A love of literature and language prompts many college students to pursue an English major. As mastering English builds a number of skill sets, graduates have many career options available to them. The earlier you begin planning for your future, the easier the transition between school and professional life. Unless you plan to attend graduate school after college, start drafting your transition plan at the beginning of your junior year. Brainstorm possible careers, perform research, and consult trusted friends and family for advice.

No matter how you proceed after reading this article, rest assured that English majors possess a myriad of career options, including positions in the classroom and the boardroom. Your career path may end up requiring additional training or education, but you should already possess the majority of skills necessary to succeed.

A young writer sits at a desk before a large window, hurriedly typing out a report on a laptop.

Skills Gained in an English Program

Students earning their undergraduate or graduate degrees from one of the best colleges for English majors develop valuable skills applicable to many career paths. These skills include proficiency in communication, critical thinking, organization, research, writing, and grammar. In class, students hone these skills through discussions, essays, and research papers. Graduates can go on to refine their skills throughout their careers by completing additional training and earning certifications. The list below describes more about these skills and their importance to English professionals.

Communication

Students majoring in English focus on improving their reading, writing, and speaking skills. With excellent communication skills, graduates can successfully market themselves to potential employers who may not have initially considered hiring them.

Critical Thinking

By analyzing literature, English majors hone their critical thinking skills. Employers value applicants who possess highly developed critical thinking skills — these applicants possess the ability to view an issue from multiple angles and suggest appropriate solutions.

Organization

Employers in every industry value organized employees who stay on task, meet deadlines, and successfully manage projects. English majors can improve their organizational skills by maintaining a professional calendar, investing in organizational materials or applications, and volunteering to lead groups of peers when taking part in class projects.

Research

English majors write many research papers; therefore, they understand how to research topics and turn that research into written reports. Some jobs for English majors may ask applicants to provide an example of their research ability, which can be done by submitting a copy of a research paper. Once hired, employees may put these skills to work by creating projects such as white papers and website copy.

Writing and Grammar

Many employers stop reading applicants' resumes if they discover writing and grammatical errors. For this reason, English majors who perfect their writing and grammar skills possess an advantage over other applicants.

Why Pursue a Career in English?

Adaptability and flexibility are key traits to have when looking for a career and trying to prove yourself to potential employers. English graduates possess strong liberal arts backgrounds that showcase their ability to adapt to many job responsibilities.

English majors can succeed in several high-paying jobs that offer career advancement opportunities. Recent graduates should expect entry-level jobs for English majors to pay less than entry-level positions in some other areas, including STEM fields. However, individuals can continue their education through professional development or by earning advanced degrees — both of which can raise their salary potential.

Beyond external motivations, many students pursue a career in English simply because literature and writing are their passions. Most students want to pursue a career where they can put their interests to good use.

How Much Do English Majors Make?

The industry you choose can affect your salary significantly. Once hired, your job function is also a significant determining factor. In most cases, your salary should improve as you accumulate professional experience and earn promotions.

Two professionals who perform similar job functions at similar companies can also earn unequal salaries if they live in different parts of the country. Wages may also vary if workers possess different degrees. Below, you can learn more about the median salaries for English majors by degree type.

Degree

Bachelor's Degree

$53,000
Degree

Master's Degree

$68,000
Degree

Graduate Degree Wage Program

$15,000 (28%)

Interview with a Professional

Jonathan Yagel

Jonathan Yagel

Vice President, Spire Labs

Jonathan Yagel is the vice president of marketing and engagement for Spire Labs, a digital innovation and app development company that has built Spire, Rove, and Peak. Jonathan is responsible for all business development, channel partnerships, growth and user acquisition initiatives, and messaging and media relations for the company. He holds a bachelor's and master's in English from the University of Virginia.

Why did you decide on an English degree?

I actually used an inductive, rather than deductive, methodology. For my first several semesters, I simply chose the classes that seemed most deeply interesting. By the end of my second year (when I had to choose a major), I'd taken a wide range of courses across the liberal arts, but English courses were most predominantly represented — both in courses I'd already taken and in courses I was still excited to take. I've always loved to read, and the opportunity to focus on fiction and to explore the power of language was a very appealing framework for my continued studies.

