Arabic Language Careers

When an individual has a specific skill, like speaking a foreign language, they may want to use that skill professionally. Those who speak Arabic may be interested in considering professions such as the ones referenced here.

Career Options for Arabic Language Speakers

Speaking a foreign language may be a requirement for some professions, and it may be an asset in many others. Individuals who speak Arabic may find that they can pursue careers in education, transportation, law enforcement, communication and management that involve using their Arabic language skills regularly.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Outlook (2014-2024)*
Postsecondary Foreign Language Teachers $63,500 11%
Interpreters and Translators $46,120 29%
Police and Detectives $61,600 4%
Flight Attendants $48,500 2%
Immigration and Customs Inspectors $78,120 (for all detectives and criminal investigators) -1% (for all detectives and criminal investigators)
Top Executives $103,950 6%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Arabic Language Speakers

Postsecondary Foreign Language Teachers

Postsecondary foreign language teachers instruct students in the study of foreign languages, such as Arabic, in colleges or universities. Postsecondary teachers normally need a doctoral degree, although it may be possible to start out in this field with a master's degree. Those who teach Arabic will need to be fluent in it, and their job tasks include planning lectures and lessons, grading assignments and exams, advising undergraduate and graduate students, and serving on academic committees. Professors typically pursue their own research and publish papers in addition to teaching, so a professor of Arabic would continue to advance their own knowledge of the language and culture.

Interpreters and Translators

Interpreters and translators are usually required to have a bachelor's degree and be fluent in more than one language. Those who speak Arabic may be drawn to this career field so that they can spend their career interpreting or translating Arabic to English and vice versa. Interpreters take things stated verbally in one language and then present that same information out loud in another language. Arabic-speaking translators would focus on converting written materials, such as changing Arabic texts to English or vice versa.

Police and Detectives

Police and detectives help ensure laws are followed and investigate crimes. They must complete police academy training, and those interested in working for federal law enforcement agencies may need to have a bachelor's degree. Speaking a second language can be an asset when working with ethnic communities or immigrants, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation employs language analysts who use their foreign language skills to assist with criminal investigations. Individuals who speak Arabic may be interested in using their skills in this type of career.

Flight Attendants

Flight attendants look after passengers during flights. Since there are many flights that go overseas, those who speak Arabic may be interested in working on routes to and from the Middle East so that they can effectively communicate with Arabic-speaking passengers. Foreign language skills can be helpful, particularly if a passenger does not speak English, and fluency in a second language may be required for some international routes. Flight attendants need to have a high school diploma and Federal Aviation Administration certification.

Immigration and Customs Inspectors

Immigration and customs inspectors process people who are entering the country. Since they often need to communicate with people from different countries throughout their shift, foreign language skills can be an asset. Individuals who speak Arabic may want to consider working in immigration and customs to assist Arabic speakers who are visiting or moving to the United States. It's possible to enter this career field with a high school diploma and on-the-job training, although an associate's degree may be an asset.

Top Executives

Top executives oversee business operations for the company or organization they work for. Those who work for international companies may need to travel regularly as part of their work, so individuals who speak Arabic may be interested in pursuing this type of career with a company that has offices in Arabic-speaking countries. Top executives typically need a bachelor's or master's degree and relevant work experience. Communication skills are important in this career field, so those who interact with colleagues from Arabic-speaking nations will find that their ability to speak the language is an asset.

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