10 Potential Jobs For People With Social Anxiety

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated June 13, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

The difficulty in social interactions that typically comes with social anxiety can make it challenging to work many traditional jobs. Labor statistics provided by the American Institute of Stress estimate that 62% of people experience high levels of stress in the workplace, a problem that may be further exacerbated by social anxiety and difficult social interactions. However, there are many job options for those with social anxiety or another anxiety disorder that may not require as much interaction with each other. Jobs for people with social anxiety can include working as a health or medical technician, gardener or landscaper, information technology worker, counselor, chef, tradesperson, computer programmer, accountant, writer, or animal care worker. 

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Although these jobs can lessen the requirement to socialize with others, working with a licensed mental health professional can still be highly beneficial in alleviating social anxiety symptoms and other potential mental health disorders and symptoms. Online therapy can be a convenient way to connect with a therapist and begin your mental health journey.

Social anxiety overview

Social anxiety is generally defined as a condition in which individuals fear being evaluated or judged by others. The thought of this happening can bring about feelings of depression, humiliation, inferiority, inadequacy, self-consciousness, and embarrassment. In social interactions where someone with social anxiety feels particularly self-conscious, there may be physical symptoms of anxiety, like shortness of breath, elevated heart rate, sweaty palms, and dry mouth. The anxious individual might also stutter and stammer or be unable to speak.

There can be varying degrees of social anxiety. Some people may only feel anxious if they encounter large groups or suddenly become the center of attention, while for others, being out of doors and outside their comfort zone can be enough to bring about a pronounced fight-or-flight response.

Social anxiety can be a severe mental health disorder requiring professional treatment. For individuals who have yet to discover an effective method of combating their social anxiety, everyday life can present a significant challenge. Severe social anxiety can significantly hinder a person's life, making it difficult to make friends or socialize with others. Furthermore, severe anxiety symptoms (whether experienced in social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or another mental illness) can significantly affect one's mental and emotional wellness.

As you can imagine, this social anxiety can affect every job development step. The anxiety can start during the job application process, progressing as you move through each step involved in beginning a new job. The interview process will almost always involve some element of social interaction. Even if your job interview doesn’t, eventually, you’ll have to head in for orientation and participate in the daily responsibilities of work. Every aspect of almost every job can involve social interaction to some extent. 

Finding what jobs will work for you may depend on your specific social anxiety experience. For some, a job that involves loud environments or frequent co-worker socialization (like a job as a construction worker) may be a difficult occupation for people with social anxiety. For others, a large volume of customer interactions may cause them to experience more anxiety symptoms (with one common example being those who work as customer service support agents.) 

It can be rare that one's job duties do not include any form of socialization, making many jobs challenging for those with social anxiety. If the idea of dealing with coworkers every day or having a supervisor watching your every move makes you uncomfortable, it may be helpful to look at jobs that have minimal social elements. Additionally, some jobs offer employee assistance programs that can include therapy, so it may be beneficial to take this into consideration when searching for a job.

10 jobs for people with social anxiety

Because people with social anxiety often fear being scrutinized, the best jobs usually don't require much face-to-face interaction. These types of jobs may allow employees to work independently and find their own success; not only that, but they tend to have fewer deadlines and less unhealthy pressure to complete work projects. Many job paths have these features, and some don't require a bachelor's degree. Some potential job paths may present the ideal solution for those with social anxiety.

  1. Health or medical technician

There are generally a variety of jobs available in the medical field. While someone with social anxiety likely doesn't want to become a nurse or a doctor, they may wish to consider becoming a health or medical tech since their social interactions with patients and coworkers may be relatively minimal.

While a person working in these jobs may not get through an entire day without some social interaction with others, it's often nowhere near as much as some other jobs. Medical scanning technicians, biomedical engineers, and ultrasound technicians can be some of the jobs in this field.

  1. Gardener or landscaper

If you love the great outdoors but are not so keen on people, then a job in landscaping or gardening might be worth considering. You could run your own landscaping company or gardening business, or you might work for a company or another individual. It's not likely you can go through every day without speaking to anyone, but for the most part, you may be left alone with your plants. 

iStock/Edwin Tan
  1. Information technology worker

IT, or information technology, is a job that requires minimal direct communication with humans. In some ways, it can be the ideal job for someone with social anxiety. Most of your interactions may be with machines, and there are often dozens of positions in this industry, from data analyst to network administrator. You may even be able to telecommute and work from home. IT jobs can be highly lucrative, but you must usually be good with computers and technology. If your strengths don't lie in this area, this may not be your job path.

  1. Counselor

At first, this might seem counterintuitive. Aren't you talking to people all day if you're a counselor or mental health therapist? Counselors can be a job that some people with social anxiety enjoy because they may be in complete control of their work environment. You may be talking to people about their mental health concerns, but you'll likely spend your time actively listening and occasionally encouraging others to speak. People with social anxiety may still possess specific social skills, and in many cases, can be excellent listeners. They may be able to empathize with others because they know what it's like to experience similar challenges with anxiety. 