What are some of the most useful skills you gained throughout your English program?

"Writing well" seems to be the default answer, which is accurate in that it's representative of a broader ability to organize one's thoughts and clearly communicate them. However, I also believe that studying English provides the student with the ability to study humanity in a unique way — through how we have represented ourselves, throughout history. Fiction brings together art and philosophy and history and psychology and anything else that has to do with humans and presents not only what people have done or are doing but what they want to do and could possibly do. Fiction trades in possibilities and potentialities, which is good mental exercise.

What would you say to people who argue against liberal arts degrees such as English? Why is a strong liberal arts background so valuable today?

This is a really large question! So, to give an over-simplified answer, I believe the liberal arts provide us with the opportunity to study and reflect on the things that make us truly human. English and English literature, in particular, are very focused on communication and narrative, and a deeper understanding of those things increases our capacity of understanding ourselves and everyone around us.

What advice would you give students who are on the fence about earning a graduate degree in English? Is it worth it?

I would say that really depends on your intended career. My situation was unique, because I was able to complete my master's in just one year and, with in-state tuition, it was relatively inexpensive. So, I was able to use this additional year to more deeply explore some of the academic topics and themes that I'd begun to pursue in undergrad.

It really depends on what you're looking for from your degree! On the one hand, having "English major" on your resume will likely not make you particularly competitive for your first job... but on the other hand, after your first job, your major doesn't matter all that much. I would focus on studying something in which you can really immerse yourself. The ability to deeply study something, to do independent research, to develop original analysis and communicate your thoughts... all of those are priceless in the professional world. I've found that people are more apt to be able to develop those skills when studying [something] they're really passionate [about].

I'm always a little concerned when I hear someone tell me they think that studying something they hate will get them a job they love. It's possible, but employers tend to want employees who will work hard, and employees tend to work hard when they love what they do.

Beyond the professional implications, spending four years learning to read carefully and write clearly will serve you immensely well in your personal life. We are all inundated with information every day, and the ability to process all of it and communicate your own perspective will help you in every aspect of your life.

In most situations, though, given the high financial cost and significant time commitment, the undergrad-to-grad transition is generally a moment to determine whether you are interested in a professional career in the world of academics. If you are interested in teaching, researching, and academic publishing, then, by all means go for it! However, if you're unsure about what you're interested in doing, I wouldn't recommend pursuing grad school just as a means to put off that decision. I would say that is just as true for professional grad schools (e.g., law, medical, or business school) as it is for liberal arts grad programs.

For someone who's on the fence, I would recommend joining the working world for a little while and see how it goes. If you find yourself pining for academia, then definitely go back to grad school. But, again, I wouldn't recommend it as a default.

How was your job search after graduating? How did you end up in your current position?

After undergrad, I did a one-year master's program through the English department, which allowed me to take grad school classes during my senior year and then write my thesis and complete the remaining coursework during my fifth year.

After grad school, I moved to Brazil for the better part of a year to be a teacher at a trade school for a low-income community with a nonprofit called Seeds of Hope (SOH). I'd developed a relationship with SOH and the school through spring break trips during undergrad, and I supported myself through fundraising. After Brazil, I was expecting to join the advertising world as a copywriter and already talked with a lot of people in that industry. However, my plans were thrown off when I had to leave Brazil early and rather suddenly based on a visa renewal issue.

So coming back to the U.S., I was sleeping on a friend's couch [and] sending out as many applications as possible. I primarily focused on places where friends were working, both to give me a sense for what the work experience was like and to hopefully provide a favorable recommendation to the hiring team. In the meantime, a friend of my brother's was starting a company, so I contacted him and asked if I could help out. He was open to it, so I moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to become the first full-time business hire. I fully expected to only stay for a few months (if the company even lasted that long), but the company went on to survive and grow, and I discovered a love for the tech startup world.

Almost eight years later, I'm actually still at the same company! The company is called Spire Labs and has continued to evolve. In general, we are a technology innovation and app development company and have built a variety of products in several different industries, from consumer health apps to employer wellness platforms to, most recently, a new personal finance app called Peak (which, fittingly enough, is focused on helping recent graduates to stress less and save more). Personally, I've been very fortunate to be able to try out a lot of different roles, from marketing to PR to business development to account management to strategy to operations to management.

