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You majored in English because you love reading and writing, but now it’s time to figure out how you can make a living from it. English degrees are valuable but broad, giving English majors an overwhelming number of options.
If you’re wondering if you can parlay your skills and passions into a high-paying entry-level job career, you’re in the right place! I majored in English and pursued various career fields before finally returning to my true love, writing.
In this post, I’ll share the highest-paying entry-level jobs for English majors, plus the career outlook for this degree.
The highest-paying entry-level jobs for English majors
The median annual pay for a copywriter is between $56,592
The median annual pay for freelance copywriters is between $49,622 and $61,839.
A copywriter is a professional writer who creates compelling content for websites, advertisements, brochures, and other marketing materials. Copywriters adapt to different writing styles and use creativity to craft messages that resonate with their target market.
Copywriters work closely with designers and marketers to ensure the message reaches the desired audience. Additionally, copywriters may be required to research trends and analyze data to create the best content possible.
If you want to learn more about my story of finally pursuing my dream of becoming a self-employed writer, watch this video here:
The median annual pay for a freelance content writer is between $46,127 and $64,044.
The median annual pay for a content writer is between $50,936
Content writers (like copywriters) create blog posts, articles, webpage copy, and other digital media for businesses. Writers need excellent research skills, proven writing abilities, and an understanding of SEO (search engine optimization) practices to do this job successfully.
Content writers also need to know how to effectively convey a brand’s message and achieve the desired marketing goals through their writing.
Social Media Manager or Coordinator
The median annual pay for a social media manager is $51,815.
Social media managers or coordinators manage a company or organization’s social media accounts. This role requires an individual skilled at digital communication and understanding how social media works to achieve success online.
Ultimately, companies hire social media managers to generate more clicks, follows, brand awareness, and engagement to increase sales.
Responsibilities include creating engaging posts/content, monitoring online conversations and responding appropriately, tracking analytics related to various campaigns/posts/pages, creating reports based on those analytics, and more.
Marketing Manager or Assistant
The median annual pay for a marketing manager is $51,815.
Successful marketing teams depend on marketing assistants or managers to create effective strategies to reach the targeted audience. Primary duties involve researching consumer trends & preferences as well as competitive intelligence; developing effective plans for product launches; designing creative campaigns; managing budgets; overseeing day-to-day operations.
Marketing managers must also analyze data to measure results, build relationships with influencers, maintain brand consistency across all platforms & channels, and stay up-to-date on industry news/trends & regulations.
The median annual pay for an English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher is $48,811.
ESL Instructors teach English language learners from around the world in academic settings such as universities, colleges, and adult learning centers. Instructors use various teaching methods, including lectures, discussions, group projects, and activities designed to build skills like grammar usage accuracy while improving overall English fluency levels.
ESL instructors don’t need to be bilingual; their classes can be conducted entirely in English. Typically, ESL instructors need only a certificate, which takes a few months or weeks to complete. However, you can earn a master’s degree in ESL as well.
By evaluating learning progress and providing feedback based on the guidelines/standards set by their educational institution, instructors ensure that students achieve their language goals more quickly while reporting on student progress regularly.
The median annual pay for English teachers is $44,539 per year in the United States.
English teachers help their students understand literature, grammar, and writing skills. English teachers use lectures, class projects, and discussions to engage their students in the material.
You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in education or English to become an English teacher. Those interested should also have solid public-speaking abilities and experience working with children or adolescents.
The median annual pay for an SEO Specialist is $59,388 per year in the United States.
SEO specialists are experts in search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results on a search engine.
As an SEO specialist, you’ll help websites increase their visibility by creating optimized content for search engines. SEO specialists must know keyword research, content creation, and link-building strategies to be successful.
The job requires someone who is deeply knowledgeable about the latest developments in SEO and excellent at problem-solving.
The median annual pay for a copy editor is $47,991
Copy editors review written material for accuracy and clarity before publication. As a copy editor, you’ll double-check every part of a document for spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes and ensure that text flows smoothly from one paragraph to the next.
Copy editors make sure that all sources used are properly cited. To become a copy editor, you need an eye for detail and expert knowledge of different writing styles, such as APA and MLA. A copy editor can work as a freelancer, just like a copywriter.
Public Relations Coordinator
The median annual pay for a Public Relations Coordinator is $52,927.
Public relations coordinators create press releases and promotional stories to help build relationships with the public, potential customers, government officials, and media outlets for a business.