  1. Chef

Some people with social anxiety may feel safe working in the confines of a kitchen. You generally do not have to be out on the floor socializing with customers, though there may be a certain amount of interaction with your coworkers. In many cases, kitchens have less strict guidelines and lack the corporate culture we often associate with office work, which may reduce some of the pressure a person can feel in those settings. You may feel more in charge of things and less anxious if you run your restaurant, so that may be a goal to which you can aspire if you pursue this job path.

  1. Tradesperson

If you're a tradesperson, you usually work "behind the scenes," so your social interactions with people may be reduced. Jobs in the trades can be ideal jobs for people with social anxiety because much of your time will likely be spent fixing things, setting them up, or tearing them down. These jobs can be somewhat labor-intensive, so that's something you may wish to keep in mind if you're considering this job path. Some possibilities can include plumbing, carpentry, painting, and electric work.

  1. Computer programmer

A job in computer programming may be helpful for a person with social anxiety because social interactions with other human beings are generally minimal. This might be your job if you can have long periods of independent focus. Many resources online can teach you to code, so you might try it in your spare time and see if you have an aptitude for it. Some jobs in this field include UX designer, mobile developer, social media manager, and full-stack web developer. 

  1. Accountant

If you love math and have social anxiety, becoming an accountant might be the perfect job for you. It's usually an office job, so there may be some socialization with other people, but not nearly as many different jobs. A lot of your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities will likely be independent with minimal social interaction involved. You may also work as a freelance accountant; this could mean most of your interactions would be through email or messaging services, especially if your clients also work remotely. If you worked with a company that engaged in online sales, for example, it's possible that the majority of their employees may work from home, meaning there may not be a physical office for you to visit at all. 

  1. Writer

Being a writer is another job that seems almost tailor-made for people with social anxiety. There are many types of writing that could be your niche, from fiction to technical writing, copywriting, and content writing. You can even create a blog post or series of posts specifically about your experience as a writer with social anxiety if you feel inclined to recount your journey with others. You may also write under a pseudonym if you'd prefer to maintain incognito, which can appeal to people with social anxiety. In many cases you can set your own schedule, giving you the opportunity to work at your own pace and engage in more self-care. 

If you work as a freelancer (also known as an independent contractor), you may never have to communicate with others face-to-face. There may even be opportunities in which video and phone calls are not required, and most communication can occur primarily through email or messages on different platforms. 

One thing you may wish to consider, however, is that writing can be entirely solitary. Some socialization is generally healthy for everyone, even those with social anxiety, and working as a writer can be isolating. It may be essential for your mental health to ensure you still spend time with loved ones regularly if you choose a job where you never have to communicate face-to-face with others.

  1.  Animal care worker

Working in animal care can be another option for those with social anxiety. If you work with animals, then a little interaction with pet owners may be unavoidable, but you may only socialize with animals most of the time. You might work in veterinary clinics as a vet tech, or be a dog walker, pet groomer, dog trainer, or zookeeper. You may also consider working in pet stores, which can involve some animal care elements. In some cases, working with “furry friends” can actually reduce a person’s feelings of anxiety and alleviate stress. 

Social anxiety treatments

While there may be plenty of jobs suitable for people experiencing social anxiety, it can still be wise to try to treat your anxiety. You can go through your life constantly looking for a new job or avoiding humans as much as possible, but it can make things challenging, as unexpected situations may arise where you need to socialize with others.

It can be nerve-wracking for those with social anxiety to meet with a new therapist in person. Visiting an unfamiliar location and speaking with a stranger can be anxiety-inducing. However, one way to alleviate some of this discomfort may be connecting with a licensed mental health professional through an online therapy platform. This way, you may attend sessions from the comfort of your own home and speak to your therapist via phone call or messaging if you do not feel comfortable talking on a video call.

Getty/Vadym Pastukh
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This study explains that online therapy can be as effective as traditional in-person therapy for various mental health concerns, especially anxiety disorders (such as social anxiety) and the effects of stress. If you believe you'd benefit from working with a therapist, please don't hesitate to reach out and get the help and mental health support you deserve.


Social anxiety can make it difficult to work many jobs, as most careers often require quite a bit of face-to-face communication with other people. Still, there may be many careers suited to those who live with social anxiety, such as the following:

  1. Health or medical technician
  2. Gardener or landscaper
  3. Information technology (IT) worker
  4. Counselor or therapist
  5. Chef
  6. Tradesperson
  7. Computer programmer
  8. Accountant
  9. Writer
  10.  Animal care worker

There are plenty of other work options to consider as well, including working as a graphic designer or photographer. It may be important to consider your unique skill set when choosing the best career for you; for example, a graphic designer may be one of the best jobs for someone who is creative or artistically inclined, while data entry may be one of the best jobs for people who like working with numbers.

Even if you have a job that doesn't require you to engage in much social interaction, it can still be beneficial to your mental health to work through your social anxiety with a licensed therapist, whether you choose to do so in a traditional therapy setting or through an online therapy platform. Social anxiety disorder can be treated, and you deserve to live a fulfilled and healthy life.

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