11 jobs to avoid if you prefer to work alone

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Some people prefer to work alone.
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Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

We can’t all be social butterflies.

In fact, some people thrive in solitude.

That’s why people who prefer to work alone – or mostly alone, at least – ought to be careful about what occupations they set out to take.

We checked out the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a US Department of Labor database that compiles detailed information on hundreds of jobs, and looked at salary data on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website to find positions that place an emphasis on interacting and socializing with others.

O*NET ranks how important “providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, email, or in person” is in any job, assigning each a “communicating with supervisors, peers, or subordinates importance level” between 1 and 100, where a higher score indicates more communication skills are required.

Here are 11 positions with a communication importance level of 93 or higher, indicating they aren’t ideal for people who prefer to work alone:


8 (tie). Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

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MikeDotta/Shutterstock

Communicating with supervisors, peers, or subordinates importance level: 93

Median annual salary: $44,090

Projected growth from 2014 to 2024: 14% or higher

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses care for ill, injured, or convalescing patients or persons with disabilities in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, private homes, group homes, and similar institutions.


8 (tie). Program directors

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Andre Charland/Flickr

Communicating with supervisors, peers, or subordinates importance level:93

Median annual salary: $70,950

Projected growth from 2014 to 2024: 9% to 13%

Program directors direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in preparation of radio or television station program schedules and programs, such as sports or news.


8 (tie). Elementary and secondary school education administrators

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Marie Linner/Shutterstock

Communicating with supervisors, peers, or subordinates importance level:93

Median annual salary: $92,510

Projected growth from 2014 to 2024: 5% to 8%

Elementary and secondary school education administrators plan, direct, or coordinate the academic, administrative, or auxiliary activities of public or private elementary or secondary level schools.


8 (tie). Chief executives

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Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/flickr

Communicating with supervisors, peers, or subordinates importance level: 93

Median annual salary: $181,210

Projected growth from 2014 to 2024: -1% to 1%

Chief executives determine and formulate policies and provide overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body.


6 (tie). Marketing managers

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Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/flickr

Communicating with supervisors, peers, or subordinates importance level: 94

Median annual salary: $131,180

Projected growth from 2014 to 2024: 9% to 13%

Marketing managers plan, direct, or coordinate marketing policies and programs.


6 (tie). First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers

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Andrew Wippler/Flickr

Communicating with supervisors, peers, or subordinates importance level: 94

Median annual salary: $73,150

Projected growth from 2014 to 2024: 5% to 8%

First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers directly supervise and coordinate activities of sales workers other than retail sales workers.


2 (tie). First-line supervisors of correctional officers

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bibiphoto/Shutterstock

Communicating with supervisors, peers, or subordinates importance level: 95

Median annual salary: $60,560

Projected growth from 2014 to 2024: 2% to 4%

First-line supervisors of correctional officers directly supervise and coordinate activities of correctional officers and jailers.


2 (tie). Compliance managers

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David Martyn Hunt/flickr

Communicating with supervisors, peers, or subordinates importance level: 95

Median annual salary: $104,970

Projected growth from 2014 to 2024: 2% to 4%

Compliance managers plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization to ensure compliance with ethical or regulatory standards.


2 (tie). Human resources managers

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Flickr/USDAgov

Communicating with supervisors, peers, or subordinates importance level: 95

Median annual salary: $106,910

Projected growth from 2014 to 2024: 9% to 13%

HR managers plan, direct, or coordinate human resources activities and staff of an organization.


2 (tie). Talent directors

Communicating with supervisors, peers, or subordinates importance level: 95

Median annual salary: $70,950

Projected growth from 2014 to 2024: 9% to 13%

Talent directors audition and interview performers to select most appropriate talent for parts in stage, television, radio, or motion picture productions.


1. Instructional coordinators

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Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.com

Communicating with supervisors, peers, or subordinates importance level: 97

Median annual salary: $62,460

Projected growth from 2014 to 2024: 5% to 8%

Instructional coordinators develop instructional material, coordinate educational content, and incorporate current technology in specialized fields.