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Career Profile: Foreign Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary

Teach languages and literature courses in languages other than English. Includes teachers of American Sign Language (ASL). Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 27,100 people employed as foreign language and literature teachers, postsecondary in the United States. The median annual salary is $69,900. Entry level employees earn approximately $40,970 per year and senior employees earn approximately $135,800 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Advise students on academic and vocational curricula and on career issues.
  • Write letters of recommendation for students.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to address teaching and research issues.
  • Serve on academic or administrative committees that deal with institutional policies, departmental matters, and academic issues.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as serving as department head.
  • Organize and direct study abroad programs.
  • Participate in student recruitment, registration, and placement activities.
  • Compile bibliographies of specialized materials for outside reading assignments.
  • Participate in campus and community events.
  • Supervise undergraduate or graduate teaching, internship, and research work.
  • Develop and maintain Web pages for teaching-related purposes.
  • Act as advisers to student organizations.
  • Write grant proposals to procure external research funding.
  • Provide professional consulting services to government or industry.
  • Prepare course materials, such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts.
  • Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.
  • Evaluate and grade students' class work, assignments, and papers.
  • Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
  • Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as how to speak and write a foreign language and the cultural aspects of areas where a particular language is used.
  • Conduct research in a particular field of knowledge and publish findings in scholarly journals, books, or electronic media.
  • Keep abreast of developments in their field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional organizations and activities.
  • Compile, administer, and grade examinations, or assign this work to others.
  • Maintain regularly scheduled office hours to advise and assist students.
  • Plan, evaluate, and revise curricula, course content, course materials, and methods of instruction.
  • Select and obtain materials and supplies, such as textbooks.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
27,100
Annual Openings:
2,900
Increase in Openings by 2030:
9%
Annual Salary Range:
$40,970 - $135,800
Education Requirements:
Master's degree or higher