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14 Highest-Paying Jobs for English Majors

The best jobs for english majors allow them to use their passion in the workplaceTake heart, thou English majors; thou jugglers of words and smiths of prose. Thine education was not toiled in vain! 

Majoring in English has gotten a bad reputation over the past few years. Sure, you can write and understand Shakespeare, but can you offer value to an employer? Does anyone in the market actually need someone with an English degree? Can reading and analyzing classic works actually result in food on the table and a paid light bill? Yes it can! 

There are actually many English degree jobs from high-quality employers. As you’ll discover, this is more than a niche degree, and you can do more than be an English professor.

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English Major: What Skills Will You Learn? 

An degree in English might not seem like the most job-ready education in the world, but you may be surprised by how many skills you’ll gain that are directly related to the workplace. These skills are not only useful to employers, they can be applied to a wide range of industries. With a BA in English, you will develop excellent written and oral communication skills, making you an important addition to many different companies. 

Throughout your English program, you’ll take many different courses that cover a wide range of topics related to English and literature. Many courses will focus on reading and analyzing novels, but subject matter can also include short stories, poetry, and even plays. You may, for example, be tasked with reading an important piece of literature and explaining, in clear writing, the overall theme and message of the work. BA in English courses can include history of writing, rhetoric, critical thinking, mechanics in writing, and American or British literature. 

First of all, you’ll learn to write well. This not only includes proper grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation, it means learning to write in a manner that is engaging and effective. Many different education paths will touch on writing, but in English, it becomes one of the main subjects, allowing you to hone your skills as a writer and communicator. From business memos to song lyrics, understanding quality writing is the foundation of an English major. 

You’ll also learn to read analytically. Being able to take in information and understand it, then, if needed, reframe this information so it can be understood by others, is a skill that many employers will appreciate. An English major will also train your mind to not just read, but read in an efficient manner, which will be important when you start one of the best jobs for English majors. 

Being an English major will also teach you to meet deadlines with writing, communicate in a clear manner, and think critically about all information.

Minors that Complement an English Degree

While taking your classes, you may be required to select a minor while majoring in English. Choosing the right minor may depend on the types of jobs you will pursue after college, but common options include art history, general history, literature, psychology, humanities, linguistics, or a foreign language. If you will be looking for a job in the business and finance world, a business degree or minor in economics would be a strong addition to your BA in English.

Most Lucrative Entry-Level English Major Jobs

When you first enter the job market after college, you’ll have a lot of different options in front of you. With a BA in English, there is almost no industry that is off-limits, as all areas need good communication and analysis of information. The next three jobs, however, are lucrative options for entry-level English majors.

#1   Freelance Writer

Avg. Salary: $40,000

Want to use your English degree before you graduate? Want to make money on the side and see if it blossoms into a full-time career? You can join the ranks of millions of Americans who make a living through freelancing and find plenty of jobs for English majors with no experience. As a freelance writer, you get the chance to choose your own hours, select your assignments, and work at your own pace, and you may be surprised by just how much money you can make. If you know how to write, there are many different resources for finding quality work. Pinning down an exact salary for freelance writers can be tough, but Pay Scale says that the average salary for writers in their first five years of freelancing is roughly $40,000. They also claim that the average hourly wage is $24.37, which, with 52 40-hour workweeks, would mean a salary over $50,000 a year.

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  • Southern New Hampshire University


#2   News Reporter

Avg. Salary: $38,870

These English major jobs can include all types of information media, including television, radio, and newspapers. They typically provide information that informs the public on issues and events, and can be responsible for news ranging from local to national to global. Although they work in an office, newsroom, or studio, they often spend much of their time in the field gathering information. The average salary for these English major jobs is below $40,000, but the top 10% can earn an average over $163,000, making it a lucrative career for people who stay with it. In most cases, the career trajectory starts in a small market and stair-steps upward to larger metro areas.

