Employment Trends

9 top jobs to pursue if you’re bilingual

Written by Michael Hoon

Having another language under your belt can be a huge career asset in today’s crowded market. People on two sides of a language divide will rely on you to effectively and fluently convey information back and forth. If you’re bilingual (or looking to add another language to your skillset), read on to learn about the best jobs for people with this valuable skill.

1. Translator/Interpreter

This is sort of a no brainer, but it’s a much-needed and thriving career. Whether your skills are best written or verbal, a wide variety of institutions and organizations need people who speak different languages available—think hospitals, conference centers, educational institutions, courts, immigration facilities… the list goes on and on.

2. Emergency Services

When people call for an emergency, they need to be heard and understood without delay. If someone calls with limited English skills and you are able to help them in their native tongue, you’ll save the say for everyone involved. Consider joining fire or police departments or becoming an EMT.

3. Human Resources

Most companies are looking to improve workplace diversity, so bringing foreign workers onto the payroll is key. An HR department that can communicate with new hires? A no brainer. Human resources specialists recruit, interview, and place workers.

4. Customer Service

Why deal with irate calls in only one language? Or better yet: why not help companies grow their customer base by helping to field queries and complaints in not one, but two languages! Multilingual call centers are already a norm, so they’re always on the lookout for multi- or bilingual applicants with cultural sensitivity and stellar people skills.

5. Social/Community Work

Help people in their own communities and in their own languages. Americans come from so many diverse backgrounds that it’s often a huge plus to be able to help someone in their native tongue—whether you’re a social worker or a disaster relief worker, etc.

6. Bank Teller

Banks can be intimidating and confusing places on a good day. Now imagine no one speaking your language. Be a hero and help people through transactions in their first language.

7. Immigration Specialist

Chances are, if you’re working to help people acquire legal status in the United States for the first time, they might not be totally fluent in English right off the bat. Help them through the trying process in their own language.

8. Flight Attendant

Set yourself apart from the other candidates by boasting that you can communicate with customers on board in more than one language. Having another language in your pocket (or multiple languages!) increases the safety and understanding of everyone on the plane, and can make a flight more comfortable for someone whose English isn’t great.

9. Teacher

As this list has shown, knowing another language other than English makes you hirable in a variety of fields. Why not help the next generation of workers be able to communicate fluently in another language? You’ll get to pass on your passion to a group of kids and ensure that they will be armed with a valuable skill that will enhance their personal and professional lives.

About the author

Michael Hoon