3 Ways Learning Japanese Can Boost Your Career

HEADER 3 ways learning japanese can boost your career

Whether you’re taking Japanese lessons for fun or for academic reasons, there are a number of benefits to learning Japanese. Here, Washington, D.C. Japanese teacher Taro T. explains how learning Japanese can boost your professional career… 

When you first start learning Japanese, you may be unaware of all of the benefits that can result from your new language skills. Once you’ve achieved a certain level of proficiency, you can put your Japanese skills to practical use, especially in the workplace.

Professionally, you can use your Japanese-language skills in two different ways: to earn supplemental income, and to build your full-time career in the corporate world.



This may come as no surprise, but if you’re proficient in Japanese, you’ll be able to use your language skills to work in translation. This is especially useful if you want to to earn a supplemental income.

Plus, you will be in high demand in the U.S. if you can speak Japanese. Census shows that there were 436,110 Japanese speakers in the U.S. in 2011. This number is small compared with other languages like Chinese (2,882,497) and Spanish (37,579,787).

If you want to get a job as a translator, however, get ready to buckle down and study hard. A translation job will usually require you to have an advanced knowledge of Japanese.

In translation, you will be working on all types of assignments from business and academic, to legal documents. The more technical the document, the more difficult it is to translate.

According to SimplyHired, the average pay for a Japanese translator is $43,000. If you would like to earn an income on the higher end, look into becoming a paralegal, as the average salary for a Japanese bilingual paralegal is $51,000.

Keep in mind that these figures can be deceiving, as part-time and temporary positions are more abundant than full-time positions.

Besides more income, translation jobs are generally flexible and convenient. The jobs are often project based, and you can work from home and around your schedule. This has been a lifesaver for me, and I’ve also met great a mentor through a translation job.



Despite the flexibility translation jobs offer, not everyone is looking to earn a supplemental income. You may already have a full-time career, or you may be looking to start one.

If that’s the case, you may want to consider working in Japan. Although this is a big decision and lifestyle change, it’s a great opportunity for you to build your career while living in Japan.

Besides, landing a career in Japan is easier than you think!

Robert Walters, an international recruiting firm, reports that there is a shortage of bilingual professionals. According to their report, there were 1.09 job offers for every candidate in 2014.

Bilingual professionals are in high demand in jobs in human resources, engineering, and sales, so if you speak Japanese and have technical skills, you have a good chance of landing a job in Japan.

Working in Japan also makes economical sense, as wages for bilingual professionals have been increasing at an average of 10 percent each year as the Japanese economy continues to recover.



While learning Japanese can expand your professional options, the real purpose of language is to connect with others.

Jerry Weintraub, a legendary talent manager and movie producer, says that the connections you have with others largely defines your life. Through his ability to make connections, he booked concerts for Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra in their prime years.

Most of us may not have the people skills and ability to negotiate like Mr. Weintraub, but knowing Japanese, even a little, can help you connect with new people. This could lead you to a new job, a new business opportunity, or even a great friendship!

Believe in the benefits of learning Japanese; I wish you all the best on your future success.

Start learning Japanese today, sign up for lessons with a private Japanese tutor! 


Taro TPost Author: Taro T.
Taro T. teaches Japanese and ESL in Washington, D.C. He is a language acquisition specialist and mentors students from the United States, Thailand, Italy, Korea, Turkey, and El Salvador. Born and raised in Japan, Taro came to the United States when he was 16 to learn English and American culture – he’s also fluent in Spanish. Learn more about Taro here!


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