Posts filed under Job Search Resources

English Majors: Avoid Making These 3 Common Mistakes on Your Resume

For most people I know, there is a great deal of dread and anxiety around creating or updating a resume. What should I include? How long should it be? What should it look like? And really, it’s not an easy answer—there is no clear-cut way to create a resume. In my experience, they’re all a little different.

But in going over hundreds of English majors’ resumes —whether it’s for Dear English Major or my writing business—I’ve noticed a few mistakes that are made over and over again.

Here are the 3 most common mistakes English majors make on resumes:

Mistake #1: Errors and inconsistent formatting.

Errors and inconsistent formatting are perhaps the most important aspects of a resume for English majors to avoid. When I’m searching for an English major to hire for a freelance writing gig, finding silly spelling or punctuation errors (especially more than one) or formatting inconsistencies (such as misaligned bullet points, extra spaces and unnecessary gaps in text) is a red flag.

I’m always looking for writers who can offer both a quality and close attention to detail, and it’s important that their resumes reflect the ability to do this. I recommend asking a few detail-oriented friends to look over your resume, or even hiring a professional editor (yes, even English majors need editors!). When a single piece of paper stands between you and a potential job, it’s definitely worth it!

Mistake #2: Simply too much text.

Let’s face it: English majors are known for being a bit wordy on paper! We can’t help it; it’s in our nature. We love words! But when it comes to a resume, this can be a negative thing.

When a resume is PACKED with long sentences or too many bullet points, it can be daunting to even begin reading. White space is your friend! There’s no need to use complete sentences; do your best to be succinct and to narrow in on a few key details. The ability to pare down your writing is a skill in and of itself!

Mistake #3: Poor design.

Simplicity and consistency are your friends when it comes to the design of your resume. Whether you choose to hire a graphic designer, buy a pre-made resume template or just do it yourself, you need to have a design that’s easy on the eyes (not too much text!), a font that’s easy to read, and clearly delineated sections.

Need some help getting started on your resume? Learn exactly how to craft a job-winning resume (and how to tailor it, too!) from From Graduation to Career Ready in 21 Days: A Guide for English Majors, and download a free PDF on how to tailor your resume HERE.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alyssa W. Christensen is the creator and managing editor of DearEnglishMajor.com. She lives in Seattle, WA and provides professional writing and marketing services to a variety of clients. Alyssa is also the Managing Editor of Home Scribe Creative, a professional writing service for real estate agents. Alyssa enjoys hanging out with her husband, spoiling her dog, playing guitar and violin, painting, writing poetry, and travel. She is also the author of the book From Graduation to Career Ready in 21 Days: A Guide for English Majors. 


Is Your Resume Being Ignored? Here's One Potential Reason Why

Applying for a job is a long and time-consuming process, especially if you’ve tailored your resume and crafted an original, beautiful cover letter (both of which you should be doing!). 

(Learn how to tailor your resume for every job in the free guide available on this page!

Wouldn’t it be a shame if all that hard work went to waste?

Few applicants realize this, but if you're submitting your resume via email, your resume isn’t what gives potential employers their first impression of you. Your email will provide a first impression, and when written poorly, it could cost you a well-deserved career opportunity. 

I’ve received many emails from writers who are interested in applying for a freelance writing gig, and unfortunately, many of these emails include the following easily avoidable mistakes:

  • Incomplete sentences: To me, this signals that this position is not important to you—you couldn’t even bother to write complete sentences (when applying for a writing gig, no less). This is a red flag, and unfortunately I will not respond—it doesn’t matter how amazing your resume might be.
  • Incorrect information: Sometimes, I can tell that someone has sent me a form response. This is totally ok, except when you forget to remove information that doesn’t apply to the writing gig that I’m offering! Part of what I’m looking for is an eye for detail.
  • Errors: We all slip up now and then. I have personally hit the “send” button too soon, only to realize there was an error in the email. It’s embarrassing! Fortunately, I understand that we all make silly mistakes in life and that’s why we all need an editor! But more than one or two errors, and I’m becoming concerned about your writing abilities and again, your eye for detail.

Seeing one or more of these errors is reason enough for an employer—especially if they’re hiring a writer—to not even look at your resume!

In my book From Graduation to Career Ready in 21 Days: A Guide for English Majors, I include a handy checklist for sending applications via email. It’s a seemingly small thing, but it’s so important that I want to share it with you right here.

If you are sending your application via email, here are a few important things to do first:                                

  1. Enter your recipient’s email address LAST. You don’t want to hit the wrong key and accidentally send a half-completed email!
  2. Review the application requirements. Do you have all of the components ready? (You want to show that you can follow directions.)
  3. Add a subject line. (Is everything in it spelled correctly?)
  4. Attach appropriate documents. If it says to include writing samples in the body of an email and NOT as an attachment, then do so.
  5. Keep it short and succinct. Include your name, the position you’re applying for, a list of what is enclosed in the email, and a thank-you for their consideration.
  6. Proofread it.
  7. Ask someone else to proofread it.
  8. Finally, enter the recipient’s email address. Is the email address spelled correctly? (You want your application to actually arrive! 

