20 Careers for People who Value Independence

July 30, 2014 Renee Masur

graphic designer - Sokanu


These careers are for people that value independence in their work. They usually prefer working on their own and feel very comfortable making the decisions. They like having autonomy and responsibility in all the work they do.

Does any of this sound like you? Here are the top 20 careers for people who want independence.


Judges apply the law to court cases and oversee the legal process in courts. They commonly preside over trials or hearings of cases regarding nearly every aspect of society, from individual traffic offenses to issues concerning the rights of large corporations. They listen to arguments and determine whether the evidence presented deserves a trial. In criminal cases, they may decide that people charged with crimes should be held in jail until the trial, or they may set conditions for their release. They also approve search and arrest warrants. Judges interpret the law to determine how a trial will proceed, which is particularly important when unusual circumstances arise for which standard procedures have not been established.

Ship Captain

The captain of a ship is the leader of the entire vessel, the size of which can range in size from a small yacht to an entire cruise liner. Their duties on the ship fall far beyond the scope of a management position, as the ship captain must be proficient in every aspect of sailing, from ship operation to maintenance, and in the instance of touring ships, playing host to the passengers. The entire success of a ship's voyage lies on the captain's shoulders and how well they manage their crew.

Film Director

A film director is in charge of making sure that every component of a movie runs smoothly. Generally, these directors work on a movie from its conception stage to its delivery stage. They have a say in how the scenes unfold, what props are going to be used, how the characters should look and who should play specific parts. Directors also work with individuals in charge of lighting, scenery, writing and so forth to make sure that all of the elements come together. The director is in charge of the three main phases, which are pre-production, production and post-production. A director also has the responsibility of handling most of the budgetary concerns of a film. He or she will have to figure out how to make the movie work on the allowable budget. This might involve hiring actors who will work for lower pay, asking family members or friends to help out with some of the behind-the-scenes work or coming up with less expensive strategies for executing an idea.


A dentist is a physician who is involved in the field of dentistry. A dentist performs many important duties in the maintenance of oral health. Check-ups are a major part of the job and are important for patients keeping on top of their oral care. In addition to general check-ups, general dentistry involves basic treatments that can be done at a regular dental office. Such procedures might include filling a tooth, performing a minor surgical procedure such as a tooth extraction, and cleaning and polishing teeth. The health of the mouth is essential to the general overall health of the body and dentists will encourage and assist their patients in maintaining a healthy mouth by regular cleaning and check-ups.

Art Director

Art directors typically oversee the work of other designers and artists who produce images for television, film, live performances, advertisements, or video games. They determine the overall style or tone desired for each project and articulate their vision to artists who submit images, such as illustrations, graphics, photographs, charts and graphs, or stage and movie sets. Art directors work with art and design staffs in advertising agencies, public relations firms, and book, magazine, or newspaper publishers to create designs and layouts. They also work with producers and directors of theater, television, or movie productions to oversee set designs. Their work requires them to understand the design elements of projects, inspire other creative workers, and keep projects on budget and on time. Sometimes, they are responsible for developing the budgets and timelines.

Sustainability Officer

The CSO analyses and predicts a company or institution's future outlook, present stability and environmental impact. It is only within the last twenty years that corporations have begun to make the environment a priority while producing goods or providing services. The job requires a person who is dedicated to reducing the company's carbon footprint, in and above compliance to environmental regulations set by the government. The position is multi-faceted and provides the opportunity to be involved at almost every level of production.


The editor is one who edits a manuscript from both the author and audience's point-of-view. Changes that are to be made must feel like the author's authentic voice to keep him or her happy with the new and improved manuscript. The manuscript may also need changes that will keep the audience pulled in and interested for the length of the novel. One of an editor’s many challenges is to find a balance between the two.Editors supervise a range of functions in a publishing house and have many tasks that need to be accomplished before a book is ready to be launched. When people hear the word “editor” they usually imagine someone who spell checks and is a stickler for grammar. While this is true, a lot more goes into editing a manuscript. When a manuscript is picked for publication there are many alterations and decisions that need to be made before the book can go to print.


A surgeon is a physician who cuts the human body for the purpose of removing diseased tissue or organs, to repair body systems, or to replace diseased organs with transplants. Surgeons can be general surgeons and perform all types of surgery, or they can be specialized, such as heart surgeons or bariatric surgeons. Surgeons may be physicians, dentists, podiatrists or veterinarians. Surgery involves the cutting into the body to repair, replace, or diagnose disease. Surgeons carry out the procedures and are in charge of all aspects of the surgery process. They oversee the surgical technicians and they assistant in the operating room to be sure that all standards of care and safety are followed.


Curators oversee collections, such as artwork and historic items, and may conduct public service activities for an institution. Curators direct the acquisition, storage, and exhibit of collections, including negotiating and authorizing the purchase, sale, exchange, or loan of collections. They also may authenticate, evaluate, and categorize the specimens in a collection. Curators often oversee and help conduct the institution’s research projects and related educational programs.


Immunologists are doctors who have specialized in managing problems related to the immune system such as allergies and autoimmune diseases. Doctors in other fields of medicine refer their patients to them if they suspect their patient’s medical condition has to do with the immune system. A smaller number of immunologists are researchers with advanced degrees, either masters or doctorates, in immunology. They begin their careers as college graduates with bachelor’s degrees in related fields like biology and chemistry. Unlike those who start out as medical doctors, their main concern is not curing diseases related to the immune system but understanding them.


