Best-paying jobs for English majors
Wondering how you can earn a living with your English degree? Check out this list of 10 of the best-paying and most common jobs for English majors.
Doth thee knoweth of any jobs for scholars of English? (Very rough translation for non-Shakespearian scholars: “Do you know of any jobs for English majors?”)
Fear not, English majors have some well-paying career options, says Katie Bardaro, lead analyst for online salary database PayScale.com.
“If you want to major in English and earn a lot of money, you don’t necessarily have to figure out how to do that as a writer,” she says. “Take your communication and analytical-thinking skills, and apply them in other areas.”
Your salary will depend on experience level, specialty niche, and where in the country you're employed. For example, a business development manager salary in Escondido, California, is 4% higher than the national median; a content marketing manager salary in New Haven, Connecticut, is 9% higher than the national median; and a public relations manager salary in the Bronx, New York, is 10% higher than the national median.
Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and PayScale, we rounded up some of the best-paying jobs for workers who have bachelor’s degrees in English.
Advertising account executive
Jobs for English majors often rely on a keen understanding of language. And advertising is all about language—the persuasive kind. Employed by advertising agencies, account executives serve as the main point of contact between the agency and client. In this role, you’ll need to be able to quickly grasp clients’ goals and make use of the creative resources within the agency to build effective campaigns. Check out this sample resume for an advertising account executive.
Median salary: $51,740 per year
Business development manager
Similar to how many English majors make great teachers, they also can make for excellent business development managers. In overseeing and managing staff, business development managers plan, direct, and coordinate, and, essentially, teach programs to expand upon the knowledge and skills of an organization’s employees.
Median salary: $75,418 per year
Content marketing manager
Content marketing managers create clear, compelling, and concise communications about an organization’s marketing strategy. Their work can include coordinating press releases and website content, developing promotional strategies and campaigns, and editing white papers.
Median salary: $70,284 per year
Recruiters spend their days screening, interviewing, and placing workers in jobs as well as handle employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training. Being an effective communicator and a good judge of character will help you to excel in this role. Check out this sample resume for a recruiter.
Median salary: $60,880 per year
Human resources manager
An HR manager handles all aspects of human resources work, including recruitment; employee relations; payroll and benefits; training; and administering human resources policies, procedures, and programs. Communication skills are important when explaining these, sometimes sensitive, policies to employees. Check out this sample resume for a human resources generalist.
Median salary: $113,300 per year
Remember persuasive writing? Proposal managers use those same skills to help their organizations land new work. They coordinate writers, illustrators, and other team members to prepare proposals on behalf of their company for contracted projects, like building a school. English majors’ mastery of language and details can help them excel in this role.
Median salary: $77,760 per year
Public relations manager
How good are your communication skills? Serving as the main point of contact between an organization and the masses, public relations managers communicate with external and internal sources on a daily basis. Their work can include writing press releases, developing an organization’s or client’s image and identity, implementing advertising and promotional campaigns, targeting external audiences and expanding outreach, and serving as a spokesperson or information source for media inquiries. Check out this sample resume for a public relations manager.
Median salary: $114,800 per year
Regional sales manager
You might not equate jobs for English majors with sales people, but to make a sale, those top-notch communication and persuasion skills you learned in school will come in handy—and help you work your way up to becoming a regional sales manager. In managing a sales team, your job responsibilities can include setting sales goals, analyzing data, and developing training programs. Check out this sample resume for a sales manager.
Median salary: $76,690 per year
Put your creative mind to work as a software developer. A tech-oriented job, duties can include designing, testing, and developing software programs and recommending system upgrades based on users’ needs. Not to mention, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says this is a fast-growing occupation, with employment projected to increase by 24% in the coming years. Check out this sample resume for a software developer.
Median salary: $105,590 per year
Put those writing skills to use! Technical writers produce instructional manuals and other supporting documents to translate complex and technical information into words the everyday person can understand more easily. While this doesn’t involve much creativity, this job will require you to write clearly and concisely.
Median salary: $71,850 per year
Boost your odds of getting hired
No matter what, strong writing, reading comprehension, and the ability to take complex topics and break them down for a general audience will always be prized skills in the workforce—and that's where you come in. Could use some help finding jobs that speak to your skill set? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your cover letter and resume—each tailored to different types of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Let them know you've got what they're looking for.
Source: Salary data provided by online salary database PayScale.com. Salaries are median annual salaries for full-time workers with five to eight years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing. Job descriptions are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and PayScale.com.