Foreign Language, Literature Salary, and Career Opportunities for Graduate Students


Foreign language knowledge is growing as an important life skill and workplace qualification. In addition to being able to travel to other countries and speak with their inhabitants, graduates can use their linguistic skills to find rewarding employment in fields such as foreign language teaching, interpreting, or consulting.

Average Salary for Language and Literature Graduate Majors

Since there are varying careers with Language and Literature majors, it’s difficult to provide an average salary. Therefore, this post will use a teacher and professor as markers for the average annual salary of a degree holder in Foreign Language and Literature. According to Glassdoor, the national average annual salary of a foreign language and literature teacher is about $51,990. The annual salary can range from $38,000+ to $80,000+ for this position.

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On the other hand, as a professor at a university with this degree, the national average annual salary is about $95,432. This position’s salary can range between $72,861 to $142,401, according to Salary.com.

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Foreign Language Teachers Translators and Interpreters Consultants
Education Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, doctoral degree Bachelor’s degree Bachelor’s degree
Job Duties Help students develop knowledge in a second language Convey knowledge or information from speakers of one language to audiences of another Ease cultural tensions and ensure smooth communication
Median Salary(2015)* $61,380 (postsecondary foreign language teachers) $44,190 $81,320 (management analysts)
Job Outlook(2014-2024)* 13% (postsecondary teachers) 29% 14% (management analysts)

Foreign Language and Literature Degree Job Opportunities

According to the University of Denver, there are many common job titles that Language and Literature degree holders occupy. They aren’t only expected to enter jobs with a need for foreign language and literature degrees, such as the education industry. They can also enter careers like the ones below, and these are just the beginning of career options.

  • Attorney
  • Consultant
  • Customs Agent
  • Development Officer
  • Editor
  • Educator
  • Executive and Administrative Staffer
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Foundation Manager
  • Human Resources Director
  • Import/Export Specialist

In addition to the list above, language and literature degree holders also have a set of valuable skills that can be used in several different careers. This includes the ability to observe and evaluate their surroundings. As a literature major, the students aren’t only reading, but they also evaluate the reading and put that effect into life. Another useful skill is communication. Being a language and literature degree graduate, the students can communicate in many ways some people can’t even begin. In addition to this skill, the students will also have a deeper understanding of diversity, culture, ideas, etc. Therefore, the students will be more appreciative of these things. This is a useful skill in Human Resource jobs. All of these skills play well in collaborating with different teams, which can increase the efficiency of work and other aspects.

For more information, refer to Jobs, Salaries and Career after Masters in Foreign Languages and Literatures.

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About Sai Valluru

Sai Valluru is an undergraduate student at UMass Boston. He has worked and interned at many technological start-up companies. Sai Valluru is primarily majoring in Computer Science and is minoring in business. With his goal to complete his Bachelor's in Science, Sai Valluru intends to take his Master's in Business Administration in the upcoming future.

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