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10 Jobs for Quiet Workers

Rachel Zupek,

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You can't help it -- you like your alone time. If you had it your way, you'd be at home most of the time, alone with your thoughts, your computer and your DVR. The time spent actually talking to anyone but your cats would be minimal.

 Unfortunately, the real world exists -- one in which working from home is sometimes an option, but more than likely, you have to go to work.

 If talking, socializing and general forms of human interaction aren't your thing, you probably loathe the idea of working in a cube where the chatter never stops, or in an office where your primary duty involves using your voice.

 If you'd rather hone your quiet skills than your voice box, here are 10 jobs that let you work how you do best: alone.

1. Automotive service technician
Why it's quiet: Automotive service technicians have an intimate relationship with one thing: cars. Aside from a short conversation with clients on "what seems to be the problem," service technicians spend most of their time under the hood of the vehicle.
Salary*: $37,622/year

2. Cost estimator
Why it's quiet:
Cost estimators keep to themselves as they analyze everything from blueprints to proposals to determine the cost of a potential project from start to finish. They do their best to nail down costs on things like materials, labor, location and duration of the project to determine if business owners or managers should make a bid for a contract.
Salary: $53,413/year

3. Interior designer
Why it's quiet:
Though interior designers need to initially meet with their clients to determine their wants, needs and budget constraints, most of their time is spent alone as they focus on decorating. They choose styles and color palettes; and pick furniture, artwork and lighting. Many interior designers work as consultants or are self-employed.
Salary: $45,524/year

4. Librarian
Why it's quiet:
It might seem obvious, but given that librarians work in a mostly "no talking zone," it makes sense that a librarian position suits quiet workers. Most of your time is spent organizing and maintaining library publications and materials, and the rest you'll spend directing people to whatever they may need.
Salary: $48,025/year

5. Medical transcriptionist
Why it's quiet:
These guys don't talk; they listen. Medical transcriptionists copy recordings made by physicians or other health-care professionals into medical reports, correspondence or other materials. They usually listen to recordings on a headset and use a foot pedal to pause the recording when necessary. Many medical transcriptionists telecommute from home-based offices.
Salary: $31,251/year

6. Network systems analyst
Why it's quiet:
Network systems analysts don't consult much else except their computers as they design, test and evaluate computer systems like local area networks, wide area networks, the Internet and intranets. As networks expand, telecommuting is common for computer professionals because more work can be done from remote locations.
Salary: $40,827/year

7. Survey researcher
Why it's quiet:
The primary role of survey researchers is to find out what people think. Rather than interviewing people face to face, they design and conduct surveys via the Internet, mailed questionnaires or telephone interviews. Typically, they work alone writing reports, preparing charts and sifting through survey results.
Salary: $27,478/year

8. Translator
Why it's quiet:
Translators read written materials and translate them from one language into another. Because this position requires so much reading, writing, editing and analyzing, translators usually work alone. Many translators work from home and 22 percent of interpreters and translators are self-employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Salary: $42,229/year

9. Undertaker
Why it's quiet: With all due respect, your closest company in this profession is dead. Other than communicating with the family of the deceased to direct the funeral, you are pretty much guaranteed silence most of the time you work.
Salary: $42,278/year

10. Writers, authors and technical writers
Why it's quiet: In the movies, we always see writers escaping to their beach houses, lodges in the mountains or sometimes a haunted hotel -- remember "The Shining"? -- for one purpose: to write a novel. It's not just a stereotype that writers and authors need peace and quiet to work (trust me, I know).

Technical writers are particularly quiet and concentrated, as they focus on putting industrial and scientific information into layman's terms. Remember that simple five-step instruction manual to put together your dresser? A technical writer made those directives as basic as possible, which was probably not an easy task in itself, but was made easier by solitude.
Salary: $42,786/year and $55,707/year, respectively

*National average salary according to

Rachel Zupek is a writer and blogger for She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

Last Updated: 26/02/2009 - 11:21 AM

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