Want more tips like this? Check out From Graduation to Career Ready in 21 Days: A Guide for English Majors! View an outline of the book, read reviews, and download a chapter for free here.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alyssa W. Christensen is the creator and managing editor of DearEnglishMajor.com. She lives in Seattle, WA and provides professional writing and marketing services to a variety of clients. Alyssa is also the Managing Editor of Home Scribe Creative, a professional writing service for real estate agents. Alyssa enjoys hanging out with her husband, spoiling her dog, playing guitar and violin, painting, writing poetry, and travel. She is also the author of the book From Graduation to Career Ready in 21 Days: A Guide for English Majors


IMPORTANT Salary Negotiation Tips for English Majors

Searching for your first full-time job can feel desperate. Unemployment makes you vulnerable and it’s easy to jump at anything that bites. When you finally do receive an offer, negotiating for more money can feel out of the question, or may not even cross your mind. But it should!

We decided to break the ice on this taboo topic by reaching out to our readers for some real-world advice. Read on to find out how they approached their salary negotiations – and what the results were!

(For more real-world advice on how to land that first job, check out the book From Graduation to Career Ready in 21 Days!)


Ask for More – It’s Expected!

Tell us a bit about receiving your job offer.

“I was interning at a small company while in college. During my senior year, I started interviewing with my manager to set up a full-time job in their IT customer service department after graduation.”

How did you ask for an increase in salary or benefits?

“I did not ask for an increase. At the time I was only making $12/hour from the internship, so the salary they offered me after graduation seemed like a lot since I had never seen that much money before! In hindsight, I should have asked for more.”

“Feel free to ask for more, it’s not rude, and is even expected!”

Do you have any advice for English majors who are preparing to negotiate a salary increase?

“I am currently working as a technical recruiter, so I have a bit of insight into this. Recruiters are always working within a range, and they can't go outside of it. They'll initially offer you the lowest amount within that range. So if the range they're working in is $15-25/hour, they'll offer you $15, and if you try to negotiate with them they'll go up, but not above $25/hour. Feel free to ask for more, it's not rude, and is even expected! Just be aware that if they get to a point where they seem unwilling to budge, they're probably at the top of that range and can't go any higher. Do some research ahead of time on the type of job you're applying for and what people starting out in that role currently make.”


Don’t Accept Less

Tell us a bit about receiving your job offer.

“I applied for an English teaching position. Being extended the offer was actually very informal, done through email.”

How did you ask for an increase in salary or benefits?

“I was there signing my contract and noticed the salary was a good four thousand less than what other schools were starting teachers at, so I said, ‘I am uncomfortable signing a contract for this amount.’ Unfortunately, the only people who could do anything about it weren't there… so I signed for less than I am worth.”

What was the reaction? Did your negotiation result in an increase? If so, how much?

“Basically, I was looked at like a hassle and told I could wait to sign, but I drove in from another state and had to go back that night. No increase for me.”

“I know it is tempting to just accept an offer, because being employed is important. But if you know your worth, then insist on proper pay.”

Do you have any advice for English majors who are preparing to negotiate a salary increase?

“I would say don't accept less than you are worth. I know it is tempting to just accept an offer, because being employed is important. But if you know your worth, then insist on proper pay.”


Earn It

Tell us a bit about receiving your job offer.

“Social Media Creative Account Coordinator.”

How did you ask for an increase in salary or benefits?

“I asked HR for more compensation.”

What was the reaction? Did your negotiation result in an increase? If so, how much?

“I didn’t really negotiate. Just got what I asked for.”

Do you have any advice for English majors who are preparing to negotiate a salary increase?

“No different than any other job with a different degree. Work hard and your job will know if you earned it.”


Consider Fringe Benefits

Tell us a bit about receiving your job offer.

“I was asked to interview for a copywriter position via a phone call with the hiring supervisor. The official offer came by both email and phone.”

How did you ask for an increase in salary or benefits?

“I asked for additional salary commensurate with transferable experience and the salary track at my then-current position.”

What was the reaction? Did your negotiation result in an increase? If so, how much?

“They wanted to provide more salary, but stated I was being hired at above budget. Instead they offered two weeks paid time off while I transitioned jobs.”

Do you have any advice for English majors who are preparing to negotiate a salary increase?

“Remember that a degree in a specified field does not equal automatic experience. The skill sets you develop as an English major are transferable to real-world work environments. Most non-humanities majors do not prepare students to succeed in interpersonal work environments the way an English major will. You can teach someone a job. It's much harder and more expensive to teach an employee how to be a good working member of a team. That's the advantage of your degree. Use that in your negotiations.”


I Should Have Asked

Tell us a bit about receiving your job offer.

“Education Director with nonprofit literary organization. I applied via email and had two phone interviews of two hours each with a hiring committee. Offer extended by phone.”

How did you ask for an increase in salary or benefits?

“I accepted the position at the salary offered. It was about 20% more than the position I was in and they offered lodging until I could arrange to move.”

Do you have any advice for English majors who are preparing to negotiate a salary increase?

“At least ask. I was so grateful for an offer when I knew so many people with better qualifications who were unemployed. I should have asked for relocation expenses at least.”


Keep it Casual

Tell us a bit about receiving your job offer.

“Every job offer I've had was a very casual verbal agreement, either over the phone or in person.”

How did you ask for an increase in salary or benefits?

“I did not ask for an increase and honestly felt lucky to be accepted as an employee with a degree that wasn't what was ‘required.’ (Degrees in business and social services were in the job requirements.)”


Make An Offer They Can’t Refuse

Tell us a bit about receiving your job offer.

“I was leaving a claims adjuster position for an IT staffing specialist position. The offer was verbal from my future boss over the phone.”

How did you ask for an increase in salary or benefits?

