List of Jobs That Involve Languages

English-as-a-second-language teachers may work with adults or children.
English-as-a-second-language teachers may work with adults or children. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Jobs involving languages range widely and can fit many personality types. People who enjoy working with large groups, and people who prefer working one-on-one or independently may find a language-related job that suits them. Many of these jobs require at least a bachelor's degree.


Translators translate written documents from one language to another. They must have an excellent grasp of the grammatical conventions of both languages to create a polished document. Demand is expected to grow by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, and they made an average of $38,850 in 2008. A bachelor’s degree is typically preferred and some positions require an advanced degree.


Interpreters help people who speak two different languages to communicate. Some interpreters translate what a speaker is saying for an audience who speaks another language, including sign language, while others translate in business meetings, schools, courts and hospitals. As with translators, the BLS predicts demand will grow by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018, and they had an average salary of $38,850. Positions often require a bachelor’s degree and sometimes a graduate degree.


Teachers of second languages help students learn a new language. For example, these English teachers teach English courses around the world for nonnative speakers. Some teach in the U.S. They teach basic language skills to very young students or older learners in a classroom setting. They teach advanced skills to university students, and business English to professionals in workplace settings. Adult literacy and English-as-a-second-language instructors earned an average hourly wage of more than $22 in 2008, says the BLS, predicting jobs will grow by 15 percent between 2008 and 2018. Positions may require a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate and sometimes a bachelor’s degree. University positions usually require advanced degrees.

Speech Therapist

Speech therapists, or speech-language pathologists, assess and treat speech, language and other oral disorders like trouble swallowing. They work one-on-one with clients to address speech and language issues resulting from genetics, developmental disorders or traumas, such as stroke. The BLS predicts jobs will grow by 19 percent between 2008 and 2018, stating that the average salary was $62,930 in 2008. Jobs typically require a master’s degree.


Researchers study language disabilities, acquisition, and other linguistic concerns. They typically specialize in an area of linguistics and become an expert in that subfield. Linguistic anthropologists study how languages evolve, for example, and may specialize in particular cultures and languages. Job growth in the social science research field may grow by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018, says the BLS, with an average salary of $53,910 for anthropologists in May 2008. Researchers often have advanced degrees, particularly doctorates, and work for colleges or universities.

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