Bilingual jobs are readily available for those who speak a language in addition to English. Job duties will vary depending on the position, but bilingual employees are generally hired for their professionalism and fluency in another language. They may answer telephones or take messages in a foreign language, translate documents, book accommodations for international visitors, serve as interpreters, handle foreign correspondence, and train and supervise staff. Bilingual customer service representatives, for instance, will need to conduct business with clients over the phone or in person solely in a foreign language.
Bilingual Job Education Requirements
The leading job requirement for bilingual employees is that they be proficient in both English and the specified foreign language. In the U.S., this generally means being fluent in Spanish, although some companies need to hire employees who speak French, German, Mandarin, or any number of foreign languages. Most bilingual customer service specialists, secretaries, and related professionals in the United States speak both English and Spanish to serve the country’s growing Hispanic demographic. Since being proficient in more than one language is a skill not many job seekers have, being bilingual is a major benefit. Educational requirements will vary by position, but if you were not raised in a bilingual family, it’s a good idea to pursue a college degree in a foreign language.
Bilingual Job Market
Globalization has called for an increase in multi-language proficiency. As more companies seek to reach out to foreign customers and local immigrant populations, the demand for bilingual professionals will only go up. Bilingual job applicants are generally considered invaluable assets to any company, so they tend to be favored above otherwise highly qualified applicants who can’t speak more than one language.
Bilingual Job Salary Information
Salaries vary widely by position. Interpreters and translators, for instance, can earn about $45,000 a year. Bilingual customer service reps tend to earn about $12 an hour.