20 Creative Ways for Introverts to Make Money
Here are some job ideas for the thoughtful and independent introvert.
Introverts listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and prefer spending time with a tight-knit group of friends, colleagues and family over massive parties and constant networking. Introverts thrive in much different ways than extroverts do, but there's no need to think of introversion as something that needs to be cured, expresses author Susan Cain of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. While extroverts may gain energy from constant interaction, public attention and a love for gab, in the words of Cain, “There's zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”
Introverts make up an estimated 50 percent of the U.S. population and are valuable leaders, thinkers and innovators. The rule, rather the exception, is introverts are best suited for work that allows for inward thinking, creativity and autonomy. They thrive working independently and shine in small groups over crowds.
With this in mind, if you're an introvert, don't force yourself into a job or role you think you're supposed to be in. Respect your introversion, and sculpt a work life around the strengths of your personality.
To that end, here are 20 jobs that offer creative ways that introverts can make money with autonomy and from the comfort of home. Some of these job suggestions for introverts may require additional schooling, training and certification, while others ideas could be pursued right away.
Dietitians and nutritionists work behind the scenes in hospitals, schools and healthcare facilities, often on a one-on-one basis or with a small group of colleagues. Dietitians and nutritionists can also be self-employed and work from home.
Both dietitians and nutritionists often occupy the same job: providing counsel on nutrition, diet, food preparation and lifestyle in order to achieve certain health goals. Despite these similarities, these titles are not interchangeable. Becoming a registered dietitian is a more rigorous route that requires more schooling. To be a dietitian, you must register with the Commission on Dietetic Registration. A nutritionist is a less regulated role, however you may be required to obtain a license from your state's board of nutrition.
To become a registered, certified or licensed dietician in your state, at minimum, you need a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, nutrition or a related health science field in an undergraduate program approved by the Accreditation Council for Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). If you already have an undergraduate degree, but you didn’t graduate from a dietitian program, you can check your state to see what the requirements are for certification.
The median salary for dietitians is $59,133, and the field is growing. When you're ready to search for a “dietitian” or “nutritionist” job on job sites, such as FlexJobs, Glassdoor, Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and LinkedIn, you'll find plenty of results.
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Actuaries typically work in the insurance industry, and if you’ve got a head for numbers, this could be your kind of gig. An actuary analyzes the costs of risk and uncertainty, and based on that, develops policies for businesses and clients to minimize the cost of that risk. The work isn’t client-facing or particularly customer-service oriented, so if you’re good with one-on-one communication, this could be a good means for you to make money.
To become an actuary, you’ll need a strong background in mathematics, statistics and business -- and a bachelor’s degree. You’ll have to pass a series of exams to become a certified professional, but the good news is you can work while you study for those exams. For entry-level actuarial work, employers want to see that you have a degree in a quantitative area of study, such as actuarial science, computer science, economics or statistics, as well as a professional actuarial exam or two under your belt. Having actuarial experience with an internship helps your initial employment prospects. However, smaller companies can be much more open about a varied work past.
The payoff for this type of career is excellent. The median annual salary is $100,610 or $48.37 an hour.
To find an entry level actuary position, you can search under “actuary” on job sites such as FlexJobs, Glassdoor, Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and LinkedIn. If you don’t find entry-level positions, reach out to the recruiter or HR manager to inquire about entry-level opportunities or freelance actuary work within the company. Submit your resume for when an opportunity opens up.
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An archivist is an information specialist who works with and preserves historical records and archives in libraries, government organizations, museums, academia and so forth. (There’s a lot of overlap between the job of a librarian and archivist.) This work hits a sweet spot for anyone who loves history, organization and research. While the job may involve some interaction with colleagues or the public, usually you’re on your own. The median salary $47,340 -- and the job market is projected to grow 11 percent by 2020.
To become an archivist, you’ll need an undergraduate degree, either in archival or library studies, although some archivists have studied the specific area they’re interested in pursuing, such as art history. Many employers look for candidates with a master’s degree in archival studies, as well as internship experience.
If you decide to pursue certification with the Academy of Certified Archivists, you’ll need a master's degree in archival studies, one year of work experience and to pass a written exam. The Society of American Archivists has a directory of archival education programs.
For jobs in this field, you can go to trade organization sites -- The Society of American Archivists has a job directory as does the Academy of Certified Archivists. Or you can search on regular job sites such as LinkedIn, FlexJobs, Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and Indeed.
As an electrician, you'll spend your days installing, maintaining and repairing electrical systems in homes, offices and other buildings. Electricians generally work alone or in pairs, and while this job doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree, it is skilled work that requires technical school or vocational college and an apprenticeship.
