“I took three years of Spanish in high school and two in college and can hardly speak three sentences.” Have you or someone you know uttered this sad phrase in some form? How about: “I’ve forgotten most of my Spanish, if only I could use it regularly.” If you have said something similar, continue reading. Likewise, if you’ve stumbled upon phrases like: “Bilingual Spanish preferred” or “Spanish-speakers will be competitive candidates,” in your job search and felt regretful, look no further for motivation to take your Spanish to the next level. Bilingual jobs are readily available for medical Spanish, along with business Spanish, but along with business Spanish, but those who can simply converse in Spanish can also find great opportunities. So don’t delay: find a class, tutor, conversation partner or learn Spanish online. CORE Languages supports language-learning ambitions, especially when a certain tongue can get your resume bumped to the top of the virtual pile. Learning Spanish in the US, or anywhere, considering the increasing connectedness of the globe, can provide great returns on the invested effort.
Like many popular or in-demand languages, speaking Spanish can be a gateway to positions in diplomacy and international business. Persons bilingual in English and Spanish are sought by the US government for diplomacy and foreign relations. With 418 million Spanish-speakers in the US and Latin America, a wide variety of positions exist in the US federal government to facilitate communication and government processes. Positions with the Peace Corps, and foreign consulates are also available for willing travelers. In business, multinational corporations and companies looking to cater to foreign markets seek those who can speak the second and third most popular languages in the world. Whether you want to travel or remain stationary, knowing business Spanish terminology and conversational Spanish can give you an edge against competing candidates. Once you’re hired, your Spanish can broaden your company’s scope. Therefore, many programs in international business offer Spanish certificates.
The Logistics Link
A facet of international business with a high demand for Spanish-speakers is the logistics industry. Almost the entire southwestern hemisphere speaks Spanish, along with a portion of the northwestern hemisphere. Also considering Spain’s strategic location at the mouth of the Mediterranean in Europe’s southwestern corner, innumerable supply chains have Spanish-speaking points as fundamental links. Bilingual Spanish and English candidates are valued and are often the first considered for positions that don’t yet advertise a need for the language. Those with the ability to negotiate and coordinate the shipment of goods in two languages will excel in the global economy. German and Portuguese are also go-to languages for logistics.
Spanish in Practice
Law and medicine are fields with intense jargon: those able to read and write legalese and medical Spanish are well rewarded. Attorneys and physicians who can converse with clients and patients will be able to establish rapport quickly and attract a steady stream of work in many places in the US. Bilingual nurses and support staff in both fields are also needed. Those not yet fully bilingual can improve their second language on the job in roles such as medical assistants, receptionists, paralegals and administrative assistants. Medical and legal translators are also in high demand, and interpreters in these fields are well-compensated. Spanish-speakers able to perform simultaneous interpreting in court often earn up to $200 per hour.
Pass on your Spanish
Education is another field with a variety of positions available, and schools accept those with less than native proficiency in Spanish. Of course, with demand for Spanish on the rise and the presence of many Spanish-speaking students, positions teaching Spanish and English as foreign languages are always available. In Dallas and Houston, bilingual teachers are in such demand that districts have to recruit internationally. In areas with high concentrations of Spanish-speaking students, schools also clamor for candidates who can perform the following jobs in both languages: guidance counselor, speech pathologist, parental liaison, teacher’s aide, secretary. This list is not exhaustive; if the position involves talking to students, there are bilingual jobs available in many places in the US.
In the southeast, southwest, California, Mid-Atlantic and many major cities, bilingual jobs abound in positions facing the public. From real estate to sales and hospitality, a smile and a few words en español can go a long way. It can help you to establish rapport, close the deal, make a guest feel welcome or even brighten someone’s meal. The human services field and customer service divisions of companies also long for bilingual employees. If you’re able to coordinate and resolve problems in two languages, you can expect a salary slightly higher than your monolingual counterparts.
In a global economy and a competitive job market, speaking a little Spanish can make all the difference in landing you the job or boosting your wage. If you’re on the fence about enrolling in a class, downloading Duolingo Spanish, learning Spanish online or declaring it your minor, just do it! ¡Ándale!