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#3   Announcer

Avg. Salary: $30,830

These professionals work primarily in radio, delivering news, sports, and music to listeners. They may, depending on the specifics of the job, interview guests or provide commentary on specific issues. Although speaking is a major part of this job, an English degree helps announcers write scripts that are clear, effective, and engaging. Unfortunately, the job market for announcers may be declining. According to the BLS, the field will drop by 11% between 2014 and 2024. $30,000 may not seem like a significant income, but this job creates a great opportunity for English majors just entering the job market. Besides that, the top 10% can earn an average over $89,000. In most cases, initial training to work sound or video equipment will be required.

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Best Jobs for English Majors

 Advertising Manager  Average salary: $127,560 (Top 10% can make over $208,000)

If you are looking to make a lot of money with your English major, take an a English major job in advertising and work your way to advertising manager. This career is certainly tough, requiring you to develop every aspect of advertising, from budgets to conceptions to execution. You’ll guide research, create long and short-term plans, and meet with clients to provide advice or sell your services. Add in hiring talent and negotiating prices, and you have a full career that will keep you plenty busy. But don’t worry, you’ll be rewarded! The average advertising manger makes $127,560 a year, making it one of the best jobs for English majors. The top 10% will make roughly $208,000, creating even greater earning potential. The job also has consistent growth, sitting at 9% between 2014 and 2024.

 Lawyer  Average salary: $118,160

The career will require an extensive legal education, but majoring in English at the graduate level is an excellent start before law school. Lawyers need to communicate effectively with people from many different background and many different levels of education. They not only need to discuss cases with their clients, who likely don’t understand “legalese,” they also need to talk with partnering and opposing attorneys, as well as judges. This career makes $118,160 per year, while the top 10% will bring in more than $208,000. The career growth is expected to be at 6%, which is just under the national average.

 Public Relations Manager  Average salary: $107,320

If you choose to apply your English degree to public relations, you may eventually earn a job as a PR or fundraising manager, one of the best jobs for English majors. In this position, you will write press releases, determine how to reach the right audience, help clients communicate, and develop an organizations identity, among many other responsibilities. The pay for this job is substantial, and the highest 10% of the career can earn more than $205,000. Job outlook is decent, with an expected rise of 7%, placing the career right alongside the national average.

 Technical Writer  Average salary: $69,850

There are many complex machines and technologies in our modern world. How are we supposed to figure it all out? With the help of technical writers, we just might stand a chance. These professionals determine the information needs of users and create documents that help people understand various types of technologies. These documents can be used across a wide range of platforms, including online and paper resources. Technical writing is difficult, and this is reflected in the pay. The average tech writer earns $69,850, while the top 10% average $111,260. Job growth is expected to be 10%, but technical writers will need lots of experience with both writing and handling technologies.

 Writer & Author  Average salary: $61,240

This is probably the classic English major job. Fiction or nonfiction are just two of the different categories of work you can create as an author. In this career, you’ll get to choose subject matter, conduct research (even if it’s fiction), create scripts, present initial drafts, and work with editors to refine and revise your content. Writers and authors average over $61,240 a year, but the top 10% can earn a sizable income, averaging $118,000. Although the job growth will only be 2%, which is slower than average, this is a popular career that gives you the opportunity to become a star in the writing industry. Job growth is expected to be 6%, which is right around the national average.

 High School Teacher  Average salary: $58,030

Few people have English major jobs that are as challenging and rewarding as the high school teacher. Preparing students for life after graduation, teachers provide lessons on many different subjects, which can include English and writing. The average teacher in America makes roughly $58,030, while the top 10% earn over $92,000 a year. Job growth is expected to be 6%, making it a steady career choice. An English degree will give you initial preparation, but you’ll need to complete licensing and certifications to apply.

 Public Relations Specialist  Average salary: $58,020

When you think of public relations, you might think of marketing and advertising. While that certainly applies, public relations specialists also need to communicate effectively, which often meant creating written content. In many cases, a PR specialist will write and edit articles that will help shape the public image of a company. The average PR specialist makes over $58,000 a year, while the top 10% will earn over $110,000. At 6%, job growth is expected to be steady, making this one of the top jobs for English majors.

