There are plenty of compelling reasons to learn Spanish, but there’s one that really makes bank: Employability.
In virtually any career field, Spanish can come in handy and help you advance. However, there are some careers that actually require Spanish language skills.
If you travel to any Spanish-speaking country for work, you’ll certainly need to know travel phrases at the very least. In any work scenario in which you need to use Spanish, you’ll also ideally understand advanced phrases to communicate more fully. Conversational fluency is key. But regardless of how you intend to use Spanish in the workplace, it’s important to brush up on your Spanish for business.
With your incredible Spanish language skills at the ready, you’ll be one step closer to some great jobs.
Why Do So Many Jobs Require Spanish?
It’s no secret that more and more employers are seeking Spanish-speaking employees at home and abroad—but why?
One reason is that the Hispanic population in the US is steadily climbing. The US Census Bureau reports that the Hispanic population is over 55 million (over 17% of the population) and rising. With a decent percentage of this population speaking Spanish as a primary (or at least favored) language, all areas of the economy need employees who speak both Spanish and English to engage and accommodate the changing demographics.
Additionally, international business is flourishing. Mexico is the USA’s third largest trade partner. The US is the largest trade partner of many Spanish-speaking countries, including Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras and Panama.
Needless to say, all this leads to a great need for Spanish-language skills.
How to Find Jobs That Require Spanish
Searching for jobs that require Spanish is remarkably easy. With most job websites offering a search feature, all you need to do is search “jobs” or “trabajo” and a geographic location and you’ll have plenty of job options.
- Indeed — Indeed is a particularly helpful resource because it gathers job postings from a variety of websites. It also saves your search information, so you won’t have to type in what you’re looking for each time you visit.
- Career Builder — This popular job search website offers plenty of options and a convenient format.
- Bilingual Jobs — Dedicated exclusively to jobs that seek bilingual candidates, the vast majority of listings on this website are seeking candidates who speak both Spanish and English.
10 Jobs That Require Your Spanish Skills
You’re probably thinking “well, of course you need to speak Spanish to be a Spanish teacher.” You’re right. But there are other teaching jobs that require Spanish, too.
For instance, bilingual education focuses on presenting information in two languages. In the US, many bilingual schools and programs use Spanish. If you’re interested, you might want to check out the National Association for Bilingual Education’s job board. Additionally, in areas with large Hispanic populations, many ESL jobs require or prefer someone with Spanish skills.
Looking to leave the country? You can try teaching English abroad. Speaking Spanish will certainly give you a leg up for landing gigs in Spanish-speaking countries, both so you can nail your interviews and so you can switch to Spanish to explain English language concepts on occasion.
Interpreters and translators help people who don’t speak the same language to communicate with each other. Whether the communication is spoken or in writing, they take information from one language and change it to the other.
Interpreters and translators can work in a variety of settings. Medical translator/interpreter jobs are particularly common, but there are also jobs available in government, the court system and through private translation companies. Not to mention, you can always try your hand at freelancing in your area and online, using websites like translate.com and ProZ.
3. Customer Service Representative
While there are plenty of customer service jobs available that don’t require Spanish, the jobs that do require Spanish often pay more due to the additional skill required. And let’s face it—who doesn’t want to get paid more?
And it only makes sense that you get paid more—after all, speaking English and Spanish means the number of customers you’re able to assist is much greater than representatives who speak only one of the languages.
Customer service representatives work in call centers or retail locations, at home in your English-speaking country and abroad in Spanish-speaking countries. Similar jobs working in tourism are also available, and if you’re looking for an adventure, you can sometimes find jobs working at hotels, resorts and cruises abroad.
4. Sales Professional
Remember that booming trade industry we discussed? Well, someone needs to negotiate those sales and purchases. This is where sales professionals come in.
International sales professionals buy and sell goods from around the world. With your Spanish skills, you’re ready to do business with Spanish-speaking countries. Companies in Spanish-speaking countries will often greatly appreciate the presence of a sales professional who can interact with their English-speaking clients, suppliers and business partners.
On a smaller scale, if you live in a community with a large Hispanic population, you’ll probably be able to find local sales jobs selling anything from cars to mattresses.
5. Medical Professional
Sure, there are plenty of jobs in the medical field that don’t require Spanish. But in areas with large Hispanic populations, Spanish is in high demand. After all, it’s much better for patients to be able to communicate directly with a doctor or nurse rather than through a translator.
Any medical profession from nursing assistant to nurse, doctor, EMT and medical receptionist may use Spanish language skills. Even if the job doesn’t require it, it can certainly help you advance in your field or make you a more desirable candidate. Additionally, since medical professionals often deal with emergency situations, speaking Spanish can literally help you save lives.
6. Law Enforcement Professional
Law enforcement is another career where communication is very important, and not being able to communicate clearly could prove fatal.
In communities with large Hispanic populations, police officers often need to know at least some Spanish so that they can better protect everyone living in these bilingual communities.
Since the US has nearly 2000 miles of border with a Spanish-speaking country, many positions with the FBI and Border Patrol also require Spanish.
7. Social Worker
Social workers work with individuals and families on very intimate levels. They’re privy to private information about sensitive situations such as abuse, mental health issues and other challenges that families face. Therefore, it’s best to communicate in the language the clients are most comfortable with. For this reason, communities with large Hispanic populations often recruit Spanish-speaking social workers.
Whether it’s journalism, content writing, blogging or public relations writing, the large Hispanic population in the US means there’s a large market for written materials in Spanish.
The ability to share information clearly in both Spanish and English doubles your potential market. For this reason, many employers seek writers who can write in both languages. Additionally, since some writing jobs require interviewing skills, it will help to be able to communicate with the interviewee in their primary language.
9. Administrative Assistant/Receptionist
Administrative assistants and receptionists interact with a lot of people. Some of them, of course, will not be native English speakers. Because of this, some positions may require the receptionist or administrative assistant speak Spanish. However, even if speaking Spanish is not a requirement, it’s a helpful asset that’s likely to give you the edge over other candidates applying for the position.
10. Teller/Personal Banker
Bank tellers handle the customers’ money, while personal bankers help them manage their accounts in more depth. Since money is always a sensitive issue, it helps to be able to speak about it in a language the customer will better understand.
Many teller and personal banker positions do not require Spanish, but in communities with large Hispanic populations, many positions will require Spanish, and this is likely to be a requirement more and more often.
With all these great jobs requiring Spanish, you’ll surely find something great to make dinero (money).
So practice your Spanish and get to work!
And One More Thing…
If you’re excited about the prospect of using Spanish in your everyday life, you’ve got to start using FluentU.
FluentU takes real-world videos like music videos, commercials, news, and inspiring talks and turns them into Spanish learning experiences.
Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.
FluentU has a wide variety of videos—topics like soccer, TV shows, business, movies and even magical realism, as you can see here:
FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s Learn Mode. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and it recommends you examples and videos based on the words you’ve already learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning the same video.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.