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Romance Languages Major

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Romance Languages

12,532 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,102 Master's Degrees Annually
#40 in Popularity
$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
Bachelor’s Degree 12,532
Master’s Degree 1,102
Associate’s Degree 1,041
Basic Certificate 504
Doctor’s Degree 387
Undergraduate Certificate 122
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

This major prepares you for careers in which these 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

As you progress with your romance languages degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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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?

People with a romance languages degree often go into the following careers:

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 Bachelor’s Degree in Romance Languages?

12,532 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
75% Percent Women
39% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
Romance Languages runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #40 out of all the undergraduate majors we track. In 2019, about 12,532 graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in this field. This major is dominated by women with about 75% 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 Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 325
Black or African American 498
Hispanic or Latino 3,682
White 6,818
International Students 444
Other Races/Ethnicities 765

Geographic Diversity

Romance Languages appeals to people across the globe. About 3.5% 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?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that romance languages students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $30,000 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $26,000 (25th percentile) and $34,200 (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

Average salaries range from $55,230 to $79,160 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to romance languages. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

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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250K

Some careers associated with romance languages require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for romance languages careers below.

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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 2018-2019, 1,016 schools offered a romance languages program of some type. 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
Southeast Asian & Pacific Languages 22
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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