PR coordinators must be able to write clearly and concisely while still conveying the necessary information. PR requires excellent interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with audiences verbally and through writing effectively with audiences. PR professionals must communicate through various channels, such as social media campaigns, ad campaigns, and podcasts.
The median annual pay for an editorial assistant is $46,322.
Editorial assistants help editors, and other publishing professionals assemble issues, articles, or books. This entry-level job requires some publishing industry knowledge and excellent proofreading and editing skills.
Editorial assistants manage multiple projects, research topics for articles, track manuscript submissions, and respond to reader inquiries. They work collaboratively with authors, editors, and other staff members, possess strong communication skills and have a good eye for detail.
Account Manager or Account Executive
The median annual pay for an account executive is $98,623.
Account managers (AMs) and account executives (AEs) are responsible for securing new clients and developing business relationships with existing ones. While both roles overlap in responsibilities, account managers usually retain and renew business relationships while account executives bring in new business relationships.
AEs and AMs will promote products or services using data-driven decisions to drive sales growth. This role requires strong organization skills, excellent communication abilities, and a knack for problem-solving.
Graduate Teaching Assistant
The median annual pay for a graduate teaching assistant is $35,763.
Graduate teaching assistants support professors by grading papers, assisting students in the classroom setting, and helping plan lectures. As a result, you’ll have to understand the material students are learning and possess solid organizational and multitasking abilities.
Graduate teaching assistants must also possess excellent communication skills since they regularly interact daily with faculty members and students.
The median annual pay for a private tutor is $31,618.
Private tutoring is an excellent entry-level job option for those looking to help students improve their English language proficiency or academic performance. Strong knowledge of the subject matter students learn is essential for this job.
Tutors must be patient, quick learners, and have clear communication skills. In addition, private tutors need strong organizational skills to create tailored lesson plans that address each student’s needs and are flexible enough to make necessary adjustments throughout the tutoring process.
The career outlook for English majors
In today’s world, college degrees rarely guarantee a high-paying job. However, the job market is very favorable for English majors, who possess valuable transferable skills that they can apply to multiple industries. However, remember that it’s up to you to understand how to market your skills to prospective employers.
These skills include strong writing, analysis, research capabilities, problem-solving, and communication abilities.
Since we, as English majors, develop an understanding of different cultures and perspectives from our studies, we gain the capacity to think critically and identify topics from different angles. Critical thinking makes us ideal candidates for entry-level jobs across different sectors, including marketing, public relations, communications, and customer service.
Many companies value the combination of reading and writing skills acquired from literature classes. They also value the soft skills that come with English degrees, like collaboration and presentation.
As a result, English majors stand out when applying for jobs that require research, communication, and content creation—especially if they have gained prior experience through internships or volunteering opportunities while studying.
Top marketable skills for English majors
1. Communication and Writing Proficiency
English majors have a knack for writing, speaking, and conveying information with clarity and precision. This skill set is invaluable in many positions and can help graduates stand out when interviewing. For example, English majors often possess excellent grammar capabilities for creating compelling emails, reports, press releases, and other communications.
My communication ability was the main reason I landed a high-paying sales job at a startup company right after graduation despite having no prior sales experience.
2. Critical Thinking
In English courses, students must analyze literature, texts, and ideas in detail, which forms strong critical thinking abilities. As a result, they can understand complex concepts quickly and examine problems from multiple angles.
3. Research Skills
English majors spend significant time researching literary topics and historical contexts. As a result, many graduates are excellent researchers who find reliable sources quickly and can synthesize data into compelling arguments and stories.
Employers recognize the value of these skills since today’s marketplace is increasingly dependent on data collection.
In addition to learning how to write fiction and nonfiction, students also learn how to speak and present. Creating engaging narratives is useful in many fields, including marketing and public relations.
Storytelling is instrumental in sales and PR to convince someone of your product or message on an emotional level by telling a compelling story.
Because English departments cover diverse topics, graduates can transition between many different roles more seamlessly. English majors tend to show more adaptability than those with a narrow study focus. Employers with dynamic roles and responsibilities highly value the ability to remain flexible.
The bottom line on jobs for English majors
As an English major, you have a range of appealing entry-level job opportunities. With the right qualifications and characteristics, you can find lucrative positions and succeed in your chosen field.
Employers look for English majors with strong written and verbal communication skills and an eye for detail. When applying for jobs, emphasize your analytical thinking and research abilities.
Undergraduate English degrees often supplement their degree with job or internship experience in digital media or publishing to stand out from the competition. If you understand the current job market and know how to leverage your skillset, you can be confident you’ll find a rewarding job that aligns with your strengths and passions.