“I spoke with the owner of the company, and I indicated that in order to be able to consider the offer I needed a fair base that would allow me to maintain my financial obligations whilst having room to grow with commission.”

“He took it very well, and worked with me to find an agreeable number and benefits with which I would be comfortable and able to consider.”

What was the reaction? Did your negotiation result in an increase? If so, how much?

“He took it very well, and worked with me to find an agreeable number and benefits with which I would be comfortable and able to consider.”

Do you have any advice for English majors who are preparing to negotiate a salary increase?

“Don't be afraid to ask! There's no reason why you can't negotiate unless you're absolutely desperate and have been explicitly told there's no room for negotiation (I have had jobs like that before as well). Stand up for yourself, do your research, and make the case for why your skill set is worth the number you want. Make them an offer they can't refuse!”


It Adds Up

Tell us a bit about receiving your job offer.

“I have asked for prep school teaching and nonprofit coordinator jobs. I have asked both over email and over the phone.”

How did you ask for an increase in salary or benefits?

“I asked the person who sent me the contract (usually HR or a 'director' level person), "Is there any wiggle room here? I was hoping for ______" Keep the language polite and firm. Be ready to share why, but left them ask you. Sometimes they don't. Remember they are expecting you to ask for more!”

What was the reaction? Did your negotiation result in an increase? If so, how much?

“The reaction has always been yes. Once the increase was $2,000 vs the $5,000 I wanted, once they met me halfway and once it was $5,000. These are not small amounts!”

Do you have any advice for English majors who are preparing to negotiate a salary increase?

Always, always ask. Unfortunately, this tends to be gendered. Women do not ask, while men typically do. This can add up over a career. Know your worth!


Do Your Research

Tell us a bit about receiving your job offer.

“I applied for a copywriter position with a digital marketing agency. I communicated with the Managing Director throughout the entire process. The entire process was a week long. First, I had a brief phone interview and was asked to complete a writing sample. Then I had a face-to-face interview. I sent a follow-up thank you email. The director replied and told he me was preparing an offer letter. Everything besides the phone interview and face-to-face interview was done by email.”

How did you ask for an increase in salary or benefits?

“The Managing Director sent the offer letter via email with a starting salary of $37K. I thanked him for the offer and mentioned that after researching the market I noted that most copywriter salaries started at or above $40K.”

What was the reaction? Did your negotiation result in an increase? If so, how much?

“He responded that for our local market $40k is a bit high for entry level, but he'd be willing to start me at $38K. I accepted because I felt that it is fair because initially he wanted someone with 2-3 years experience (professional/agency) and I am grateful that he is giving me the opportunity although I have no experience.”

Do you have any advice for English majors who are preparing to negotiate a salary increase?

“My advice is to do market research on the position you are applying for to get an idea of what the starting salary for the position is in your local market. Even if you still aren't sure what to ask for at least ask if they can do a little better. I believe most employers can pay more than they may initially offer you unless it's the type of company where salaries are strictly set.”


READ MORE:

Posted on March 9, 2016 and filed under Articles, Featured Articles, Job Search Resources.

Can’t Find a Job with Your English Degree? Here Are 4 Things You Should Do Next

We know: For many college grads, the job search process can be frustrating and seemingly hopeless.

While we at Dear English Major firmly believe that the career options are endless for writers and English majors, we also know that there are a myriad of factors that go into actually getting a job.

So, what happens when you’ve been applying to jobs endlessly to no avail?

It’s time to turn lemons into lemonade. When you can’t seem to score a job that uses your English degree in the way you had hoped, we have some suggestions for what to do next:

1. Apply for other types of jobs.

Oftentimes, taking a job that isn’t related to your English degree (or doesn’t even require a degree) can feel like a slap in the face, but don’t get down on yourself. It very well could be a step in the right direction, believe it or not. Maybe it’s nannying, maybe it’s data entry, maybe it’s delivering pizzas. (Check out our article “How Working in the Service Industry Has Made Me a Better Writer” for inspiration!) You’d be surprised at how many people in the service industry have a side hustle, and you never know who you’ll meet or what doors you’ll open.

So even though it may not be your dream job, connect with as many people as you can, learn as much as you can, and continue applying for jobs in your desired field.

2. Spend time volunteering at organizations you’re interested in.

This can be an excellent way to meet new people, learn about something new, and add something useful to your resume. After all, it’s important to have expertise in subjects other than those taught in your English major, and this is a good place to start. Organizations are always looking for volunteers! Find a nonprofit that interests you, and ask if they need volunteers. (There are lots of writing-related jobs in the world of nonprofits, and it can’t hurt to make some new connections.)

3. Network with professionals in your desired field.

Use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Meetup.com, DearEnglishMajor.com, and more to connect with others in your desired field. Ask for advice, ask for tips, and ask them to keep you in mind the next time a job opportunity comes up. Reference our article “Networking for English Majors: It’s Easier (& Less Painful) Than You Think!” for eight networking ideas for English majors.

4. Consider revamping your job search strategy.

It’s possible that you’re not being as effective in the job search process as you may believe. One big problem we see and hear about are job searches that aim for quantity over quality. By this, we mean that many applicants will fire off their resumes in all directions without taking the time to tailor them to each position, write unique cover letters, follow up whenever possible, etc. Yes, this is time consuming, and it can be frustrating to spend hours on one application only to never hear back. But wouldn’t you rather know you gave it your all, instead of wondering if you could have tried harder?

It’s also important that you’re not applying to jobs in a bubble! See what others you know did to apply, ask friends (or hire an editor) to proofread your resumes and cover letters, and practice answering interview questions.