What additional advice would you give English majors entering the job market?

If you're still in school, the biggest advice I have is don't rely on your major to get you a job. Start exploring career paths that interest you as soon as possible. Reach out to professionals you admire to ask questions. Someone once told me to "dig your well before you're thirsty," and that very much applies here. Take advantage of your school's resources (alumni networks can be a magical thing), but also seek out any person you're interested in emulating.

As for when you've actually crossed over... the biggest lesson I learned, transitioning into the working world, was the importance of initiative. In school, the entire institution is structured to keep you occupied and provide a clear path. The curriculum is provided for you, and the best way to succeed is to color inside the lines. In the real world, it's vital that you be able to be self-motivated and take it upon yourself to identify problems and propose solutions. This was particularly apparent in the deeply unstructured environment of a tech startup, but the ability to take responsibility for your own work and your own path is the foundation for success in any role or industry.

So, in general: Take courage. The downside of being an English major is that it doesn't have an automatic career path attached to it, but the upside is that there's no predetermined path for an English major. It can be frightening, but you have the opportunity to blaze your own trail. Because of the breadth of possible applications, your English degree will serve you well, wherever you go, but it's up to you to decide where that will be.

Educational Path for English Majors

Earning Your Degree

As with most career paths, earning a bachelor's degree will help you qualify for most entry-level careers for English majors. A bachelor's degree conveys to potential employers that you possess English-related skills and have completed a well-rounded liberal arts education. Graduates with associate degrees might find similar career opportunities, although they typically earn lower salaries compared to employees with bachelor's degrees.

If your career goals center on research-intensive English careers — like college professor, researcher, or advisor roles — you should earn a master's or doctoral degree. These degree paths emphasize independent research and prepare learners to produce scholarly work, including doctoral dissertations. Dissertations can be useful when it comes time to apply for jobs — they are a way for you to demonstrate your education and capabilities.

Online programs offer students a way to earn their English degrees on a more flexible basis, which may be particularly convenient to learners balancing school, work, and/or family obligations. Some online programs even boast lower tuition rates than on-campus programs, and students who attend online programs can save on costs related to room and board, transportation, and childcare.

How Many Years Does it Take to Enter This Field?

Associate degrees typically take two years to complete. You can then transfer your credits to a bachelor's program, which requires an additional two years of study. An undergraduate education involves approximately 120 college credits. Many master's programs require two more years and 45-60 credits. The length of a doctoral program varies the most, as the majority of your time in the program consists of researching and writing a dissertation. Students typically take 4-6 years to earn their doctorates and complete 90-120 credits in the process. If your career goal requires you to earn a professional license, such as a teaching license, you may need to complete additional requirements outside of those related to your degree.

Beyond course requirements, your program's learning model also influences how long you need to remain in school. In an individually paced program, your course load each semester is flexible and you move through the curriculum at your own pace. Alternatively, in a cohort learning program, you take a set number of courses each semester with the same group of classmates; this structure is more rigid but allows for more collaboration and networking.

Concentrations Available to English Majors

As with many academic majors, English majors can often select a concentration that matches their interests and career aspirations. At the bachelor's level, individuals can take some specialized courses exclusive to their concentration. In these courses, students learn with like-minded peers and form many of their first professional relationships. These courses appear more frequently at the master's and doctoral level, when students further refine their concentration to match their interests and career goals. Below, you can learn more about popular concentrations available to English majors.

  • Creative Writing: Creative writing courses ask students to write original short stories, poems, and creative nonfiction. Students who excel in these courses often go on to publish their work in professional magazines and journals. Many graduates who concentrate in creative writing work in fields such as marketing, advertising, and sales. These industries need creative thinkers who can hook and engage potential customers and clients.
  • Literature and Cultural Studies: In literature and cultural studies tracks, students explore the relationships between literature and culture. Many students who select this concentration double major in a field such as history or political science. Students who excel in a literature and culture concentration often become teachers, professors, or researchers.
  • Film Studies: Film studies asks students to examine scripts and film techniques to gain a better appreciation for the medium. After graduation, students who concentrate in film studies often go on to film school or become screenwriters.
  • Rhetoric: Rhetoric involves persuasive speaking and writing. Students concentrating or majoring in this area often join debate teams or other clubs at their school where they can practice their rhetorical skills. Individuals talented in rhetoric may excel in the law field — attorneys require strong persuasive speaking and writing skills to succeed.
  • Gender Studies: Gender studies represents an interdisciplinary field covering topics such as feminism and the LGBTQ+ community. This concentration asks students to use many of the same skills as their English courses, such as analyzing texts, performing research, and writing papers. After graduation, English majors with a concentration in gender studies often work at nonprofits and other organizations that promote gender equality.