States and cities vary on professional licensing, so you will have to look up your state requirements. However, most states require licensed electricians to have a GED, a certain number of hours in classroom instruction and a certain number of hours of on-the-job experience.
The median annual salary of an electrician is $52,720. To find electrician work or an apprenticeship, you can go through trade organizations, such as the National Electrical Contractors Association and the Independent Electrical Contractors, which both have job and apprenticeship listings. Or go on job sites such as FlexJobs, Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and Indeed and type in “electrician.”
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Medical records technician
Medical records technicians, also known as “health information technicians,” organize and manage both hard copy and electronic patient health information systems. This work isn’t client-facing and can appeal to an introvert interested in cataloging, organization and attention to detail within the ever-booming healthcare field.
Becoming a medical records technical requires an associate degree in health information technician, at minimum. Or else, you can pursue a four-year bachelor’s degree in health information management. Either way, make sure that your program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management.
While certification for medical records technicians isn’t required, many places hiring look for it. The most common certification is as a registered health information technician, which you can get by passing an examination administered by American Health Information Management Association.
The median annual salary for medical records and health information technicians is $38,040. Once you have a degree as a health information technician, figure out the setting you want to work in (hospital or insurance company?) and get searching on job sites such as FlexJobs, Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and Indeed. Or you can go straight to a company website to see if there are any openings for “health information technician” or “medical records technician.”Related: 10 New Ideas for Making Money on the Side
Lab technicians work behind the scenes in a relatively quiet, sterile setting working with patient samples and running tests to analyze bodily fluids, tissue and other substances. This work isn’t for the squeamish. To be a technician, you need to start with a healthy inclination toward science and research. Also, the job requires hand-eye precision and attention to lab procedures, so dexterity and care for details are a must, along with the endurance to stand on your feet for long periods.
To become a lab technician, you need, at minimum, an associate’s degree. If you already have a degree and are making a career transition, you can get a postsecondary certificate in a one-year program, where you’ll learn the skills of the trade. Certification can cover the entire profession or be confined to a specialty, such as phlebotomy, the drawing of blood.
Check with your state to see if you need to be licensed -- requirements vary. Like with most jobs, documentation of skill levels can boost your job prospects and salary. The median U.S. salary for a lab tech is $50,930 per year or $24.48 per hour.
Once you have the degree or certification, you can start prospecting on job sites such as Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and Indeed. Or go straight to the specific website of the hospital or company you want to work for to see if there are any openings.Related: 7 Realistic Ways to Make Money Online
If you're fluent in English and a second language (Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Arabic are in-demand ones), you can translate audio recordings, written documents and videos, or interpret in settings such as schools, hospitals, courtrooms, meeting rooms and conference centers. (Interpreter work tends to be much more out in the field than translation work.) Translation is a fast-growing field with a projected growth rate of 18 percent by 2026. Most translators are self-employed, and work remotely, depending on the type of work, well-suited for introverts.
To become a translator or interpreter, you typically need a bachelor’s degree -- some places of work require a bachelor’s degree in interpretation. However, most places simply require proficiency in English and another language.
If you’re looking for freelance translator/interpreter work, there are plenty of platforms, including Gengo, Upwork, American Journal Experts, Cyracom, Interpreters and Translators, Inc., Language Line Certified Languages Interpbridge, Andovar and Rev.
Also, you can look for part-time and full-time translation and interpreter work by going to the usual job spots: LinkedIn, FlexJobs, Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and Indeed. Search for “translator” and type in the specific language (other than English) you’re fluent in.
Truck driving could be a dream job for those who would enjoy driving solo all over the country with only the radio as their company. The median salary for a truck driver is $43,464. What you’ll need to become a truck driver -- other than a love for the open road -- is a high school diploma and a commercial driving license. You can get a commercial driver’s license at a truck driving school in your state.
Commercial driving training takes anywhere from three to 12 weeks and can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000, depending on the class of license. While a program to attain a class B license is likely less expensive, a class A license allows you to drive a greater variety of trucks, take on larger loads and be eligible for more driving jobs. While you can go directly to the websites of truck driving companies to apply for jobs, you can also search on FlexJobs, Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and Indeed.
Data entry clerk
Data entry work doesn’t require any face-to-face communication -- which works great for some introverts who want to make money from home. Other perks? You can work independently and create your own schedule.
Data entry work boils down to entering information on a computer. While it doesn’t requires previous experience or a bachelor’s degree, the work does require basic computer skills, such as knowledge of typing, accuracy and speed, as well as installing and removing software, creating new folders, sending emails and using the internet.
