Career Information for a Degree in Celtic Languages and Literature

Degrees in Celtic languages and literature are designed to teach students how to write and read Celtic languages. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for Celtic language and literature graduates.

With a degree in Celtic languages and literature, it is possible to pursue a career as a foreign language and literature teacher, an interpreter and translator or an author. Job growth and salary can vary depending on the career track chosen.

Essential Information

In order for students to earn a degree in Celtic languages and literature, they must learn modern or archaic Celtic languages. These languages, which include Scottish, Gaelic and Breton, date back to 800 BCE. Most students who get this degree go on to get research and teaching positions at a university. Programs in this field require a lot of reading, linguistic practice and writing - so students should be dedicated to doing a lot of research in order to succeed. Students interested in Celtic language and literature typically have an advanced degree.

Career Foreign Language and Literature Teachers (Postsecondary) Interpreters and Translators Writers and Authors
Education Requirements Doctoral degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree often necessary for salaried positions
Other Requirements Certifications and licensure available Knowledge of a second language Specific certifications (such as in grant writing) are available
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 11% 29% 2%
Median Salary (2015)* $61,380 $44,190 $60,250

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Students interested in studying Celtic languages and literature do a lot of research, and there are many work avenues available to them after graduation. Below are several overviews and descriptions of possible career options for Celtic language and literature graduates.

Language Teacher

Although not commonly spoken, Irish and Welsh languages are popular enough to second-language learners that a market exists for Celtic language teachers and professors. The audience is relatively small, so it might be not be easy to find a job outside of university environments. Some language teachers make a living working independently, advertising their services and offering classes without any institutional backing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment of postsecondary foreign language teachers was expected to increase by 11% from 2014 to 2024. As of May 2015, postsecondary foreign language and literature teachers earned a median annual salary of $61,380, according to the BLS.

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Translators and interpreters decipher communication across linguistic lines, defining word meanings from one language to another in situations where audiences, readers, conference participants, journalists, etc., cannot understand written or spoken words otherwise. Translators generally render a written foreign language into another language, while interpreters convert an unfamiliar tongue for a listener or listeners, often as it's being spoken.

The BLS predicted that jobs for translators and interpreters would grow 29% from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. However, Celtic languages might create lesser demand than other languages, such as Chinese or Spanish. As of May 2015, the median annual salary for a translator or interpreter was $44,190 per year.


According to the BLS, writers, authors and editors typically need at least a bachelor's degree. The website of the Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies department at the University of Iowa offered journalist, technical writing and publishing executive job options for graduates of master's and doctoral degree programs in this field. Writers can face tough odds when it comes to being published, although technology makes self-publishing more accessible. The BLS anticipated a 2% increase in employment of writers and authors from 2014-2024. As of 2015, the BLS-reported that the median annual salary for this field was $60,250.

Celtic languages are not widely used today, which means that individuals with a degree in Celtic languages may have more limited job opportunities than the job growth projections for careers as an author, interpreter or translator or foreign language and literature teacher may suggest. The highest job growth from 2014-2024 will be for all interpreters and translators, with the BLS estimating a 29% increase in jobs in that field during that time period.

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