What Can You Do With a English Degree?

Careers available to English majors hinge on an individual's highest level of education. A bachelor's degree represents the minimum level of education required to work in many positions. However, graduates often need to obtain additional education and training to advance into management-level positions. Some companies and organizations pay for employees to earn their master's degrees if workers agree to stay at the company for a certain period of time. Only at the graduate levels do individuals gain the ability to teach at the postsecondary level.

In addition to marketing, many English majors who graduate with a bachelor's or master's teach at the primary or secondary level. Others work as fact-checkers, writers, and proofreaders. After gaining experience in one or more fields, some English majors become self-employed freelance writers.

Associate Degree in English

Graduates with an associate degree in English can work in many fields. Although these jobs pay less than positions intended for graduates with bachelor's or master's degrees, individuals with an associate degree can still advance up the corporate ladder to more lucrative positions. If you begin working after earning your associate degree in English, you may also decide to return to school later to earn your bachelor's degree. When attending interviews, ask potential employers if they provide employees with incentives for earning advanced degrees. Also, taking a job after earning your associate degree can help you fund an online bachelor's degree program.

Teacher Assistant

Teacher assistants work in the classroom alongside licensed classroom teachers. Their duties include managing student behavior, organizing materials, and instructing students in a teacher's absence. English majors possess the skills necessary to help younger students — such as those in preschool and kindergarten — learn essential reading and writing skills. Many teacher assistants go on to become licensed teachers by obtaining additional education and training.

Salary: $24,000

Preschool Teacher

Preschool teachers teach young children the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in elementary school. Instructional topics may include spelling, writing, basic math, and interpersonal skills. An English major's knowledge of the English language gives them a tremendous advantage when teaching young children reading and writing fundamentals.

Salary: $31,000

Library Technician

Library technicians help visitors find materials, shelve returned items, and maintain basic recordkeeping. English majors often excel in this position because it allows them to share their love of literature, books, and knowledge with library visitors. Library technicians may return to school to earn a degree in library science.

Salary: $36,000

Freelance Writer

Freelance writers work for different companies on a contract basis. They may produce white papers, website copy, and blog posts. English majors excel in this profession as they can consistently create clean, error-free copy.

Salary: $40,000

Desktop Publisher

Desktop publishers keep track of written materials produced by large companies or organizations. Much of their work involves ensuring that published material is free of errors and that the content and tone match the intended audience. An English major's editing skills can make them a strong candidate for desktop publishing positions.

Salary: $47,000

Bachelor's Degree in English

Earning a bachelor's in English opens up a wider variety of job opportunities and increased earning potential. Students in bachelor's programs complete a well-rounded liberal arts education that includes many advanced English courses. Students may also choose a concentration during this time. Learners should focus on choosing a concentration that is closely related to their ultimate career goal.

Editor

Editors review their employers' work, checking both grammar and content. Senior editors typically earn higher salaries due to their expertise and ability to lead teams. Companies that hire editors often require that applicants hold a four-year degree. However, they may make exceptions if applicants possess a robust professional writing portfolio.

Salary: $51,000

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations specialists advocate on behalf of their employers. They oversee marketing campaigns, give interviews to the press, and research ways to raise a company's public awareness. English majors concentrating in creative writing can excel in this career — public relations specialists require creativity and strong problem-solving skills.

Salary: $47,000

High School Teacher

High school teachers instruct students in grades 9-12. They may also lead student clubs or coach sports. Although a bachelor's in English qualifies graduates to become English teachers, many also gain certification in related subjects to increase their chances of obtaining employment.