If you want to get your feet wet in the data entry field, you can create a profile on freelance job sites such as Freelancer, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Upwork, The Smart Crowd, Fiverr, Working Solutions, Clickworker and Microworkers. Once your profile is created, you can either do a search for “data entry” to find gigs to apply for, or you may be contacted for work.
For more ongoing part-time or full-time data-entry work, visit more general job sites, such as FlexJobs, Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and Indeed. Type in “data entry” as your keyword. (Beware of any scams you see soliciting money to be registered in a data entry jobs database.)
Copy editors and proofreaders review written material and check for factual accuracy, spelling, grammar and readability. This is an extremely detail-oriented job for people who have an affinity for the English language and a high standard of accuracy. Often, copy editors and proofreaders are expected to abide by a certain writing style guides -- the AP Stylebook or The Chicago Manual of Style are the go-to standards. If you already possess a knack for grammar, punctuation and spelling, then this could be a good way for you to earn money. The hourly wage for a web copy editor in the U.S. is $29 to $31 an hour, and the median annual salary in the U.S. is $45,506.
By and large, copy editing is not a very socially interactive role. Often, copy editing is contracted out to freelancers who work remotely -- perfect for introverts.
The industries you can work in as a copy editor or proofreader are varied: from print magazines to financial institution reports to web copy to nonprofit newsletters. If you already possess knowledge in AP or Chicago styles, then you’re better suited for copyediting and proofreading for the media publishing industry as well as many advertising agencies. However, academic and medical written material tend to follow different guidelines, such as the AMA Manual of Style.
The bottom line is, if you’ve already got a solid handle on the basics of grammar rules and punctuation and readability, then learning various styles is a matter of simply purchasing the style guide (or an online subscription to the style guide) and looking up rules. You can fine tune your copyediting and proofreading skills by taking an online copyediting course for certification at recognized online organizations, such as the American Society for Editing, Mediabistro or Poytner.
To find work as a freelance copy editor or proofreader, you can check out major job sites including LinkedIn, FlexJobs, Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and Indeed. You can also research freelance sites, such as FlexJobs, Fiverr, Upwork or Freelancer, Freelanced, PeoplePerHour, FreelanceWritingGigs, Super Copy Editors, Mediabistro and Global. Create a profile on these sites. Typically, you can either apply for jobs available or your profile may attract potential clients. Keep in mind, some places may ask you to take a short copy editing test to assess your skills.
For a further list of freelance writing and editing resources, check out “101 Places to Find Freelance Writing Jobs,” “The 7 Best Freelance Sites to Find Work” and “The 15 Best Freelance Websites to Find Jobs.”
You know that chat box that comes up with a message along the lines of, “Hi, how can I assist you today?” when you’re on a website, and you assume it’s a chatbot? Sometimes, it’s an actual person. A chat agent assists customers online for various companies across a range of different industries.
The job entails promptly and professionally assisting customers along a spectrum of customer service needs and escalating to the next service level if you can’t resolve the issue. While this job does require messaging people frequently, juggling different chat streams, it doesn’t require face time, and the position can be done from the comfort of home -- double bonus.
To become a chat agent, you will need a computer with internet access and the ability to type a certain speed with a level of accuracy. Some places of employment may test you. The pay varies, but a chat support specialist make an average of $14.62 an hour in the U.S.
This is a customer-facing job, so a polite and friendly computer manner helps as well as the ability to ask questions to gain insight to help resolve the customer issue. It depends on where you’re working, but it helps to know about the business, products, services, processes and policies, as well.
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Transcription jobs are ideal for introverts: the job has a lot of autonomy, is great for independent thinkers and can be done remotely. To do this work, you need fast and accurate typing skills. The required speed varies depending on the company, but the faster the better. The average annual salary for a transcriptionist is $26,882. (You generally get paid by how long the audio file is, not how long it takes you to type. That’s why it only pays to become a transcriptionist if you type fast.)
You can also specialize in certain fields in transcription: For instance, medical and legal are two areas where there is ongoing demand. You can get your training from an accredited medical or legal transcription vocational school. One reason why these certifications are often sought after is because there is language and vocabulary that is specific to both professions. These courses can take up to 18 months and can be completed online or at a community college or vocational school.
Equipment-wise, you’ll need high quality headphones, a computer and word processing software. You may want to invest in a foot pedal, which allows you to stop, rewind and fast forward the recording quickly. Skills-wise, you’ll have to download media files, so if you don’t have the media or audio player on your computer, you'll need to download what's needed. Along those lines, you also need to be able to convert word processing files into whatever file format the client needs.