For additional advice on the job search, check out our day-by-day guideline of “How to Navigate Your Job Search in 21 Days.”

And, as you’re keeping busy and working towards your ultimate goal of gainful employment in a position you love, check out our list of “10 Ways to Stay Productive While You’re an Unemployed Writer.”

Posted on February 18, 2016 and filed under Articles, Featured Articles, Job Search Resources.

How Much Money Do English Majors Make?

As we mentioned in this recent article, the English major has a PR problem. We all know far too well that there are many misconceptions out there regarding the English major. Unfortunately, many of these misconceptions are held by English majors themselves. Many current students in pursuit of an English degree find themselves committing to the major despite the "fact" that "they won't earn any money" and "won't find a job." (A quick search for "English major" on Twitter alone will shed some light on this popular conclusion.) So, when they do graduate and find a job that involves writing/editing/marketing/publishing/social media/etc., they might feel grateful that they even found a position related to their degree... even if the pay is low (sometimes, horrifyingly low). 

Our English degrees equip us with a long list of skills that are transferable to a variety of careers. But if we don't see the immense value in our own degrees, why should the average employer? Many employers know and take advantage of the fact that they're offering some English majors an opportunity that they never truly expected: a decent paying job doing something related to their degree. (Sure—we know there are exceptions.) Many English majors will happily take those job offers without a second thought. 

Consider your skills. Consider your worth. When you're offered a job, ask for more money (yes, really). Negotiate your salary (seriously). Ask for a raise. But first, research the job market. See what's out there. How much money do English majors make? 


THE FACTS

In this article, you'll find information regarding the income of English majors using data from national organizations and anecdotal data that we have collected from our audience. 

A couple of important notes before we get started:

You can make money with an English degree. (!)

There are jobs for those with English degrees out there, but like any degree in any subject, it can sometimes be a real challenge to find a job. We're not blind to that fact, but hopefully, you will be able to use the information below to empower you in your job search and career. 

Use this information to your advantage. 

When you're researching jobs, negotiating your salary, asking for a raise, and choosing a field to enter, you'll definitely want to educate yourself on wage norms and expectations. 

Now, enough talk. We'll let the following information speak for itself.


NATIONAL DATA

The graph below shows data from the May 2014 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates report from the Occupational Employment Statistics via the Bureau of Labor Statistics from the United States Department of Labor website. We have focused on common careers for English majors. 


Below, we’ve included ALL of the information we received in our income survey.

But first, a few things to consider:

  • Benefits (such as healthcare, retirement, sick days, etc.) are not noted, and can add up to thousands of dollars in value.
  • Years of experience often directly correlate to the amount of money someone is making. 
  • Location is not included. 

Each entry is formatted as follows:

Salary / Hourly rate - Job title / Field

  • Degree title
  • Years of experience / years in current field
  • Any additional comments the person wished to provide

Data Collected During the 4th Quarter of 2017

$9.50/hour – Receptionist

  • Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Professional Writing and Film
  • <1 year
  • “It's a small business and I got the job because my friend is the manager. This was the only job I could find after being unemployed for 3 months despite having my degree.”

$10.00/hour – Library Clerk

  • BA in English and BFA in Creative Writing with a MA in English
  • 6 months

$10.00/hour – Backroom Stocker

  • Bachelor's in English, UCCS
  • >1 year
  • “Huge chain, non-negotiable salary, is normal among my peers.”

$10.00/hour – Assistant

  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • <1 year
  • “I work for a small non-profit. I graduated about six months ago.”

$12.36/hour – Patient Services Coordinator (Healthcare)

  • BA in English with a writing concentration from Christopher Newport University
  • 2 years
  • “Big company, will be getting a promotion/raise in the next couple months."

$13.00/hour – Administrative Assistant

  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • 9 years

$14.00/hour – Eligibility Analyst (Pension)

  • Bachelor of Arts - English Literature
  • 1 year

$14.20/hour – Library Clerk

  • Bachelor of Arts in English from Southwestern University
  • 2 months
  • “Work for a city government, pay rate is pretty good, have really good benefits. Will get a pay raise after 6 months in the job.”

$15.00/hour – Library Assistant (Library and Information Science)

  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • 1.5 years

$15.41/hour – Professional English Tutor (Learning Commons Facilitator)

  • Bachelor's of Arts in English with a Writing Specialization
  • 3 years
  • “I tutor for various community colleges and for a well-known textbook publishing company. When I started, I made $10-11 an hour and worked on an as-needed basis. If students canceled appointments or didn't show up, I was not paid. After two years, I found a community college offering walk-in tutoring. Currently, I am the lone English tutor for a Learning Commons Center at a community college; part-time work isn't ideal, but the steady pay and hours suffice while I ponder future career possibilities.”

$15.85/hour – Page Designer (Newspapers)

  • English
  • 1 year

$17.00/hour – Copywriter

  • BA English
  • 1.5 years
  • “I work two part-time jobs, but consider the copywriting job to be my main gig. The other job is at a restaurant where I work for tips.”

$17.50/hour – Special Education Assistant at BHS English Inclusion Center

  • English
  • 6 months

$17.63/hour – Global Content Specialist (Marketing)

  • BA in English Literary Studies
  • 2 years
  • “ work for a large corporate company. I help manage & proofread the content for our website and marketing materials. I am the middle man between the content writers and the freelance translators that translate the content. The salary is set pretty solidly on how long you've been here and there wasn't a lot of chance for negotiation. Killer benefits & health insurance though!”