Salary: $49,000

Grants Administrator

Grants administrators use their research, writing, and organizational skills to manage grants at their company or organization. These workers ensure that grant recipients follow stipulated rules and coordinate grant-related activities with other employees.

Salary: $57,000

Technical Writer

Unlike freelance writers, most technical writers work for one company as a full-time employee. Their job duties may include writing technical manuals and instructions for company staff and clients. English majors with bachelor's degrees possess both the writing and editing skills required to succeed in this position.

Salary: $59,000

Author

Authors usually work for themselves, producing creative writing products for companies and organizations. Many authors supplement their incomes by writing fiction or creative nonfiction. As clients desire a mix of experience and education when hiring authors for projects, a bachelor's degree often represents the minimum education required for this position.

Salary: $51,000

Journalist

Journalists research sources to write stories on a variety of topics. English majors with strong writing, editing, and interpersonal skills possess the ability to seek out sources and write cutting-edge articles. English majors interested in journalism should consider minoring in the subject and/or writing for their student newspapers or other campus publications.

Salary: $40,000

Master's Degree in English

Professionals who possess bachelor's degrees often return to school as a way to advance their careers and increase their salary potential. For example, learners can earn a master's in creative writing. In addition to honing their writing and editorial skills during a master's programs, students can guide their education toward specializations like research, rhetoric, or a specific period of literature. Students who earn a master's degree often go on to earn their doctorate in English or work as a community college lecturer. Individuals who earn a master's in English or creative writing can do so online, allowing them to continue working while they complete their degrees.

ESL Teacher

ESL teachers help non-native speakers master the English language. They often work in elementary schools, middle schools, or high schools, teaching specialized classes to accelerate students' English language acquisition. In addition to possessing an English degree, ESL teachers often speak, read, and write at least one language other than English.

Salary: $43,000

Teacher (Community College)

In community colleges around the nation, teachers help recent high school graduates and nontraditional students master different academic topics. A master's in English may qualify graduates to work as an English or literature instructor at some community colleges. These teachers require additional education if they aspire to become professors at four-year colleges or universities.

Salary: $48,000

Communications Director

Communications directors manage public relations staff at a company or organization. They also oversee released information and act as the public face for their employer when they give interviews to the press. A master's in English with a concentration in rhetoric prepares graduates for this career.

Salary: $78,000

Editorial Director

Editorial directors market their employers' services and products. Job duties may include developing business contacts, managing teams of editors, and developing plans to increase editorial productivity while reducing costs. As creative thinking plays an essential role in this position, candidates with a master's in English or creative writing offer potential employers a valuable skill set.

Salary: $92,000

Doctoral Degree in English

The doctoral degree is the English field's terminal degree. The majority of students who pursue a doctorate in English plan to work as professors, department chairs, or in other high-paying positions at the collegiate level.

Department Chair (College or University)

At colleges and universities, department chairs act as their department's executive. They supervise lecturers and professors to ensure that the department follows all rules and regulations. As the position requires education and experience, college professors should attain many years of experience before applying for department chair positions.

Salary: $85,000

Professor (College or University)

Professors at four-year colleges and universities teach a mix of undergraduate and graduate courses and mentor students. They may also publish research or other written work that benefits their employers' academic reputations. English professor positions require a doctorate in English and a compelling dissertation.

Salary: $86,000

Provost

Provosts act at upper-level managers at colleges and universities. They review school data and devise recommendations and strategies to fix problems and promote growth. They also play an important role in hiring new staff. A doctorate in English combined with experience as a professor and department chair prepares professionals for this position.

Salary: $146,804

Other Career Paths for English Majors

English majors often choose careers not directly related to their field of study. In fact, an English degree provides graduates with an extremely flexible skill set that serves them well in many careers, and these skills include much more than the ability to write accurately. Many English majors possess high levels of creative thinking, and companies treasure employees who possess this ability.

In the workplace, English majors may require additional training or professional development to adapt to other career paths. However, their well-rounded education prepares them to become lifelong learners who take an active role in their professional development. In the sections below, you can see how careers in English extend much further than the classroom. If any of these careers interest you, consider earning a second major or minoring in that subject. A double major or minor could assist in your job hunt after graduation

Advertising and Marketing

In advertising and marketing, employees use their creativity to develop and implement campaigns that promote their employers' products or services. English majors — especially those gifted at creative writing — often fit well into this field because they possess the ability to make valuable contributions that result in hooking and maintaining potential clients' interest.