When looking for transcription work, emphasize any transcription or word processing experience you’ve had and underscore your knowledge in the aforementioned computer skills.
To get started on your job hunt, do a search of “transcription” or “transcriber” on job sites such as FlexJobs, Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and Indeed. Or you can register as a freelance transcriber on job marketplace sites such as TranscribeMe, Go Transcript, UpWork and PeoplePerHour.
“Accountant” encompasses a variety of potential financial roles and specialities that are suited for introverts who enjoy the financial side of businesses. The two general areas of specialization are public accounting and corporate or business accounting, and a number of sub-specializations also exist, such as environmental accounting, internal auditing, managerial accounting and taxes. Whittle down what area of accounting you’re interested in -- whether it’s working with individuals as a public tax accountant or as an internal auditor, working within organizations to ensure a company or organization is correctly managing its funds.
The accountant’s primary role is to prepare and examine financial records and ensure that taxes are paid properly and on time. The skills of an accountant align with an introvert’s attention to detail and autonomy. Of course, accounting is more than that. It also requires good math skills and familiarity (or ability to learn) accounting software.
To become an accountant, you need, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Some states require you to be credentialed as a certified public accountant (CPA) to practice, which means meeting state licensing requirements and passing the CPA exam. The median annual salary for an accountant is $53,994 and the median hourly wage is $24.
If you’re looking for accounting work, some staffing agencies specialize in accounting jobs, such as Robert Half, Adecco and Randstad. Or you can check out major job sites such as LinkedIn, FlexJobs, Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and Indeed.
If you don’t have the luxury of time or money to become an accountant, you can become a bookkeeper. The job has a lot of overlap with what an accountant does. Bookkeepers maintain sets of financial records, keep track of accounts and verify the accuracy of procedures used for recording financial transactions. However, the job requires less schooling and pays less.
The median annual salary of a bookkeeper is $38,390 per year and $18.46 per hour. Education-wise, you must, at minimum, have a GED. However, many places of employment look for an associate’s degree in bookkeeping or accounting. If you have an associate’s degree or degree in something else entirely and want to demonstrate proficiency in bookkeeping, you can get certified in a professional studies program at a university or community college, or look into taking an exam given by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.
For highly creative and visual introverts, freelance graphic design can be a great way to make a living. Graphic designers work with businesses and individuals creating logos, websites, stationery and marketing materials, to name some. The work is comprised of both understanding the principles of design, as well as knowing how to use the software (such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign) to execute the vision. Then, there’s the client component: You have to communicate with the client and be able to grasp what the client wants. Graphic designers frequently work with advertising agencies, publishing companies, magazines, corporations, product manufacturers and individuals.
As a graphic designer, you don’t necessarily need a degree or certificate, unless you’re trying to work at a creative agency, where the company might require it. However, if you go freelance or work for a smaller company, your work is your calling card. You need a solid portfolio more than a fancy degree. You can build your portfolio by doing small freelance jobs.
The average graphic designer makes $48,256 annually, and you can get a feel for jobs in your area by looking on the usual job sites: FlexJobs, Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and Indeed.
To learn more about starting a graphic design business from home, read Start Your Own Graphic Design Business by Entrepreneur Press and George Sheldon. It's available on Amazon, eBooks.com and Barnes & Noble.
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Programming code is simply writing computer language that a computer understands. The end product is software, apps and websites, to name some. Detail-oriented and meticulous, introverts can make excellent coders. There is high demand for freelance coders, and much of the work can be done from the comfort of your home.
To find work as a newbie coder, you can build your resume with freelance jobs before going out for full-time ones. Check out Upwork, PeoplePerHour and Freelancer for coding and programming jobs. Once you’ve established some experience and job references, you can search for full-time or contractual work on job sites, such as FlexJobs, Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and Indeed.
Online retail consigner
Passion for fashion? Or just own way too many clothes you don’t need anymore? Sell them online. Online consignment offers introverts a great opportunity to make money through a completely virtual process. Today there are a number of online platforms -- such as Asos, Bib + Tuck, Poshmark, SnobSwap, The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective, Tradesy and ThredUp -- specific for selling your unwanted clothing, jewelry and accessories. Also, you can always list on eBay. Make sure to research the sites to see what sort of items they’re looking for -- high end designer, super vintage or Zara-friendly.
Startup materials? You will need a computer and a digital camera to take photos of your clothing. The rest is easy. Do your research, pick a great user ID or name for your shop, use quality images and vivid descriptions of what you’re selling and if you’re doing the selling (some of these sites are peer-to-peer selling and others sell for you for a higher cut of the profits), make sure you offer responsive customer service.
