College grads with foreign language skills are among the 'most wanted' by job seekers

Learning a foreign language is now the hottest skill on the market.

Roughly 25,000 new jobs are expected to open over within the decade for interpreters and translators, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That number, estimated over a ten year period between 2010-2020, will account for 42 percent of growth in the field -- much faster than any other occupation. That percentage does not include military and government intelligence jobs in that field.

Interpreters convert information from one spoken language into another. Translators convert written materials from one language into another. Translators must read the original language fluently but may not need to speak it fluently, whereas Interpreters must be fluent in the spoken language.

As of early 2013, nationwide workers in the field earned an average salary of $43,000 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that wages are commensurate to experience, education level, certifications, market and type of employer. 

Entry-level positions require a bachelors degree. There are many opportunities available to someone specialized in this field. Interpreters and translators work in hospitals, courtrooms, law offices, with social workers, for global business markets and for the government.

Government positions with the FBI, CIA or DEA can pay well into the six-figure range. High paying languages to learn if you plan on working with the government are Middle Eastern languages such as Arabic, Farsi and Pashto (Afghani).

Demand is said to remain strong for translators of French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Although the need for Spanish language knowledge is high, the payout is low. Because most of America already speaks or reads Spanish, the need for translators aren't as necessary as they used to be.



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