Career paths within the advertising and marketing field include advertising copywriter, marketing associate, and advertising manager. Job seekers with a bachelor's in English possess the skills necessary to produce excellent, enticing copy as an advertising copywriter. Marketing associates perform research, write copy, and complete other assigned tasks. After gaining experience, English majors can also work as advertising managers, collaborating with other managers and directing the actions of a department's employees. At this level, English majors can make important decisions regarding an advertising campaign's creative direction.

Business and Finance

In the business and finance field, highly trained professionals strive to grow their employers' businesses through proactive decisions and the wise investment of capital. Although English majors may not initially consider a career in this area, their education may give them many advantages over other job applicants. When researching careers in this field, take note of opportunities as project manager assistants, employee benefits analysts, and entry-level promotional marketing specialists.

Project manager assistants help project managers with administrative tasks and other duties. Professionals in this role benefit from extensive on-the-job training that can lead to promotion as a project manager. Employee benefits analysts use their research skills to analyze the impact of companies' benefits packages on employee acquisition and retention. Their reports influence short-term and long-term benefits decisions. Entry-level promotional marketing specialists apply their creativity to create marketing campaigns — creative writing majors in particular can flourish in this position.

Law

Many people incorrectly assume that the legal field consists solely of lawyers. However, there are dozens of professionals in every law firm who work to support lawyers and grow the firm's reputation and client base. Law stresses research and writing skills, and English majors can find fulfilling employment in this field.

If law interests you, consider a career as a paralegal, legal assistant, or entry-level office lead. Legal assistants act as attorneys' secretaries, completing assigned administrative work. Paralegals work as legal assistants, accomplishing tasks directly related to legal cases. Both paralegals and legal secretaries help attorneys prepare for trials. However, paralegals typically perform more research and write reports as well. Entry-level office leads learn how to manage law offices. This position requires exceptional organizational and interpersonal skills.

Nonprofits

Many nonprofits work to advance social causes. The money that nonprofits earn goes directly to these causes rather than to shareholders. As a result, the government exempts nonprofits from paying certain taxes. English majors interested in social or environmental justice can find many exciting career paths in the nonprofit field.If you plan to work at a nonprofit after graduation, look into careers as an outreach specialist, data entry specialist, or event representative.

Outreach specialists link their organizations and the groups of people or causes the organizations work to benefit. This responsibility may involve matching individuals with social services or discussing environmental issues with local governments. Data entry specialists input and maintain data in their nonprofits' computer systems. This data might include an evolving list of potential donors, a call list, or record keeping of their organization's finances. Event representatives promote their nonprofits in public settings, such as at rallies, conferences, and other events open to the public.

Technology

Programmers and engineers are common in the technology sector, but this field also benefits from the skills of English majors. When a technology company creates a product or service, they need to convince potential customers to buy into their mission and purchase their product. English majors can help companies bridge the gap between technology and the general public.

Careers that can give English majors the opportunity to break into the technology sector include copywriter, copy editor, and sales assistant. Copywriters and copy editors work together to write and polish copy that helps turn difficult and dense engineering and technology concepts into something that everyone can understand. At the same time, these professionals apply their creative writing skills to persuade readers to buy their companies' products and/or services. Sales assistants also take advantage of their persuasive skills — much of their job involves interacting with potential clients in person or over the phone.

Where Can You Work as a English?

Urban areas typically have more open positions for English majors than suburban or rural communities. As the economy evolves, industries that hire English majors expand and contract. Some locations already possess a significant population of English majors or those with similar skill sets; recent graduates may find it more difficult to compete in these saturated job markets. In the sections below, you can learn more about how location and industry type affect where you can work with an English degree.

Locations

Once you earn your degree, where you reside directly influences the salary you earn. The cost of living varies between states — as a general rule, the more desirable a place is to live, the higher its cost of living. As a result, the same lifestyle in two parts of the country can require two very different salaries. When developing your career path, consider which part of the country best balances your potential salary with the cost of living. Using the map below, you can research the average cost of living in each state.

