Celtic Literature and Languages

Celtic literature and language programs look at the mythology, folklore, history, laws and languages of the Celtic people. Keep reading to learn more about Celtic literature and languages, what jobs you can get in this field, what potential salaries are and what education you will need.

Are Celtic Languages and Literature for Me?

Career Overview

If you like language, history and ancient civilizations, then you might want to consider a career studying, teaching or translating Celtic languages and literature. Both areas of study are essential components of a culture that originated in ancient Europe and remains influential among the people of the British Isles today. In a Celtic or Gaelic studies program, you may have the opportunity to examine one or more of the six Celtic languages (Irish, Welsh, Breton, Cornish, Manx and Scottish Gaelic) through modern and ancient books, poetry, folklore and prose. Topics in Celtic art, history, law, mythology and culture may also be found in a language and literature program.

Career Options and Salary Potential

As a graduate of a Celtic literature and language program, you may choose to pursue a career as an anthropologist or archaeologist, academic or historian with a focus on medieval civilizations. You may also find specialized work as an interpreter or translator of Celtic literature.

Anthropologists or Archaeologists

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), anthropologists and archaeologists earned mean yearly salaries of $61,420 in May 2013, and can look forward to a faster-than-average increase in jobs nationwide between 2012 and 2022. A master's or doctoral degree in anthropology or archaeology is usually required to obtain a professional position; graduates of a bachelor's degree program in either field of study may be hired as assistants (www.bls.gov).


In May 2013, the BLS reported that college professors of foreign languages and literature had mean incomes of $66,300 a year; cultural and history professors averaged $77,550 and $74,100, respectively, as of the same year. As reported by the BLS, postsecondary teachers in general will also enjoy a faster-than-average growth in employment nationwide between 2012 and 2022. A master's or a doctoral degree in a particular subject area is the usual requirement for obtaining a teaching position at a college or university (www.bls.gov).


A slower-than-average increase in employment growth nationwide is expected for historians between 2012 and 2022, according to the BLS. Entry-level professionals with a bachelor's degree in the subject may be considered for positions at historical societies and museums; professional and research work typically requires a master's or doctoral degree. As of May 2013, historians had mean yearly salaries of $60,010 (www.bls.gov).

Interpreters and Translators

Interpreters and translators, such as those who convert the written words of one language into another, may be able to enter the field with a bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study. Based upon information provided by the BLS, professionals employed in these positions can look forward to a much-faster-than-average increase in opportunities nationwide between 2012 and 2022. As of May 2013, the mean yearly income for an interpreter or translator was $47,920 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Celtic Languages and Literature?


Though rare, degree programs in Celtic literature and languages can be found at the undergraduate, master's and doctoral levels. Celtic and Irish studies certificate programs may also be available. Some anthropology, art history, general history or literature majors allow for minors in Celtic studies. Core coursework may include topics in Breton, Old Irish and Welsh language studies, linguistics, medieval history and comparative literature, among other subjects.

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