 Librarian  Average salary: $57,680

Even in the modern digital world, librarians are still needed. Librarians can help patrons with research, teach classes about information technologies, and organize library materials. They may also be tasked with developing and implementing databases or researching new books to add to the library’s collection. Librarians earn an average over $57,000, while the top 10% can bring in roughly $90,000 a year. To be a librarian, you’ll eventually need a master’s degree in library science, which is complemented by an English degree. With an expected job growth of 2%, opportunities may be a slightly limited in the future.

 Editor  Average salary: $57,210

This job will have many different responsibilities beyond reviewing copy. An editor may review for spelling and grammar, but they can also rewrite text, verify facts, evaluate submissions, and assign articles to specific writers. In many cases, they will act as a manager for a writing team. At $57,210 a year, this is already one of the best-paying jobs for English majors, but the top 10% can make an average of $111,610 a year. To work as an editor, you’ll likely need extensive experience writing for yourself or for others. You’ll want to start by finding a quality copywriting job or similar work to start down this path.

 Paralegal  Average salary: $49,500

If you think of the legal profession, you probably think of law school, but many people in the field have bachelor’s degrees that include English, which helps legal workers communicate effectively. This job assists lawyers by researching facts, investigating laws, organizing documents, and (especially for English majors) writing reports to help trial preparations. This English major job has an average income of $49,500, placing it well above the national average for yearly salaries. Experienced and effective paralegals in the top 10% of the pay scale bring in $80,260, and growth is expected to be a steady 8%.

 Interpreter & Translator  Average salary: $46,120

For this career, you’ll obviously need fluency in another language, such as Spanish or Mandarin Chinese, or Arabic, but an English major will help you better understand the structure of language and make you a more effective communicator. In this job, you will convert information from one language to another. As an interpreter, you will work with the spoken language, while translators work with written language (think transcripts). People in this profession bring in an average of $46,120, but the top 10% will average over $83,000. With continuing globalization, the demand for this profession is expected to skyrocket, rising 29% from 2014 to 2024, making it one of the most promising English major careers.


Selling Yourself as an English Major

Now comes the fun part: convincing employers that majoring in English has made you an effective and useful addition to their team. So how is this done? Start with the basics. The most important factor for English degrees is communication. Every employer in every industry needs quality communication, and if any job includes written documents of any type, you have the potential to be an important employee.

English majors also have the ability to think critically and develop creative solutions to problems and issues affecting businesses. Many employers love how English majors can deal with obscure, indirect concepts and create comprehensible solutions.

Finally, the ability to read, review, and recycle information should not be overlooked. The legal profession, for example, will have lots of industry-specific terminology written by long-winded attorneys. It takes someone with the training and skills of an English major to cut through the jargon and tell people exactly what they need to know, in relatable terms. This principle applies to many industries, including technology, medical, and financial sectors.

These skills, while conceptual and potentially obscure, are often a top selling point for anyone with an English degree.  

Continuing Education for English Majors

When you complete your English degree, you can dive straight into the best jobs for English majors, or you can continue your education. Even if you choose an English major job, you still have the option of going back to school at any time.

For many people majoring in English, the common choice is to attend graduate school. This can be an important step if you wish to teach English, literature, or writing at the high school or collegiate level, as you will gain a deeper understanding of the English language and how it applies to modern forms of writing. 

However, attending graduate school is not the only option. In fact, anyone with a BA in English should stay well-versed in writing techniques. You can join various writing groups, which can be attended online or in person. 

There are also certificate programs available for writers of all types, from novelists to technical writers. Certificates not only make you more attractive to employers, they also enhance your skills in a wide variety of areas. Organizations that offer writing-based certificates include the American Marketing Association, the American Writers and Artists Inc., the Content Marketing Institute, and HubSpot, an influential digital-marketing company. 

There are also many professional conferences that you can attend throughout your career. These conferences are often designed for aspiring or active authors, but there are conventions that tailor to English majors who work in a professional business environment.

Cement Your Future with an English Degree

You can have a top-quality online english degree degree at a price you can afford. GetEducated meticulously calculates total tuition including any fees for each program in our directory. Click on any english degree in our database for more information including reviews from students like you.

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