Do you speak multiple languages? Maybe your linguistic love affair started in high school, when you took your first Spanish class. Maybe you were born into a bilingual family, exposed to the beauty of languages at an early age. Or maybe you even caught on later in life, after taking language classes just for fun.
Whatever the case, we applaud you! Being bilingual, or better yet, trilingual, is an awesome skill and one that can lead to higher-paying jobs, a sharper brain, and an expanded network of friends and colleagues. But beyond the pride and goal-achieving side of learning, did you know there are ways to make money with your skills? There are so many fulfilling careers in foreign language that you can explore, from one-off gigs to positions with full-time potential. To help inspire your next language job, we’ve listed out ten places to start your job search, including translator, freelance writer, teacher positions, and more.
Check out the infographic below for 10 perfect side jobs for language lovers…
How to Make Money With Your Language Skills
1. Become a tutor.
Teaching part-time is one of the easiest side jobs for language lovers. Some companies may have you sign on as an hourly contractor, working specific hours at a specific location. Other companies offer more flexibility — with TakeLessons, for example, you can set your own prices and availability, as well as offer convenient online tutoring. With online teaching, you can tutor wherever and whenever, as long as you have internet connection. This lets you make money from the comfort of your living room in the states or even an apartment on the other side of the world.
Because you’re free to set your own schedule, tutoring is often considered one of the best job opportunities for foreign language graduates or those still in school. It gives you the flexibility to put your skills to good use while making some extra cash on the side in between attending school or searching for full-time positions. What’s more, you can always work as a tutor while pursuing another career.
2. Work as a freelance translator.
Another popular option for language lovers is working as a freelance translator. Online translator jobs are plentiful and can be found through marketplaces like Upwork. A foreign language job like this might involve translating articles, transcribing an audio clip, or even being the middleman between people who do not speak the same language. The sky’s the limit when it comes to the many different kinds of translator positions out there.
3. Grade/score standardized language examinations.
Many universities and testing centers outsource their grading for tests like the AP Spanish Exam. This is a prime job for polyglots and a great way to pick up some extra work on the side in between other jobs. You can search for these jobs on the ETS website and HigherEdJobs.
4. Do some freelance writing.
If you’re a strong writer, why not combine that with your love for languages? Consider creating your own language-learning blog (you can then monetize it with ads or affiliate links once you’ve established an audience), or get paid on a per-article basis through Upwork or Zerys. You could even contribute articles to newspapers or produce blogs for the foreign language community. You just might be surprised at how in-demand language jobs like this are. And not only that, but you may find you really enjoy it, too. (Tip: If you’re already a TakeLessons tutor, you can also get paid to write blog articles for us!)
5. Create language videos on YouTube.
If you’re a natural on camera, creating a YouTube channel might be right up your alley! This foreign language job could make you a star. Create a character for yourself or go au natural. Similar to monetizing a personal blog, once you’ve built your audience, you can make money through ads that play before each video. This is a really flexible side job since you can create videos in bulk and then release them whenever you want. And the best part? You get to call the shots and create the content that you think is most valuable to your audience.
6. Sell your (original) content.
Many schools and companies will pay tutors to create quizzes, worksheets, posters, and other course materials. You already know all the grammar rules, and you’re a pro at conjugating verbs, so why not put those skills to good use? Check out sites like Teachers Pay Teachers and TeacherLingo. See also: 15 Platforms to Publish and Sell Online Courses via Learning Revolution. Who knows? Doing this on the side may inspire you to pursue a full-time language career in teaching. See tip #8 for more details on teaching.
7. Create a language app or game.
Are you tech-savvy? Creating a language app or game can end up being one of the most lucrative side jobs for language lovers — if you have a great idea, that is. Make sure to do your research since your app will need to be better than the competitors (and there’s a lot of them!). Put your foreign language knowledge and talents to use and dream big. Maybe you’ll create the next best travel app or a digital game for learning a new language. The options are endless. See also: How Much Money Can You Earn With an App? via Fueled.
8. Teach at a museum, library, or community college.
Museums and libraries are sometimes open to hosting events, talks, and even mini-courses, if you know how to market yourself well. Or, if you’re willing to commit more time, consider looking into community colleges in your area — some hire instructors for language courses based on expertise, not credentials. But if you do have teaching credits or requirements under your belt, why not look into teaching positions at the local schools and universities? Before you know it, you might just be the newest foreign language teacher on campus.
9. Lead a trip to a foreign country.
Did you study abroad in high school or college? Most people look back on their experience fondly; immersion truly is one of the best ways to learn a language! Many study abroad programs hire trip leaders and coordinators, if you have the time to spare. Look for programs that fit your availability, whether that’s leading a short-term excursion or a longer trip. This is the perfect language career, particularly if you love traveling. You can combine your love of languages with your desire to explore. It’s a win-win.
10. Teach English abroad (great for a gap year!)
Teaching English abroad is another very popular option, if you’ve got the time! Not to mention, it’ll be a breeze if English is your native language. Programs include a range of locations, contract lengths, and pay. Check out sites like TeachAway and GoAbroad for opportunities. See also: Teaching English Abroad: Are You Qualified? via GoOverseas. Much like our previous recommendation, this is a great opportunity for those who enjoy traveling. Not only will you expand your language skills in a different country, but you’ll have the chance to learn more about the culture, indulge in the local cuisine, and converse with native speakers. The more you immerse yourself in the culture, the more you’ll learn.
For other jobs abroad check out Career Trotter.
Additional Resources – Do Bilingual Workers Earn More?
If a side hustle isn’t your thing, consider using your language skills within your 9-to-5. Although it’s yet to be determined whether bilingualism increases income on its own, there are tons of benefits that come from learning a second (or third) language. Here are some additional resources:
- Do Multilingual Individuals Earn More Money?, via Forbes
- 6 Ways Bilingualism Can Further Your Career, via TransparentLanguage
- 30 Excellent Career Options for Spanish Speakers [Infographic]
- Eight Industries Needing Bilingual Workers, via CNN
Readers, how else have you made money using your language skills? What other side jobs for language lovers do you recommend? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Photo by teflheaven