Hugh Sexey Church of England Middle School
Together we believe; Together we achieve

4) Jobs in Languages

Here are just a few jobs where knowing a second language is essential.

For definitions of each job, click on the document below.

Match the jobs and the descriptions. 


  • International sales / marketing executive
  • Logistics and distribution manager
  • Interpreter
  • Translator
  • Foreign Correspondent / International Journalist
  • Diplomat
  • Language Teacher
  • International aid worker / development worker
  • Tour manager / Travel guide

Carrie Gracie Visits Chinese Orphanage

Watch the award-winning BBC foreign correspondent, Carrie Gracie, interviewing a Chinese boy, orphaned by a recent earthquake.

Interpreter in action

David L. Lauman, Spanish interpreter at 20/20 Translations, demonstrates consecutive and simultaneous interpreting.

Of course, it is not just language specific jobs where languages can be important; they can also lead to better prospects within many different types of work.

For example:

Which languages are worth the most money in the UK?      (Edvoy; 23 Sept 2020)



A quick scan of recruitment sites in the UK shows that German is the most in-demand foreign language in the UK. But it’s also the highest paid language, with German speaking employees earning an average of around £35,000 per year. Given the tidy salary, it comes as no surprise that the most popular careers for German speakers in the UK are in the business, tech and finance worlds. 



Jobs requiring Arabic in the UK are not in great demand, but they are well paid. Approximately £34,000 is the average annual salary for Arabic speaking jobs, many of which involve trade, import and export, often of oil and other natural resources. Outside of these fields, there’s the opportunity to work in customer support, market research, publishing as well as translation.



France, much like Germany, is one of the UK’s closest trading and business partners. This means that French speaking employees in the business world are both highly sought after and well paid. On average, £32,000 is taken home per year by those who work with French. Outside of the business world, French is also the most popular second language at UK schools, so you could always get a good job in the world of education.



It’s the close working relationship between the UK and the Netherlands that makes this language a very useful one to have in the business world. Dutch speaking employees in the UK make an average of around £30,000 per year, but fair warning: While Dutch pays well, it’s not in such high demand. This is most likely because of the fact that about 90% of the population of the Netherlands can speak English fluently. That’s a seriously impressive stat!



Another language that pays an average of around £30,000 per year in the UK. Spain is becoming increasingly attractive for UK companies, most notably for the strong economy and much, much better weather! Tourism from the UK to Spain has long been a booming industry, so there’s always the possibility of working in that sector too. But the Spanish language has a much broader coverage than just Spain. It’s the second most widely spoken language in the world (after Mandarin Chinese), and is spoken natively in 9 out of 13 south American countries. This, of course, boosts your job prospects and value, as the number of countries you could deal with increases.  



At the moment, Russian speaking jobs in the UK average at about £29,000 per year, but this is expected to rise, as is the demand for Russian speakers in the future. Business and financial relations between the two countries are set to become much tighter in the post-Brexit UK, and so the prospects for Russian speakers are expected to improve accordingly. 


Mandarin Chinese  

This is one to watch for the future. As of today, Mandarin speaking jobs in the UK pay around £28,000, and they’re not overly in demand. But watch this space... China has grown into an economic powerhouse. It has one of the world’s strongest economies, now has more millionaires than the USA, and is the world’s leading country in both manufacturing and exports. In short, China is a very powerful country, and the world is keen to make friends with her to reap those economic benefits. 

Though while Mandarin is the world’s most spoken language, here’s the rub: the overwhelming majority of Mandarin speakers are, well, Mandarin Chinese people. Non-Chinese people who can speak Mandarin fluently, rare as they are, are set to be of tremendous value in the next decade or two. It’s a hard language to learn, no doubt, but it could soon be worth an absolute fortune.