What Are Popular Jobs for Graduates with an English Major?

Many people think finding a job for English majors is next to impossible. Fortunately, bachelor's degree programs in English teach many useful skills that make graduates employable in a variety of areas. Schools offering English Language & Literature degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Common Job Sectors for English Majors

English majors can work in many job sectors because of the solid written and verbal communications skills they have developed. Even if you don't find the perfect job right away, keep in mind that you may have to pay your dues before you get the job of your dreams.

Important Facts About Careers in This Area of Study

Salary (June 2019)* English Language & Literature degree holders in entry-level jobs can expect to earn a median income of $42,400, while those in mid-level jobs can expect to earn a median of $72,400.
English Teacher Education degree holders can earn $38,900 early in their career and up to $58,400 in mid-career, while those with a Secondary English Teacher degree can make several thousand more.
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 7% for kindergarten and elementary teachers
8% for middle and high school teachers
8% for writers and authors
-1% for editors
On-the-Job Training Internships may provide candidates interested in highly competitive fields, such as media or publishing, with valuable experience
Work Environment Varies widely; possible environments include publishing houses, hospitals, television networks, classrooms, radio stations and libraries
Key Skills Editing, independent thinking, critical reading, audience analysis, problem solving

Sources: *Payscale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Those with an English education degree can find a lot of fulfillment in the education arena. According to Payscale.com in June of 2019, 64% of alumni with a Secondary English Teacher Education degree felt their job had high meaning and made the world a better place. Graduates with an English major who did not complete a teacher education program can often still teach by completing an alternative licensing program.

Communications, Journalism and Writing

Media outlets may have changed the writing industry, but popular jobs for English majors still include the communications sector. You could find a job writing for a print medium, such as a newspaper or magazine, or you might write or edit content for Internet media. If you have knowledge in a field other than English, you could also try technical writing for a business or work in freelance.


Because English majors have strong communication, analysis and interpretation skills, they often make good additions to marketing, public relations, advertising, consulting and administrative departments within businesses. You could be hired to write advertising copy, train new workers or keep administrative records, to name a few duties.

Typical Job Titles

Job duties can vary from company to company, but a sampling of job titles held by English majors includes editor, writer, research assistant, copywriter, critic, content strategist, publisher and web producer. Attending career fairs and speaking to your school's career counselor can help you decide which career path will be the best for you.

Career Advancement

While jobs are out there for English majors, you might find that pursuing graduate studies will open up new job possibilities, such as teaching at the college level. Some English majors also choose to enter graduate studies in fields other than English; for example, some students earn bachelor's degrees in English before attempting graduate studies in law or library science.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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