Industries

Education

Professionals in education work to educate the next generation. English majors in this field work at all levels of education.

Average Salary: $51,000

Advertising, Branding, and Sales Promotions

In the U.S., English is the central language for advertising. You can use your grammar and composition skills to convey sales promotions and design advertising campaigns. English majors can work as designers and managers.

Average Salary: $55,000

Marketing Agency

Marketing agencies build marketing campaigns for clients. In addition to writing copy, English graduates often act as assistants to senior marketing strategists and other executives.

Average Salary: $52,000

Software Development

Software developers create the software present in computer systems. English majors can work alongside these developers to create written materials, such as manuals, guides, and other products users need to install and operate software.

Average Salary: $66,000

Public K-12 Education

English is a fundamental area of K-12 education. These workers find roles as elementary school, middle school, and high school teachers of English or a related subject, like social studies.

Average Salary: $48,000

Source: PayScale

How Do You Find a Job as a English Graduate?

No matter your academic major or career aspirations, a successful job search begins with a solid resume and strong interview skills. Earning an English degree can give you an advantage in writing resumes and performing interviews. However, as other applicants may possess an academic background more relevant to the position you desire, you may want to consider additional training to bolster your resume. Educational resources can be found for nearly every career field, and completing one or more certificates or specializations may show potential employers that you possess a high level of professional dedication.

Networking plays a vital role in helping you find your first job after graduation. Use the following three resources as a springboard to grow your professional network: Dear English Major, Making the Most of Your Major, and Careers in English. Once you polish your networking, resume, and interviewing skills, research the advertising, newspaper, and consulting industries. These industries employ the highest percentage of English majors. It is likely that large metropolitan areas will possess the majority of open positions relevant to your career interests.

Professional Resources for English Majors

Sigma Tau Delta

Also known as the International English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta boasts chapters at nearly 900 undergraduate institutions. Students who excel at their English major receive an invitation to join. Membership benefits include academic scholarships, internships, and career advancement resources. All visitors to the Sigma Tau Delta website can access a limited selection of internship and career resources.


Are There Jobs for English Majors?

In this informational article, readers learn about four English majors who took wildly different career paths after graduation. The article includes links that focus on various career fields and related topics, such as whether to earn an advanced degree or enter the job market after earning your bachelor's.


Best Graduate English Programs

English majors planning to go to graduate school can use this resource as a first step in choosing the best graduate English program. Compiled by U.S. News & World Report, this ranking permits users to perform advanced searches based on their intended specializations. U.S. News & World Report subscribers can access in-depth information on each program.


The Write Jobs

The Write Jobs boasts an extensive list of open positions for English majors who want to forge a career in writing. Visitors can refine their searches by field, such as remote work or freelance writing. Even if current openings do not match your career plans, visiting the site exposes you to the different jobs professional writers perform.


Writers Guild of America West

This organization represents writers who produce scripts for film and television. Visitors to the guild's website can learn more about the craft of writing and how to pursue a writing career in film and television. WGAW also boasts valuable membership benefits, including health and life insurance.


National Writers Union

Writers in any field may apply for membership, and benefits include a dental and vision plan, a grievance committee to help writers resolve contract disputes, and discounted legal assistance. On NWU's website, you can learn about the latest issues facing writers nationwide.


National Council of Teachers of English

If you aspire to work as an English teacher after graduation, NCTE can help you plan for your future career. Members receive access to valuable teaching tools and classroom resources that can help bring learning alive for students at all grade levels.


We Are Teachers

Another excellent resource for students planning to go into education, We Are Teachers provides visitors with hundreds of informational articles on how to improve classroom instruction and build healthier student/teacher relationships. The website includes a special section containing career advice for teachers at all experience levels.


BookJobs

BookJobs contains hundreds of excellent resources for English majors who aspire to work in the publishing industry. Visitors can quickly search for internship and publishing career opportunities. A list of upcoming publishing events where attendees can network with potential employers is also provided.


Occupational Outlook Handbook

Provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Occupational Outlook Handbook contains information on thousands of jobs. When researching potential careers, you can discover which states have the highest employment numbers as well as projected job growth numbers for specific careers.