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Working alone: jobs that required little personal interaction in 2017

December 06, 2017

Throughout the workday, many workers must cooperate with others, handle conflict, and respond to social cues, requests, and criticism. Some jobs, however, involve little contact with others. Among computer programmers, for example, 62.0 percent of jobs in 2017 involve communicating with regular contacts, such as supervisors, less than once an hour but more than once a workday. Computer programmers communicate with other contacts no more than once a day (or never) in 68.1 percent of jobs.



Percent of jobs in selected occupations that require little contact with others, 2017
Occupation Communicate with regular contacts more than once per day but less than once per hour Communicate with other contacts no more than once per day (or never)

Computer programmers

62.0% 68.1%

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

58.9 53.6


58.0 77.4

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

53.0 79.9

Grinding/lapping/polish/buff machine tool setters, operators, and tenders — metal/plastic

52.0 100.0

Web developers

51.7 81.3

Electrical engineers

51.0 70.4

Assemblers and fabricators, all other

47.1 98.8

Industrial engineers

46.7 78.5

Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists

43.7 72.6

Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

43.4 68.9

Construction carpenters

40.4 79.1

Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers

38.6 90.9

Refuse and recyclable material collectors

37.2 74.3

Among web developers, 51.7 percent of jobs involve communicating with regular contacts less than once an hour but more than once a day. Web developers have contact with others no more than once a day in 81.3 percent of jobs.

Among assemblers and fabricators, 47.1 percent of jobs involve infrequent communication with regular contacts, and 98.8 percent of jobs involve contact with others no more than once a day.

These data are from the Occupational Requirements Survey. To learn more, see "Occupational Requirements in the United States — 2017" (HTML) (PDF). Regular contacts are people with whom a worker has an established working relationship. Regular contacts include coworkers, supervisors, clients and customers, or students seen regularly. People with whom the worker has no regular working relationship, including the public, are “other” contacts. The Handbook of Methods provides more information.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Working alone: jobs that required little personal interaction in 2017 at (visited May 22, 2024).

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