Careers for Language Lovers

There are a number of careers that would be a good fit for language lovers, including jobs that involve teaching, speaking and studying languages. Explore the educational requirements and salary potential for a few of these jobs.

Careers That Are a Good Fit for Language Lovers

Individuals who can speak different languages or who just enjoy working with languages in general have several career options in fields like education, anthropology and travel. Below, we will explore five different career paths that language lovers may want to consider.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Interpreter/Translator $46,120 29%
Postsecondary Foreign Language Teacher $63,500 11%
Anthropologist $63,190 4%
Flight Attendant $48,500 2%
Tour Guide $24,920 5%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Information About Careers for Language Lovers

The following five careers are varied in that some of them require a significant amount of education after high school, while others require more on-the-job training. The skills required to be successful in each position also vary, so language lovers should consider their own skillsets as well as the type of education they want to pursue when selecting a career path.

Interpreter/Translator

Interpreters and translators work with multiple languages as part of their daily job, making it a good potential option for individuals who love languages. Interpreters provide real-time or consecutive translating services for individuals who do not understand the original language, and they work in settings like conferences, meetings, and in medical and legal cases. Translators convert texts that are written in one language into another so that they are accessible by a wider audience. To become an interpreter or translator, you will need to be fluent in at least two languages, and a formal degree in a foreign language may be helpful.

Postsecondary Foreign Language Teacher

As a postsecondary foreign language teacher, you will be responsible for creating lessons, homework, and exams with the goal of teaching students a new language. You may work with students who have no prior knowledge of a foreign language or those who are more advanced and need help refining and improving their skills. For language lovers who like to teach, this may be an ideal option, since it would allow you to exercise your language skills every time you taught a class. To become a foreign language teacher at the postsecondary level, you will need at least a master's degree in the language you plan to teach, though positions more commonly require a doctorate.

Anthropologist

Anthropologists are involved in the study of human development and behavior throughout history in different regions and cultures around the world. They often conduct research through interviews, observation, and through more traditional scientific means like taking and testing samples. Since these professionals study other cultures, it is often necessary to have an understanding of different languages in order to properly evaluate old texts or artifacts or to conduct interviews in another language. To become an anthropologist, you will usually need a master's degree or Ph.D. in the field.

Flight Attendant

Flight attendants work on passenger airplanes, providing in-flight service to passengers while also making sure that they follow safety procedures. For people who love languages, a career as a flight attendant on international routes may be a good option, since you may sometimes be required to make announcements in other languages or speak with passengers who aren't fluent in English. To become a flight attendant, you will need at least a high school diploma and must complete training through the airline that hires you.

Tour Guide

Tour guides are individuals who lead groups of tourists to various attractions like monuments, museums, and other interesting places, either in their home country or abroad. They also may set up other types of tours, like city food tours or historical walking tours, to give tourists further information about their destination. Being a tour guide may be a good option for people who love both languages and travel, since knowledge of other languages could give guides opportunities to work across the globe. Being able to speak another language or two would also help tour guides communicate with visitors to the U.S. who speak limited English and ensure that they enjoy their tours. There is no specific education required to become a tour guide, though you can expect to receive some on-the-job training.


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