$18.50/hour – Director of Marketing for Religious Non-Profit Foundation

  • Bachelor of Arts in English (and half of a Master of Arts in English)
  • 2.5 years
  • “I negotiated to start a little higher than they would have offered. It's a non-profit so no one makes very much unless you're an executive.”

$20.00/hour – Database Administrator (Non-Profit Sector)

  • Literature
  • 1 year
  • “I started in an assistant position and was promoted. My degree has actually proven very useful; previous database admins either didn't provide documentation or didn't write it clearly, whereas I've been able to not only improve our database but also empower users to understand how it works.”

$25.00/hour – Executive Director

  • English/Liberal Arts
  • 7 years

$69.00/hour – Adjunct Professor

  • Masters
  • 1 year

$100.00/hour – Marketing (Self-Employed)

  • English, BA from Penn State
  • 12 years

$100/day – Certified Substitute Teacher

  • BS Childhood Education/English MSEd Special Education (In Progress)
  • Since September of 2017

$3,000/class – Adjunct English Instructor

  • MA English
  • 7 years
  • “Part time university/college teaching is sketchy. Schedule not guaranteed for any semester. Lucky to get one summer class. Full time positions competitive with so many PhDs available/looking for same. Love teaching but with part time cannot pay student loans. Will have to look for other industry if full time teaching doesn’t happen for next year.”

$8,000-10,000/year – President/Founder of Content Marketing Business

  • English
  • In field for 12 years; started Business 3 years ago

$19,000/year – Administration

  • BA in English
  • 2 years

$25,000/year – Freelance Writer

  • Bachelor of Arts – English
  • 1 year

$25,000/year – English Instructor

  • MFA Indiana University
  • 12 years
  • “Don’t get an MFA if you want to teach. Don’t teach if you want to make money. Don’t ever take an adjunct job. Ever.”

$29,400/year – Library Associate (Public Library)

  • Bachelor of Arts degree in English
  • <1 year
  • “I use my English degree regularly in this position and many of my coworkers have English degrees as well. I use my love of reading all the time by recommending books and advocating for literacy. Because of my English degree and my background in writing for social media, the library saw fit to place me in charge of the Facebook page for the Teen and Children’s Departments. Post graduation, I had my doubts as to my field of study, but my degree has led me to a job I love.”

$29,500/year – Social Media and Marketing Coordinator

  • BA English, minor in Business Administration
  • 3 years part-time; <1 year full-time
  • “I think my previous work study experience and business minor have allowed me to have a stable job right out of college.”

$30,000/year – Customer Support

  • BA English Literature
  • 10+ years

$30,000/year – Resource Specialist (Non-Profit)

  • BA in English, Minors in Sociology and Spanish
  • <1 year
  • “My job is to help connect clients to resources (housing, job training, transportation etc) that allow them to achieve stability in life. It does not directly connect to my English degree but I find the communication skills I honed as an English Major to be incredibly useful.”

$31,000/year – Freelance Writer

  • BA English
  • 3 years
  • “It's piece by piece as a freelancer, so everything differs month to month.”

$32,000/year – Project Coordinator (Publishing)

  • English, University of Iowa
  • 1.5 years
  • “I work for a small publishing company in the Midwest that focuses on customized product for higher education. My pay was recently raised due to changes in the market. The publishing field is increasingly moving towards digital product, which is exactly what my company has done.”

$32,500/year – Copywriter

  • English
  • <1 year
  • “I work for a small-ish business of around 60 people. I live in the Houston area, and my salary definitely isn't competitive in this market as far as I can tell. But hey, it's my first job and I like the atmosphere a lot.”

$32,900/year – English Teacher

  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • 2 years

$33,000/year – Associate Services Coordinator (Administration)

  • Bachelors of Arts, English Concentration in Creative Writing
  • 1.5 years
  • “I work for a small company and do anything they need from me in and out of the realm of English. My salary started at $30,000 and was raised to $33,000 after 8 months for a merit based raise.”

$34,000/year – College Academic/Career Advisor

  • BA English
  • 6 years
  • “I also teach remedial reading and writing at a community college for $1650 a semester (one, 3-credit-hour class).”

$35,000/year – Executive Assistant (Non-Profit Sector)

  • Bachelor of Arts in English, Campbell University
  • 1.5 years

$35,000/year – High School Teacher

  • English, Elon University
  • <1 year
  • “Norm for a teacher.”

$35,000/year – Teacher (Middle School)

  • Creative Writing
  • 3 years
  • “Teachers make nothing and are expected to give their jobs everything they earn and all of who they are. There are no sick days, there are no mental health days, you don't take vacation, and you are rarely appreciated.”

$35,000/year – SEO

  • Bachelor of the Arts
  • 1 year

$36,000/year – Sales Assistant (Trade Publishing)

  • Masters of Publishing, Pace University
  • 1 year
  • “Big independent publishing house. Lowest starting salaries in the industry. Trying to change that by organizing with a union.”

$36,000/year – Fundraising/Development

  • BA English Literature
  • 1 year
  • “I work for a small non profit. The salary is pretty normal for an entry level fundraising job.”

$37,000/year – College Instructor

  • Master of Arts in English
  • 10 years
  • “I was paid $29,800 until Spring 2017, when I finally got pay equity in my department.”