A chiropractor, or doctor of chiropractic medicine, is a licensed medical professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous system, especially in the spine. Chiropractors believe that many health problems can stem from the misalignment, or subluxation, of the vertebrae. The main aspect of treatment in chiropractic care is usually physical manipulation of joints and spine to bring them back into alignment. Chiropractors may also recommend exercises or offer health and nutritional counselling. Chiropractors do not do surgery or prescribe medication. Chiropractic medicine is sometimes referred to as a form of alternative medicine, though many chiropractors (and patients) do not agree with this designation.

Commercial Pilot

Airline and commercial pilots fly and navigate airplanes or helicopters. Airline pilots fly for airlines that transport people and cargo on a fixed schedule. Commercial pilots fly aircraft for other reasons, such as charter flights, rescue operations, firefighting, aerial photography, and crop dusting. Pilots spend a considerable amount of time away from home because flights often involve overnight layovers.


Veterinarians are medical professionals who protect the health and well-being of both animals and people. They diagnose and control animal diseases and treat sick and injured animals. They also advise owners on proper care of their pets and livestock. When taking the veterinarian's oath, a doctor solemnly swears to use his or her scientific knowledge and skills "for the benefit of society, through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge." They provide a wide range of services in private practice, teaching, research, government service, public health, military service, private industry, and other areas.


A principal is the head teacher or the leader of the school where he or she works. Principals are, in a sense, leaders of an entire community of learners. Principals can work in colleges, universities, high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, pre-schools and in daycare facilities. They can also oversee programs for such institutions as museums, job-training organizations and businesses. Principals work closely with vice-principals, teachers and other faculty with the common goal of providing a rich and safe learning environment for the students.


A gynecologist is a medical doctor that specializes in women's reproductive systems. Separate doctors that specialize in treating women have existed for centuries, and these ancient specialists are the forefathers of today's gynecological doctors and researchers. Gynecologists are often at the forefront of debates over women's health and healthcare. While a general physician may be able to pinpoint and treat minor women's health issues, the expert opinions of gynecologists are absolutely necessary when it comes to certain aspects of women's health.


Doctors can be found in several settings, including public health organizations, teaching facilities, private practices, group practices and hospitals. Medical doctors maintain or restore human health through the practice of medicine, which is the diagnosis and treatment for human disease, ailments, injuries, pain or other conditions. Not all doctors do the same thing everyday. Doctor's schedules differ depending on the kind of medicine they practice. Some doctors work in an office, others in the hospital, and some in places you may not think of, like laboratories where they develop new medicines and research cures.


Professors instruct students in a wide variety of academic and vocational subjects beyond the high school level. They also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books. They work in public and private colleges and universities, professional schools, junior or community colleges, and career and vocational schools. Outside of class time, their schedules are generally flexible. Educational requirements vary with the subject taught and the type of educational institution. Most commonly, professors must have a Ph.D. However, a master's degree may be enough for some postsecondary teachers at community colleges. In technical and trade schools, work experience may be important for getting a postsecondary teaching job.

Music Teacher

A music teacher is responsible for instructing students in the skills they need to become successful musicians in their own right. This includes the basics of teaching how to play an instrument, as well as fundamental musical concepts such as tempo, pitch, and rhythm. Some teachers work in schools from elementary to high school levels, and teach many students. Other teachers give lessons on an individual basis, and may work out of their homes or at a store. Some popular jobs include teaching piano, violin, guitar, or voice. At schools, these teachers are responsible for directing the school bands, choirs, and orchestras. They may also teach appreciation, theory, or composition classes to advanced students.


An architect is a designer, trained and licensed to work on the planning and design of buildings. The facets of an architect's role are as varied and fascinating as their work; these are professionals who lead the process of creating functional spaces, from concept and design to a full realization of those designs. Architecture is an art that works hand in hand with science to design places where people can live, eat, work and play. As a leader of various projects, from something as small as an addition to someone's home to something as large as a hospital, college campus, or an entire neighbourhood, the role of an architect is to bring together the creative ideas and visions of the client and keep in mind the needs of those that will be using the new space.

Molecular Biologist

Molecular biologists conduct research and academic activities. The research component involves the study of biological structures in well-equipped laboratories with advanced technology to help them explore complex molecular structures and their particular functions. The equipment may include microscopes, lab centrifuges, computers with specific software that allows them to analyze obtained data and many more. Molecular biologists work hard to discover specific patterns in certain biological materials and try to replicate the findings in other experiments to formulate biological hypotheses or theories. During their research work, experts in molecular biology attempt to isolate, purify and individually explore a particular component of a cell, such as a specific protein, a fragment of the DNA or a particular signaling molecule, which allows them to understand its function and then integrate and incorporate it in the complex, big picture of cellular function.

If you don't already know your compatibility with these careers, head over to Sokanu.com and take the free career test to see what careers would be a great fit for you! 

About the Author

Renee Masur

Renee Masur is the Community Manager for Sokanu and Island girl living in Vancouver. She loves people and their stories.

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