Everyone has different goals or reasons for learning another language, but no matter what yours are I’m sure you’ve already seen some of the great benefits of acquiring a second or third tongue. But wouldn’t it be great if your language skills could translate into more career opportunities and chances to earn money? It turns out you can! Here are 6 amazing career paths that require you to know more than one language.
While you will need some sort of degree or certification if you hope to teach a foreign language in a school, you can still find many opportunities even without a degree to back you up. English teachers are in high demand in many Asian nations and even schools are willing to pay under the table for a good instructor. Once you create a reputation as a good teacher you can branch out into private and online tutoring. These will give you more flexibility and control over your career and you can take on as much or as little work as you like!
Walk into any museum in any major city and you’ll discover that multilingual employees are vital part of how the institution functions. But you won’t be limited to just that if you decide to go into hospitality or tourism. You can work as a concierge in a hotel, or a city tour guide. You’ll have opportunities to meet and chat with people from all around the globe and will constantly be learning more about the city you live in! While this type of work does require stamina and patience, it’s a very rewarding career path for polyglots.
3. Foreign Service
Depending on which languages you speak, Foreign Service might be the perfect line of work for you. Foreign Service includes diplomats, ambassadors, and consulate employees—all of which must have a good grasp of the local tongue before they are even considered for positions in embassies abroad. This line of work is highly competitive, which isn’t surprising considering you’re given a slew of benefits including housing and good pay (not to mention you get to live it up overseas).
4. Flight Attendant
Have you ever been on a flight and heard the captain list which languages each flight attendant speaks? That’s because bilingual and multilingual flight attendants are indispensable on international flights—after all, these flights are basically massive tin cans full of a conglomeration of people from around the world. Knowing how to speak more than one language will give you a leg up in this industry, and working as a flight attendant will give you chances to travel extensively. Did I mention you can get huge discounts as an airline employee for those times when you want to travel on your own dime?
It is actually possible to make a career out of your language learning journey, and choosing to go into blogging, writing, and social media management can be an excellent way to do that. There’s a high demand for online content in languages like Spanish and French, and if you can write effectively in more than one language you can easily find work writing for other websites, or try your hand at starting your own multilingual travel website. Once you find your niche, you’ll love the freedom doing this sort of work gives you, and travelling might actually become your job!
I once had a roommate in Taiwan who was employed by a museum in Taipei as their English-Chinese proofreader. Obviously she was fluent in both languages, but the job was pretty great; it paid well, wasn’t stressful, and was relatively flexible. Working as a proofreader, you only need to focus on catching the mistakes the translator missed – which means you’re the last bastion of grammatical correctness. Editing is a similar type of work and the good news is it’s easy to do on a freelance basis and goes hand-in-hand with proofreading. These are both great jobs, but remember you need to have a firm grasp of grammar, syntax, and flow in order to do them well.
What are some other great career paths you can pursue as a bilingual or multilingual? Do you have a job that requires you to know more than one language? Share your experience with us!