$38,000/year – Clinical Trial Coordinator

  • BA English
  • >1 year

$38,293.48/year – Trial Master File Lead (Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials)

  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • 2.5 years
  • “I work for a large international corporation. The pay is low for my position compared to other companies but the corporate culture is outstanding.”

$40,000/year – English Instructor (South Dakota State University)

  • English, South Dakota State University
  • 1 year

$40,000/year – Web Content Manager

  • Bachelors of Arts
  • 3 years
  • “I work for a private University. It is my alma mater, so that contributed to me getting the job.”

$40,000/year – Legal Administrative Assistant

  • Masters of English with a Creative Writing Concentration
  • <1 year

$40,000/year – Copy Editor

  • BA English,Concentration in Writing
  • 3 years

$40,000/year – Webmaster (Marketing)

  • English Literature
  • 2 years
  • “I used my degree and combined my work on student yearbook to go into media and marketing. I negotiated my salary, initially offered at $35K but with the school undergoing a rebranding process, upped it to $38K. The additional, approximate 2K comes from my freelance work. I believe my situation isn't what usually happens to English majors, but it's a valuable route to take. Utilizing other skills with an English degree comes in handy when looking for a way to make money doing the things you love.”

$40,238/year – Teaching

  • English (Focus on Education), Virginia Tech
  • 2.5 years
  • “Public education.”

$41,000/year – Journals Manager (Publishing)

  • Colgate Unix BA in English
  • 14 years

$41,641.60/year – Editor/Writer (Communications and Marketing)

  • Bachelor of Arts, English; University of Minnesota, Morris
  • 5+ years
  • “We have a generous benefits package at the University of Minnesota; I tried, unsuccessfully, to negotiate for a higher starting salary.”

$42,000/year – Content/Social Media Specialist (Higher Education Marketing)

  • Bachelor of Arts in English with a Concentration in Writing and Minors in Religious Studies and Public Relations
  • 1.5 years
  • “I started as at $32,000 as an admin/writer for the college I graduated from after interning with the marketing department senior year. I got promoted to writer and social media coordinator a few months ago. It might take English majors a bit longer to reach that higher number (I really wanted to start at $40,000 out of college) but it only took me a Year in this job to get there. Don't be afraid to take a slightly lower position and rise up!”

$42,000/year – College Instructor

  • Master of Arts in English, University of Wyoming
  • 7 years
  • “The above salary is for 30 contracted credits of teaching in an academic year, plus other assigned duties like committee work. Above 30 credits is paid at $640 per credit, which is our adjunct rate.”

$42,000/year – Teacher

  • Bachelor of Arts in English from Baylor University
  • 3 years

$42,500/year – Marketing Support Specialist (Content Marketing)

  • Bachelor of Arts in English with a Professional Writing Concentration
  • 4 months
  • “This is my first job after graduation. The company is an international software company where, overall, we’re in the top three for our market worldwide (some specific products are higher). I also live in Alabama, where the cost of living is much more reasonable than in major US cities. I know I make less than the company’s tech writers, but my division actually makes the engineers do their own writing, thus eliminating that position.”

$43,000/year – Analyst

  • BA in English from Wayne State University
  • 2.5 years
  • “I work trade management advisory service, essentially the field of Customs/Import/Export. Not in Logistics or Transportation. I work for worldwide organization with about 750 total employees. Pay increases happen yearly. I work hourly, so I have the opportunity to achieve overtime and as such my listed gross salary can be larger accounting for overtime.”

$44,000/year – Communications Coordinator

  • English Literature
  • 6 years
  • “I work in an academic department of a public university.”

$45,000/year – Associate Editor of Academic Publications (Higher Education Publishing)

  • Masters of Science in Publishing, Pace University
  • <1 year
  • “This was not out of college/grad school, but over two years after graduation. This is also a small niche in the field and not in the wider publishing field that I originally thought I would be entering with this degree.”

$45,000/year – Senior Program Coordinator (Higher Education)

  • MA English Lit
  • 10 years

$45,000/year - 7th Grade ELAR Teacher

  • Masters of Arts in English Literature from Texas Woman's University
  • 3 years

$46,700/year – Telephone Claims Rep

  • Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • 1 year

$47,000/year – English/Humanities Instructor

  • BA & MA in English
  • 9 years
  • “I am full-time faculty at a community college, where my required teaching load is 5 courses each semester plus weekly hours tutoring in the writing assistance center. I am off from mid-May to mid-August. I’ve been teaching full time for 3 Years, but I am very lucky to have a full-time position. The only teaching opportunities I could get for 5 Years after earning my MA were as an adjunct— open full-time positions are scarce in the community colleges and basically nonexistent (especially for those who do not hold a PhD) in universities.”

$47,500/year – Writing Program Director and Instructor (University)

  • MA in Literature
  • 6 years

$47,724/year – Staff Services Analyst (Government/State Employee)

  • BA English with Concentration in Creative Writing (University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA)
  • <1 year
  • “Salary is the starting range for individuals with a Bachelor's degree.”

$51,000/year – Implementation Manager (Technology)

  • Bachelor of Arts, English
  • 2 years

$52,300/year – Assistant Professor

  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
  • 15 years
  • “This is for a full-time position. As an adjunct, the most I ever made was $40,000 from working multiple jobs and not taking breaks.”

$52,600/year – Teacher (Secondary Education)

  • Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences in English and Political Science
  • 1 year

$54,000/year – Content Writer (Marketing)

  • Bachelor of Arts: English Literature - Creative Writing, Georgia State University
  • 3 years
  • “I worked for a large corporation and now a work for a tiny company.”

