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Careers Involving Languages & Travel

People with foreign language skills and a love of travel can find work in diverse fields, such as government service, sales, tourism, law or teaching. Learn about a few of these career options, including their education and travel requirements.

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Career Options for People Interested in Languages and Travel

Those people who enjoy travel and have skills in multiple languages may want to consider finding a position in the government, becoming a tour guide, selling overseas, or finishing that law degree. Below is some vital info on a list of possible travel jobs needing language skills.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)**
International Sales Manager $77,267 5% (for all sales managers)
Foreign Service Officer $83,325 N/A
International Lawyer $118,160** (for all lawyers) 6% (for all lawyers)
Overseas Teacher $45,163 6% (for all preschool through secondary school teachers); 13% (for all postsecondary teachers)
Travel Guide $29,413 0%
Flight Attendant $48,500 2%

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Language and Travel Positions

International Sales Manager

Importing and exporting goods is huge around the world. International sales managers work with businesses to aid in the purchase and delivery of products. This may include finished products like furniture or parts that are imported or exported to build automobiles. There is a lot of travel involved with this type of sales, and knowledge of the languages involved is extremely helpful when dealing with different governments and business owners. Most sales managers begin with a bachelor's degrees, and many companies in the international market want their sales force to hold master's degrees or doctorates.

Foreign Service Officer

Foreign service is a federal government position where a variety of language skills are often necessary. Job growth in this field is hard to determine because of constant political changes due to elections in our own country or government changeover in other countries. Foreign service workers may work in overseas consulates or embassies, often helping U.S. citizens with issues. Travel visas come through these offices, and employees aid tourists or immigrants in obtaining the proper paperwork. Depending on the position, workers at these facilities may have specific job training; some hold bachelor's degrees, and others have higher degrees in law or international relations.

International Lawyer

Lawyers work for clients, individuals or businesses, guiding them through legal paperwork like contract, court proceedings or government investigations. International lawyers specialize in the laws specific to certain countries. They are especially needed for companies doing business around the globe. They must be not only knowledgeable in U.S. business law, but also the laws of foreign countries as they apply to importing and exporting. Lawyers must hold law degrees at least. Many international lawyers also earn a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Law.

Overseas Teacher

Many countries around the world look to hire American teachers to improve their citizens' skills in English, computers and other technical fields. Overseas teachers with additional language skills can work for private companies, foreign governments or at U.S. federal facilities. Overseas teachers work with organizations to meet foreign expectations through lesson plans adhering to the goals of the subject matter. A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement to teach outside of the U.S., but a master's will be required at some companies or to teach at an institute of higher learning.

Travel Guide

Tourism is vital to numerous economies around the world. Travel guides provide a service to tourists by escorting them around various sites, giving them interesting information about the area and facilitating communication with residents, which necessitates the ability to speak the local language. These positions do not require a specific degree, but some formal education may be needed, depending on the job's location.

Flight Attendant

The job of flight attendants is to travel from city to city, serving flight patrons for various airlines. Flight attendants assist with seating passengers, demonstrating safety instructions, and serving snacks and meals. Flight attendant work can be domestic as well as international, and those on international flights may be required to speak a second language. For many of these jobs, they receive a food and quarters allowance. These professionals must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Usually they have at least a high school diploma, with customer service experience.

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