13 Best Careers for Multilingual Professionals
Updated December 9, 2022
There is an increasing demand for those who speak multiple languages, so being fluently multilingual can lead to more career opportunities or advancement. Companies across industries benefit when it has employees who easily connect with customers and clients because of their language skills. Whether learning foreign languages for personal or professional development, there are many career choices available for those who speak multiple languages. In this article, we explore 13 different careers for multilingual professionals across education, healthcare, travel, business, the arts and other industries to find a job using your language skills.
13 best careers for multilingual professionals
Explore these jobs for those who speak multiple languages to see career fields you can pursue:
National average salary: $26,404 per year
Primary duties: A law enforcement officer interacts with the diverse communities they serve in to patrol and protect them. They respond to emergency calls, help at accident scenes, make arrests, handle lost or stolen items, provide backup to other officers, interview witnesses and write reports about incidents. Given the challenges of the job and the various groups of people law enforcement officers work with, speaking multiple languages can help deescalate situations, save time, provide clarity and put the public at ease without needing an interpreter on the scene.
Read more: Learn About Being a Police Officer
National average salary: $13.79 per hour
Primary duties: A fashion show manager organizes, plans and executes events like fashion shows, parties and design launches all over the world. They manage every aspect of a runway show, from designers and models to stage production staff for lighting, sound and set building. In a global industry, being multilingual is essential to working with international talent and staff to communicate directives and instructions.
3. Tour guide
National average salary: $18.29 per hour
Primary duties: A tour guide is a travel professional who explains the context, history or background to important sights around the world. They offer cultural experiences and in-depth knowledge of the places travelers want to learn about and talk with tourists to help answer questions, give directions or provide recommendations. Being a multilingual tour guide provides countless opportunities for a career in nearly any city or country.
National average salary: $39.12 per hour
Primary duties: A journalist is a communications professional who investigates, collects and presents information through various mediums like newspapers, magazines, radio, television or online websites and digital platforms. They report on local, national and international happenings and can specialize in certain areas of interest such as sports, entertainment or government affairs. International journalists and foreign correspondents travel the world to cover important news, and knowing several languages lets them better understand cultural context, interview local people or interpret documents.
Read more: Learn About Being a Journalist
National average salary: $24.92 per hour
Primary duties: A flight attendant ensures the safety of a flight and its passengers. They greet customers as they board, demonstrate the safety features of an aircraft and offer food, drink and other comforts during the flight. Multilingual flight attendants can communicate with those who speak other languages, which is extremely helpful if an emergency or medical situation occurs.
Read more: Learn About Being a Flight Attendant
National average salary: $42,956 per year
Primary duties: A photographer is an artist or journalist who works with images, models, landscapes or natural surroundings to record events and tell stories. They can work locally, nationally or internationally, and many travel the world for projects or events. Being a multilingual photographer allows for continuous opportunities and an ease of communicating with people being photographed or helping with a particular shoot.
Read more: Learn How To Become a Photographer
National average salary: $46,552 per year
Primary duties: An interpreter facilitates communication between two parties who do not speak the same language. They convert messages from one language into another, specifically with spoken communication. Jobs for interpreters can range from customer service representatives to police or hospital interpreters or from presentations and public events to government meetings or international transactions. A multilingual interpreter may see more career opportunities or ones with higher levels of responsibilities.
National average salary: $47,023 per year
Primary duties: A translator converts messages from one language into another language, specifically with written communication. For example, a translator may convert a book or other literature from its native Russian language to English for print production in the U.S. Multilingual translators can find careers in the legal field, translating contracts, depositions and other documents or the medical field, working with patients and doctors or providing instructions on medication or equipment for safe use.
National average salary: $31.83 per hour
Primary duties: A college recruiter attracts students to a college or university, based on academics, sports or artistic talent or financial offerings. They review test scores and grade point averages, contact different high schools and preparatory schools or assess artistic and athletic abilities to determine the best students to place at a school. They can also work with graduate or doctorate programs. Many larger or well-known universities recruit worldwide, and additional language skills serve a recruiter well to better engage and converse with students, parents or colleagues.
National average salary: $49,276 per year
Primary duties: A human resources specialist interviews and hires candidates, enforces company policies and explains employee benefits like healthcare or wellness programs. They serve as a neutral party when listening to or investigating complaints of coworkers and make recommendations to managers for follow-up consequences or correction. Human resources professionals who speak multiple languages can more easily interact, understand and help current employees or candidates looking to apply and join the company.
Read more: Learn About Being an HR Generalist
National average salary: $55,916 per year
Primary duties: A foreign language teacher instructs students of all ages to speak, comprehend and write in another language through various methods, including spoken word, lesson work, video instruction, exams and books. They also give insight into the culture, history or literature of the country where the language is native. Foreign language instructors in formal educational institutions may require a teaching license or degree, though working as a private tutor or online instructor is also an option, and positions are often available around the world.
12. Registered nurse
National average salary: $61,767 per year
Primary duties: A registered nurse cares for patients in emergency rooms, hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities. They interact with doctors, fellow nurses, administrative staff and families of their patients. Registered nurses dispense medication, counsel patients and explain health conditions, provide support in operating rooms, perform physical assessments or chart patient progress. Being multilingual as a nurse is highly valuable to better communicate with those who have other primary languages, discussing symptoms and treatment or putting a patient at ease during recovery, for example.
National average salary: $82,360 per year
Primary duties: Government executives protect the country against threats and foreign adversaries, supervise or resolve issues for public interest, regulate the economy, and protect social, legal and political rights of citizens. They may work as intelligence officers, homeland security personnel, embassy staff, or ambassadors and diplomats. Government officials with multilingual skills can promote mutual understanding across nations, constituents, agencies or special operations.
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