It’s hard to say how much you’ll make. Linda Lightman, an eBay seller of 15 years, built an e-consignment empire, Linda’s Stuff, which now brings in almost $25 million a year. She began her online career by simply selling her son’s old video games, eventually moving to items in her closet and later selling items for friends. However, Lightman’s experience is more the exception than the rule. This is a business that takes time to build, so start small. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to start selling for others too. Start with raiding the closets of friends and family.
Social media manager
The job of social media manager requires a lot of time online and not much interaction that isn't on the computer -- perfect for an introvert. If you have a knack for social media and have a good sense of the tools available, or are willing to learn, you may have a future in social media marketing, a job you can do from anywhere with a computer or smartphone.
The responsibilities of social media marketer includes setting up social media accounts, performing a social media audit (examining client’s social media presence), developing a strategy to create, curate and manage all published content across all social media accounts as well as developing marketing campaigns. Social media managers grow sustainable social media followings.
There isn’t one way to become a social media manager. Most full-time positions look for, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism or marketing. If you don’t have one, then look for freelance work. You can also seek additional training. Hootesuite Academy offers certification and General Assembly offers bootcamps and workshops on social media management, both for a price.
The bottom line to become a social media manager is to demonstrate command of social media tools and an understanding of how to build and manage a following through content. While you can do this through job experience, if you’re new, then you have to establish your credibility and create a successful social media following of your own. You can also market and promote your services online, blog for free on other related sites providing free tips and using social media channels, build a following and reach out to businesses or individuals.
The median salary for a social media manager in the U.S. is $54,238. If you’re just starting out in this line of work, search for more entry-level social media job titles, such as “social media specialist,” “social media assistant” and “social media associate.” (The median salary for social media assistant is $49,395.)
You can look for positions on job sites, including LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder, FlexJobs and Indeed. Or if you’re looking for freelance work, try a search on Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr and PeoplePerHour.
As naturally deep thinkers, introverts who have a good understanding of technology make great technical writers. Technical writing can consist of writing content for software user guides, online help, FAQs, job aids and instructional designs. The writing is instructive, organized and clear. Technical writers are highly sought after by tech and Fortune 500 companies. The median U.S. salary for a technical writer is $58,990.
While there’s no specific academic route to becoming a technical writer, you need to have strong writing skills. Having industry knowledge of what you’re writing about, whether it’s software or cloud storage, certainly helps. If you don't, being able to pick up what you’re writing about quickly is vital. Many companies, such as Udemy and Coursera, offer online classes in the field that offer technical writing certificates.
Another resource to bone up on technical writing skills is the Society for Technical Communication, which provides information on seminars, online courses and certification and webinars for those who want to learn more about technical writing. Similarly, the Institution of Engineering and Technology has numerous educational resources for people interested in pursuing technical professions,
Another way of gaining proficiency is to try for freelance work and build work with the company that offers you the opportunity. Research freelance job sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour and FlexJobs.
Maybe you’ve spent years -- maybe decades -- of your life developing your skills as a musician. So why not make money doing it? You can teach private lessons out of your home, as well as group classes out of a studio.
To become a music teacher, you need to be able to break down reading music and playing an instrument into easy-to-learn steps. Also, like any teacher, you can create an individualized curricula for each student that takes into account their goals and the type of music they want to play. The median yearly salary of a music teacher is $51,925.
There are many paths to become a music teacher. If you want to teach in public school, the steps are more specific. You will need a bachelor’s degree in music and then complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. However, if you go into private teaching, you can avoid the licensing requirements. You still have to demonstrate expertise in your musical instrument and be able to really connect with your students to build a client base.
To find clients for your music lessons, you can market your services where music lovers go: music and instrument stores, music learning academies and schools. Also, do a search for “private music instructor” or “private music teacher” jobs on sites such as Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder, FlexJobs and Indeed.
Video editors spend a lot of time by themselves wearing headphones planted in front of a computer monitor. It’s a good job for highly creative introverts. Video editors are needed for a variety of industries, including advertising, marketing and media.
Video editors need to be fluent in standard editing software, such as Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro -- and it doesn’t hurt to know Adobe After Effects, a post-production tool. Check out classes and tutorials on Lynda, Udemy, Skillshare and CourseHorse, or you can earn certification from a film editing program, such as the New York Film Academy. However, this field tends to value experience and body of work over anything else. The bottom line is your work.
Freelance video editing is a good place to start to build your body of work. Try looking on freelance job sites that specialize in creative freelance work such as Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, Guru, PeoplePerHour and FlexJobs. The median annual salary for a video editor in the U.S. is $46,274.