$55,000/year – Academic Dean/Registrar

  • English
  • 9 years
  • “I work for a very (incredibly) small vocational school where most employees take on dual roles.”

$55,000/year – Writer (Marketing)

  • Bachelor of Arts, English. Master of Professional Writing
  • 1 year

$55,000/year – Assistant Professor (Higher Education)

  • PhD, English Studies
  • 1 year
  • “I work for a small liberal arts college and run a writing center. I negotiated for a slightly higher salary and travel funding.”

$56,000/year – Teacher

  • English
  • 10 years

$56,000/year – Educator (High School English)

  • BA English, MA English, Texas Woman's University
  • 20 years
  • “I love my degree and my job, but I am severely underpaid.”

$56,500/year – Senior Communications Administrator (Higher Education Communications and Marketing)

  • Master of Arts, English
  • 7 years in Marketing; 4.5 years in Higher Education Marketing

$56,500/year – Content Strategist

  • Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature
  • 5 years

$58,000/year – Editor/Journalist

  • English
  • 1.5 years
  • “I work as an independent contractor for multiple companies. My main contract is a $50,000 salary.”

$58,000/year – Information Technology Compliance Manager

  • Bachelor of Arts English
  • 9 years
  • “I've found out a good deal of Information Technology Security Industry instructors are English majors. We get language. We bridge the gap between technology and high level (think C suite) communication.”

$59,914/year – Tourism Economic Development

  • MA English (Professional Writing)
  • 15 years
  • “I spent ten years with the state park service in PR and marketing (yes, I had a ranger hat) and recently transitioned to our state's tourism authority due to my expertise in ecotourism. I also am an adjunct instructor at my alma mater specializing in English courses tailored to students interested in tourism related majors.”

$60,000/year – Teacher

  • MA
  • 27 years

$61,000/year – Web Editor

  • English
  • 6 years
  • “I work for a small non profit.”

$62,300/year – Manager, Resources and Communications (Non-Profit)

  • Bachelor or Arts, English
  • 5 years

$65,000/year – Pharmaceutical Meeting Planner

  • BA
  • 20 years
  • “I work for a small company and we are subject to grants/project winnings. Even though my main job is logistics management, I also review all correspondence and print materials for projects, and how materials merge from the database for formatting and layout.”

$65,000/year – Editor (Academic and Literary Publishing)

  • BA English, University of Missouri and MFA, Creative Writing, Emerson Colleges
  • 22 years

$69,000/year – Education

  • Reading/Writing Instructor
  • 4 years

$70,000/year – Project Manager (Healthcare)

  • Master of Arts in English, Case Western Reserve University
  • 2.5 years

$70,000/year – Teacher

  • BA in English, Niagara University
  • 7 years
  • “$44,350 is base, but I teach an extra class for $6,000, have a Masters degree award for $3,650, a professional development point bonus for $2,000, and have bonuses from a grant up to $2,000 for attendance, $2500 for being effective or $4,000 for being highly effective, and $10,000 for supporting other teachers.”

$71,000/year – State Government Manager

  • English Literature
  • 10 years

$76,000/year – Quality System Manager (Biotechnology-Clinical Trial Software)

  • BA, English Writing (Creative Nonfiction), University of Pittsburgh
  • 8 years
  • “I write technical procedures and detailed reports on issues that crop up in the course of managing clinical trials via the FDA-regulated software my company builds for pharmaceutical companies. I use my writing skills every single day! My salary is the going rate for my position/experience for where I live (northeast US).”

$77,460/year – Senior Associate Director of Admissions (Higher Education)

  • Bachelor of Arts in English Literature
  • 13 years
  • “I work for a large public research university. I worked in retail and banking while earning my degree and after graduating. I took an entry-level position with my current employer after a merger put my bank job in jeopardy and worked hard to earn progressive advancement.”

$80,000/year – Assistant Store Manager

  • English/Creative Writing Dual Major at University of Maine at Farmington
  • 2 years
  • “I'm in sales. Our hourly is only 15.15/hour, but I've only seen that a couple times. I usually average 6500/m depending on the season though. I strongly urge fellow English majors to consider sales. It can be highly lucrative, you already have the ability to form arguments, and eloquence is a must.”

$80,000-85,000/year – Digital Advertising Sales Manager (Broadcast Television Industry)

  • English (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • 4 years
  • “I work for a small, family-owned broadcaster, but I would say that my compensation is right in line with what others in my field at my level make. I didn’t have to do a whole lot of negotiating- I told them the salary I had in mind and what they came back with was actually a bit higher because I get commission on the digital advertising my company sells.”

$84,000/year – Associate Professor of English

  • BA, MA, PhD English Literature
  • 7 years as tenure-track professor; 3 years of sessional work before that

$90,000/year – Marketing Manager (Tech Industry)

  • Creative Writing
  • 4 years
  • “I work for a huge corporation.”

$90,000/year – Business Owner (Marketing Firm)

  • English
  • 20 years

$95,000/year – English Teacher (Secondary School)

  • MA in English
  • 20 years

$95,000/year – Communications Manager (Non-Profit)

  • MFA in Creative Writing
  • 18 years
  • “I have gradually worked my way up from being an Editorial Assistant earning $25K just out of my MFA to where I am now at a series of national non-profits.”

$95,000/year – Elementary Education

  • Bachelor of Arts English folklore from the Ohio State University
  • 20 years
  • “An English degree has given me the best foundation for teaching. Colleagues who have degrees in education may have more pedagogy, but lack content.”

