Bureau of Labor Statistics

Field of degree: Foreign language

Foreign language field of degree. Employment: 764,860. Median annual wage: $52,000.

Foreign language field of degree. Employment: 764,860. Median annual wage: $52,000

Table 1.

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Table 1. Foreign language degree, 2018

Data

Foreign language

All fields

Employment

764,860 55,381,020

Median wage

$52,000 $59,000

Percent employed part time

20 15

Percent employed in occupations requiring at least a bachelor's degree

61 59

Percent with an advanced degree

51 37

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.

Chart 1.

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Chart 1. Types of foreign language majors, 2018

Foreign language majors

Major share

French, German, Latin, and other common foreign language studies

68%

Linguistics and comparative language and literature

17

Other foreign languages

15

Note: The sum of percents by major may not total 100 due to rounding.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.

Chart 2.

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Chart 2. Employment distribution of workers with a foreign language degree, by occupational group, 2018

Occupational group

Occupational group share

Educational instruction and library occupations

21%

Management occupations

14

Business and financial operations occupations

10

Office and administrative support occupations

9

Sales and related occupations

7

Other

39

Note: The sum of percents by major may not total 100 due to rounding.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.

Table 2.

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Table 2. Top-employing occupations for workers with a foreign language degree

Occupational Outlook Handbook profile

Percent growth, projected 2019–29

Typical entry-level education

Percent degree holders in this field, this occupation, 2018

Percent of this occupation with an advanced degree, 2018

Health specialties teachers, postsecondary

21% Doctoral or professional degree 6% 74%

Management analysts

11 Bachelor's degree 2 36

Accountants and auditors

4 Bachelor's degree 2 26

Elementary school teachers, except special education

4 Bachelor's degree 8 50

Lawyers

4 Doctoral or professional degree 4 93

Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education

4 Bachelor's degree 3 53

Education administrators, kindergarten through secondary

4 Master's degree 2 55

Physicians, all other; and ophthalmologists, except pediatric

4 Doctoral or professional degree 2 100

Personal service managers, all other; entertainment and recreation managers, except gambling; and managers, all other

-2 Bachelor's degree 4 21

Customer service representatives

-2 High school diploma or equivalent 2 4

Note: Occupational profiles may comprise multiple SOC occupations, which may have differing education categories.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program (projected growth, entry-level education) and U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (degree holders, advanced degrees).

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Field of degree: Foreign language,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/field-of-degree/foreign-language/foreign-language-field-of-degree.htm (visited October 07, 2021).

Last Modified Date: Monday, November 30, 2020

Telephone: 1-202-691-5700 www.bls.gov/ooh Contact OOH

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