According to the Occupational Information Network, a US Department of Labor database, there are more than 500 high-paying jobs that require one to have a good mastery and command of the English language.
While most of the high-paying jobs for English majors are hard to land, there are a few you can get either working part-time or full-time. You will, however, need to be smart, flexible, and willing to go the extra mile if you wish to land well-paying jobs.
Some of these jobs pay more than $100,000 a year, with a few paying as high as $200,000 a year. Below we highlight a few options projected to keep growing beyond 2026.
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High-Paying Jobs for English Majors (2021)
If you are an English Majors graduate and wondering which jobs you can do, here are some of the well-paying jobs for you. Some of these jobs pay well above $100,000 a year.
1. English professors
College and university professors are among the highest-paid professionals in the education sector. English professors play an integral role in developing the curriculum and are responsible for creating assignments, grading students, and shaping & streamlining future teaching methods.
English professors can also conduct academic research and write articles for academic journals. Typically, you need a Ph.D. in English to become a professor, which takes time and dedication.
According to the American Association of University Professors, the average salary for a full professor is $102,402 while associate professors enjoy an average annual salary of $79,654.
Being an editor is one of the high-paying jobs for English majors. An editor’s job is centered around improving the quality of written documents and making sure there aren’t any errors before they are published.
In comparison to proofreaders, editors are a level above and do more than just identify and fix grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. They plan, coordinate, revise, and edit written materials. They can also review proposals and drafts for possible publication.
In summary, some of their roles include:
- Reading copies to detect spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax errors
- Verifying facts, statistics, and dates using standard reference sources
- Reading, evaluating, and editing manuscripts submitted for publication
- Exchanging opinions with authors regarding changes in content, style, or publication
- Editing or rewriting copies to improve readability
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, editors earn an average annual salary of $73,910 with the highest earners enjoying more than $126,800 in wages annually.
Keep in mind that freelance editors can work from the comfort of their homes (and earn even more), which explains why they are among the best jobs for introverts without a degree.
Proofreading is also one of the high-paying jobs for English majors. Proofreaders read transcripts or manuscripts to identify and mark for correction any grammatical, typographical, and compositional errors.
Their roles include:
- Identifying textual and/or numerical inconsistencies, errors, and omissions
- Reading edited copies to ensure all errors have been fixed
- Comparing information on multiple records to identify errors
- Consulting with editors regarding manuscript changes & suggestions
- Forwarding documents with marked errors & corrections to editors, typists, or authors for correction
While proofreaders do not earn as high as editors, they still enjoy decent salaries. The mean annual salary for proofreaders is $44,670 with the top 10% earning more than $65,840 a year.
If you have an English majors degree and are passionate about writing, why not consider one of these high-paying jobs for writers? You can choose to become a:
- SEO copywriter
- Freelance writer
- Technical writer
- Grant writer
- Proposal writer
These are high-paying jobs where you can earn as high as $100,000 a year. Established SEO copywriters can earn between $10,000 and $25,000 a month while technical writers can earn as high as $119,000 a year.
Professional translation is among the high-paying jobs for English majors in the United States. Translators convert written documents from one language to another. They ensure the original meaning, context, style, and other aspects remain unchanged when the document is translated.
They also ensure the ideas and facts of the original document remain accurate in the final copy. Translators must find a proper way to transmit cultural references, slang, and other expressions that cannot be translated literally, which makes their task such a demanding one.
Having complete mastery of a second language is key to becoming a good translator because translations are often from a second language into a native language, though the vice versa is also applicable.
The mean annual salary for translators in the United States is $58,140 with the top earners getting as high as $96,480 a year. It is one of the few high-paying work-from-home jobs you can do without a degree.
Here is a short overview of what translators and interpreters do. Video courtesy: CareerWatch.
6. High school English teachers
You can also choose to become a high school English teacher and work with students in grades 9-12. You will instruct them on reading, writing, and grammar. Keep in mind that high school English teachers need to pass a state certification exam if they wish to teach in a public institution.
Although a bachelor’s degree is enough, having a master’s degree will open more doors for you as well as improve your overall pay. According to BLS, the mean annual salary for high school teachers in the U.S. is $67,340 with the top-paid 10% earning more than $102,130 a year.
7. Reporters & Journalists
Another high-paying job you can do with an English majors degree is to be a reporter or journalist. While most hiring managers would prefer to hire someone with a degree in journalism, others are open to hiring those with closely-related degrees such as English majors, political science majors, or creative writing.
The minimum you should have is a bachelor’s degree in a related field as it makes it easy to seamlessly transition and become a good, reliable journalist without necessarily having a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
The mean annual salary for news analysts, reporters, and journalists in the United States is $66,000, but you can earn as high as $170,000 a year.
8. Content managers
Content managers oversee the creation and distribution of timely, relevant content to audiences. Apart from needing knowledge of digital marketing techniques, methods, and software tools, content managers should also have a good mastery of English and SEO.
A content manager should have good project management skills and a deep understanding of the company’s brand voice and its target audience. This enables them to ensure the content created resonates with and is useful to their customers.
Content managers are always involved in the management of digital content projects and content creation teams. They often collaborate with others such as editors, copy makers, and proofreaders to ensure the content is quality and error-free before it gets distributed.
According to CareerExplorer, the mean annual salary for content managers in the United States is $39,907 with the top earners enjoying more than $73,375 a year.
9. Online English tutors
If you’re not ready to work as a teacher in schools or colleges, why not consider being an online tutor and work from the comfort of your home? Most tutoring websites and platforms do not require one to have an English majors degree, which means you can easily meet their entry requirements.
However, you should consider picking up certifications such as completing the Cambridge English exam or getting a TEFL certification. These qualifications/certifications will prove you’re the right pick for your students to learn and master the English language.
Platforms for English tutors include Preply, Tutors.com, Wyzant, Revolution Prep, and Knowledge Roundtable. The mean annual salary for online tutors is $40,391 with the top-paid experts earning more than $60,000 a year.
Although we have highlighted only a few high-paying jobs for English Majors in the United States, there are way more opportunities for you. You need to be flexible and quick to learn if you wish to be successful in a different field.