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor’s degree or certification

17. Project manager

As a project manager, you are responsible for organizing, planning, and executing projects within the constraints of a team’s budget and time. Project managers often lead teams, helping them stay goal-focused until the project’s completion. This role is ideal for introverts who are organized and comfortable with operating flexibly and making effective decisions on short notice.

  • Median salary: $77,420

  • Job outlook: 10 percent (as fast as average)

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor’s degree

Get started in project management

Learn the foundations of Agile project management as you build the skills needed for an entry-level role with the Google Project Management: Professional Certificate. Manage escalations, create risk management plans, and navigate project management software, all while learning at your own pace.

Placeholder

18. Help desk technician

Help desk technicians are on hand to provide technical support over the phone, in person, or remotely. They must respond quickly and efficiently to employees’ computer-related issues. If you are an introverted individual who is adept at adapting to new situations and problems as they arise, this might be a good fit for you.

  • Median salary: $55,510

  • Job outlook: 9 percent (as fast as average)

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor’s degree

Listening

Introverts tend to be good listeners because they are often reflective and compassionate. They may process ideas better in intimate group settings.

This skill is useful in career fields that require active listening and nurturing personalities. Tuning in to others’ needs can be fulfilling, whether you are an attorney helping a client navigate a legal situation or a psychologist studying human behavior.

19. Lawyer

While a legal career might not be top of mind when considering an introverted personality, lawyers spend quite a bit of time conducting research and drafting documents. A majority of the work requires listening to client concerns to help them best navigate complex legal situations.

  • Median salary: $126,930

  • Job outlook: 9 percent (as fast as average)

  • Typical requirements: Juris Doctor degree

20. Psychologist

Psychologists observe, interpret and record how clients relate to their life, using cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavioral research to help them. They can work independently to conduct research and consult clients, or join a health care team of physicians and social workers. Empathetic introverts may find this career very rewarding.

  • Median salary: $82,180

  • Job outlook: 8 percent (as fast as average)

  • Typical requirements: Doctoral degree in psychology

21. Interpreter

As an interpreter, you will translate spoken words from one language to another. Being a good listener can be particularly helpful when interpreting live in settings like schools, hospitals, courtrooms, or conferences.

  • Median salary: $52,330

  • Job outlook: 24 percent (much faster than average)

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor’s degree

Independence

For many introverts, a main strength is their ability to be self-sufficient when working through ideas or issues for long periods of time alone. They may be most comfortable whittling away at an idea or project independently, so remote jobs can be a great option because interactions are limited to only necessary meetings.

Use your self-sufficiency to excel in jobs where you need time to focus, whether it is writing a proposal for funding or building a prototype on Figma. In job roles that require team collaboration, these pockets of alone time can provide the balance you need. 

22. Commercial airline pilot

As a pilot, you will have plenty of alone time while flying. After the training and certifications required to become a pilot, you will need to communicate clearly and effectively to team members, but much of flying is either alone or with one or two other co-pilots.

  • Median salary: $130,440

  • Job outlook: 7 percent (faster than average)

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor’s degree and license/certificate

23. Social scientist or researcher

Social scientists or research-based careers such as political scientist, anthropologist, economist, and urban planner are a good fit for academic-minded introverts. These careers may work independently or with teams, but they tend to offer a balance of both self-guided research and collaboration.

  • Median salary: (Political scientist) $125,350 (Anthropologist or archeologist) $66,130 (Economist) $108,350 (Urban and regional planner) $75,950 

  • Job outlook: (Political scientist) 9 percent - as fast as average (Anthropologist or archeologist) 7 percent - as fast as average (Economist) 13 percent - faster than average (Urban and regional planner) 7 percent - as fast as average 

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor’s or master’s degree

24. Writer

Writing of all types, whether it is technical, copywriting, content, or grants, is well-suited for introverts because it is often solitary work. Technical writing involves preparing instruction manuals and journal articles to communicate complex information in an accessible manner. 

  • Median salary: $74,650 (technical writer)

  • Job outlook: 12 percent (faster than average)

  • Typical requirements: Bachelor’s degree

  • Related jobs: Writer/author, copywriter, content writer, editor, grant writer

Maximize your salary earning potential

Plenty of jobs are suitable for introverts, since the range of career possibilities is as diverse as introverts themselves. While studies have shown that extroverts tend to earn more, in part because they are more likely to take on higher-paying managerial positions, introverted people can succeed in any role—even those in sales, public relations, and teaching roles that call for more outgoing personalities [3].

Debunk this stereotype by choosing a career that you are passionate about and that aligns with your specific skill set. Say yes to managerial roles if the opportunity arises, because introverts can be effective, compassionate, and visionary leaders.

Placeholder

Next Steps: Build a fulfilling career

Start building the skills you’ll need for an in-demand career with a Professional Certificate on Coursera. Learn from industry leaders at companies like Meta, Google, IBM, and Salesforce, and earn a credential for your resume in as little as three months.

Article Sources

1. Cain, Susan.  TED Talk. “The Power of Introverts,  https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts." Accessed December 20, 2021.

2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh.”  Accessed December 22, 2021.

3. Truity Psychometrics LLC. “Personality Type and Career Achievement: Does Your Personality Type Predict How Far You'll Climb?, https://www.truity.com/sites/default/files/PersonalityTypeCareerStudy-IG.pdf."  Accessed December 21, 2021.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

Learn without limits