Jobs Requiring Language Skills

There are a wide variety of jobs requiring language skills, including those focusing on multiple languages or teaching others how to communicate. Some jobs require strong written language skills, while others involve polished verbal communication.

Career Options for Jobs Requiring Language Skills

Language skills are important in a wide range of career fields. Some careers involve providing information verbally or extensive writing, and it is important for professionals to understand how to relay appropriate information effectively. Some careers that specifically emphasize the use of language include writing, working with people who speak different languages and helping those who have difficulty speaking.

Job Title Median Salary* (2016) Growth* (2014-2024)
Adult Literacy Teacher $50,650 7%
Interpreter or Translator $46,120 29%
High School Teacher $58,030 6%
Reporter or Correspondent $37,820 -9%
Broadcast News Analyst $56,680 -9%
College Professor $64,400 13%
Speech-Language Pathologist $74,680 21%
Writer or Author $61,240 2%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Jobs Requiring Language Skills

Adult Literacy Teacher

Adult literacy teachers can prepare for a career in their field by completing a bachelor's degree, although teaching experience or a graduate degree may be preferred or required by some potential employers. Adult literacy teachers focus on working with adults who need to learn or master reading and writing skills. They may work with adults who did not complete high school, have a learning disability, or whose native language isn't English.

Interpreter or Translator

Interpreters or translators usually need to have a bachelor's degree, and they must be fluent in two languages. They convert one spoken language into another, in verbal or written form. They may also be a sign language interpreter; these interpreters are often certified nationally, and they convert sign language into a spoken language and vice versa.

High School Teacher

High school teachers instruct teenage students in their specialized subject area. They need to write lesson plans, assign work, grade student assignments and teach the material so that students will understand it. Since their work involves expressing information clearly and writing lesson plans, language skills are important for all high school teaching careers. Teachers who instruct students in English and language arts need exceptional language skills. They need a bachelor's degree in their discipline and a teaching license.

Reporter or Correspondent

Media professionals such as reporters or correspondents typically study journalism or communications and complete a degree in one of these disciplines before entering their profession. They may be involved in developing story ideas, doing research to find out more information about a specific topic, and using that research to write or verbally report the information to the public. These professionals usually work for news stations, radio stations, magazines or newspapers.

Broadcast News Analyst

Broadcast news analysts discuss opinions about specific topics in writing or on radio or television broadcasts. They are often required to be an expert in a specific field, and while they appear in news media, they most often do not have a background in journalism. In order to clearly articulate their area of expertise, broadcast news analysts may need a degree or work experience in their discipline, and clear language skills in order to communicate their point of view.

College Professor

Although it's common for college professors to have a doctoral degree, it is sometimes possible to teach at the postsecondary level with a master's degree. They specialize in a specific subject area; while all postsecondary teachers need strong language skills to write lesson plans and instruct classes, those who teach English language and literature need to be English language professionals, with a high degree of writing and language skills in order to effectively teach these subjects in undergraduate and graduate classes.

Speech-Language Pathologist

A speech-language pathologist needs a master's degree and they may also need to be licensed, depending on where they work. They help people who have difficulty with verbal language. They listen to patients to determine the issues affecting their ability to produce different sounds, and use exercises to help patients learn to speak as clearly as possible.

Writers and Authors

A degree in a subject area such as journalism or communications is usually required to work as a writer or author. These professionals present information in writing; they might write fiction stories, or they may research topics and write non-fiction material for books, magazines, brochures or other sources of print or online information. Writers and authors need to be capable of using written language to effectively communicate ideas and information to their readers.


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