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Romance Languages Major

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Romance Languages

13,023 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,212 Master's Degrees Annually
#38 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 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 13,026
Master’s Degree 1,212
Associate’s Degree 957
Basic Certificate 487
Doctor’s Degree 428
Undergraduate Certificate 85
Graduate Certificate 47

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

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

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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

Romance Languages majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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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 Bachelor’s Degree in Romance Languages?

13,026 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 #38 out of all the undergraduate majors we track. In 2018, about 13,023 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 362
Black or African American 549
Hispanic or Latino 3,758
White 7,207
International Students 386
Other Races/Ethnicities 764

Geographic Diversity

Romance Languages appeals to people across the globe. About 3.0% 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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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to romance languages.

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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250K
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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250K
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 2017-2018, 1,017 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) 80 6
Certificate (1-2 years) 24 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 6 2
Associate’s Degree 159 10
Bachelor’s Degree 23 0
Post-Baccalaureate 80 6
Master’s Degree 334 6
Post-Master’s 9 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 147 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 8,641
American Sign Language 2,660
East Asian Languages 2,323
Classical Languages & Literature 1,633
Germanic Languages 1,563
Slavic, Baltic & Albanian Languages 640
Middle Eastern Semitic Languages 568
Foreign Language, Literature & Linguistics (Other) 504
Native American Languages 45
Southeast Asian & Pacific Languages 26
African Languages 10
South Asian Languages 8
Greek Language & Literature 6
Celtic Language & Literature 6
Iranian & Persian Languages 6
Turkic & Central Asian Languages 2

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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