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Romance Languages

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Romance Languages Major

15,623 yearly degrees
#74 in popularity
$64,000 median salary

Romance languages is a major that typically falls into the Foreign Languages & Linguistics category.

There are 159 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in romance languages, 1,638 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 334 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 147 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Romance Languages Degree?

In 2017, roughly 13,600 romance languages majors graduated with a bachelor’s degree. This makes it #38 in popularity of all the majors we track. This major is dominated by women with about 75.2% of recent graduates being female.

Racial Distribution

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

  • Asian: 2.8%
  • Black or African American: 4.2%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 28.8%
  • White: 55.3%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 3%
  • Other Races: 5.9%
Romance Languages Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in romance languages. About 3% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending romance languages majors to the U.S. are Spain, France and Italy.

What Will You Learn as a Romance Languages Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to romance languages to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Romance Languages Majors

A major in romance languages should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

Important Knowledge Areas for Romance Languages Majors

Skills for Romance Languages Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to romance languages:

Important Skills for Romance Languages Majors

Abilities for Romance Languages Majors

As a romance languages major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

Important Abilities for romance languages Majors

What Can You Do With a Romance Languages Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with romance languages:

Careers Related to Romance Languages
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Foreign Language and Literature Professors



Interpreters and Translators



Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education



Romance Languages Major Salary

Romance languages majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $55,000 to $79,000. 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, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Romance Languages Major  ( 55000 to 79000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Romance Languages Major Jobs

Some careers associated with romance languages may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

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

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Romance Languages
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Romance Languages Programs

There are 1,638 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in romance languages, with 19 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.

Is a Romance Languages Major Worth It?

The median salary for a romance languages grad is $64,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 65% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $508,800 after 20 years!

romance languages salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Susana Freixeiro via License

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