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Romance Languages Major

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Romance Languages

1,102 Master's Degrees Annually
387 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#106 in Popularity (Master's)
$64,340 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Romance Languages Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many romance languages graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 1,102
Doctor’s Degree 387
Graduate Certificate 23

What Romance Languages Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, romance languages majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Romance Languages Majors

Romance Languages majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Foreign Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills for Romance Languages Majors

romance languages majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for Romance Languages Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a romance languages student include the following:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

What Can You Do With a Romance Languages Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with romance languages:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Foreign Language and Literature Professors 11.7% $67,640
Interpreters and Translators 17.7% $49,930
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 7.5% $60,320

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Romance Languages?

1,102 Master's Degrees Annually
68% Percent Women
36% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This major is dominated by women with about 68% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of romance languages majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Romance Languages Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 8
Black or African American 30
Hispanic or Latino 342
White 409
International Students 237
Other Races/Ethnicities 76

Geographic Diversity

Romance Languages appeals to people across the globe. About 21.5% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Spain
  • France
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Colombia

How Much Do Romance Languages Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in romance languages was $37,100 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $37,100 (25th percentile) and $37,100 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in romance languages, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Romance Languages majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $55,230 to $79,160 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Romance Languages Major  ( 55230 to 79160 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some careers associated with romance languages require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to romance languages have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 0.3%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 0.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.9%
Bachelor’s Degree 41.2%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 7.2%
Master’s Degree 23.0%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 4.3%
Doctoral Degree 21.5%

Online Romance Languages Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 1,016 schools offered some type of romance languages program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 90 6
Certificate (1-2 years) 22 2
Certificate (2-4 Years) 7 1
Associate’s Degree 161 12
Bachelor’s Degree 24 1
Post-Baccalaureate 90 6
Master’s Degree 330 7
Post-Master’s 10 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 149 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Romance Languages Worth It?

The median salary for a romance languages grad is $64,340 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 61% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $488,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to romance languages.

Major Number of Grads
Linguistics & Comparative Literature 8,639
American Sign Language 2,762
East Asian Languages 2,438
Classical Languages & Literature 1,544
Germanic Languages 1,494
Slavic, Baltic & Albanian Languages 609
Middle Eastern Semitic Languages 579
Foreign Language, Literature & Linguistics (Other) 512
Native American Languages 37
African Languages 12
South Asian Languages 11
Celtic Language & Literature 10
Turkic & Central Asian Languages 3
Iranian & Persian Languages 2
Greek Language & Literature 1

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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