$105,000/year – Global Marketing Communications Manager (Skincare)

  • English (Professional Writing and Editing)
  • 12 years
  • “I work for a very large, well-known skincare company in Salt Lake City. I didn't negotiate my salary, but I did tell them what I wanted and was offered it. I think my situation is the norm...there are a lot of well-paying positions out there if you know where to look. Marketing, senior copywriting, etc. pay pretty well.”

$105,000/year – Professor of English (Community College)

  • MA University of Colorado
  • 20 years

$110,000/year – IT Project Manager

  • English Literature, UCLA, 2007
  • 7 years
  • “IT department at a mid-size company. I entered as a temp receptionist straight out of college (couldn't find a non-temp job) and was then hired. Answered phones for two Years, was promoted to a training development role, then into organizational change management, and now project coordination and management.”

$114,000/year – Manager, Information Development (Tech Industry)

  • BA in English (Writing Emphasis)
  • 17 years

$116,000/year – Associate Director of Programs

  • English, Truman State University
  • 17 years

$165,000/year – Certified Professional Controller (Air Traffic Controller)

  • Rhetoric and Writing
  • 3 years

You can find information from our original 2015 article below. 


NATIONAL DATA

  • According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, in 2014, English majors had an average starting salary of $33,574. 
  • According to Georgetown's Economic Value of College Majors, as of 2013, those with a degree in English language and literature (ages 25-59) make a median annual wage of $53,000.
  • As of May 2014, the national mean annual salary was $47,230 for all occupations regardless of level, according to the United States Department of Labor.
  • According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, in 2014, new college graduates with a bachelor's degree had an average starting salary of $48,127.

The graph below shows data from the May 2014 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates report from the Occupational Employment Statistics via the Bureau of Labor Statistics from the United States Department of Labor website. We have focused on common careers for English majors. 

Occupation TitleAnnual mean wage
Adult Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy Teachers and Instructors $52,830
Advertising, Marketing, Promotions, Public Relations, and Sales Managers $127,880
Lawyers, Judges, and Related Workers $129,410
Lawyers and Judicial Law Clerks $131,970
Lawyers $133,470
Paralegals and Legal Assistants $51,840
Court Reporters $55,000
Postsecondary Teachers $75,780
Education and Library Science Teachers, Postsecondary $65,690
Library Science Teachers, Postsecondary $72,440
Arts, Communications, and Humanities Teachers, Postsecondary $71,530
Communications Teachers, Postsecondary $69,230
English Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary $68,390
Graduate Teaching Assistants $32,970
Elementary and Middle School Teachers $57,080
Secondary School Teachers $59,180
Librarians, Curators, and Archivists $48,260
Librarians $58,110
Media and Communication Workers $60,490
News Analysts, Reporters and Correspondents $49,360
Reporters and Correspondents $45,800
Writers and Editors $66,990
Editors $64,140
Technical Writers $71,950
Writers and Authors $67,870
Interpreters and Translators $49,320
Proofreaders and Copy Markers $36,990

Created with the HTML Table Generator


DEAR ENGLISH MAJOR DATA

The graph below was created based on a survey we did of English majors from our audience:

DEM_HowMuchDoEnglishMajorsMake_Graph.jpg

Below, we’ve included ALL of the information we received in our income survey.

But first, a few things to consider:

  • Benefits (such as healthcare, retirement, sick days, etc.) are not noted, and can add up to thousands of dollars in value.
  • Years of experience often directly correlate to the amount of money someone is making. Most people who took our survey have less than 10 years of experience.
  • Location is not included. 

Each entry is formatted as follows:

Salary / Hourly rate - Job title / Field

  • Degree title
  • Years of experience / years in current field
  • Any additional comments the person wished to provide

$2,880 per course - Freshman Composition Instructor

  • Master of Arts English and African American Literature
  • 5 years

$8.50/hour - Teacher’s Assistant

  • English literature
  • 1 year
  • “I work for a non-profit childcare center. I wasn't able to negotiate my wages and my hours are atrocious.”

$15,000 - Teacher - High School Latin

  • Bachelor of Arts in English Literature (Louisiana State University)
  • 2 years

$15,000 - Graduate Teaching Assistant

  • Masters from NYU
  • “I'm a PhD student. When I was adjuncting for the past 5 years up until a few weeks ago and working 4 different jobs a year, I made between 30k-40k every year. I am hoping once I complete my PhD to be able to have *one* job and make at least as much if not more than I made as an adjunct. The job placement for my current program is very good—even if the $ offered via the assistantship isn't much to write home about. We *did* just get a raise from 12k to 15k!”

$16,000 - Public Librarian

  • B.A. In English

$16,000 - Doctoral Fellow

  • Master's in English
  • 10 years
  • “I am a graduate student working on a doctorate in English, and I have lived well below the federal poverty line ever since I graduated with my B. A. in English in 2005, 10 years ago. While I understand that a Ph. D. in English ultimately increases my earning potential, I believe it's important to emphasize viable career routes outside of the academy. "Post-ac" is a buzzword for this kind of work outside of the academy; there's also "alt-ac," referring to "alternative" academic employment that doesn't necessarily end with the position of a tenured professor. "Alt-ac" usually refers to academic publishing, administration, accreditation, or other such work that supports the academy without entailing scholarship or teaching. I choose to remain in the academy because I believe that, as a future adviser of other English majors, it's important for me to spread the message that English majors aren't bound to an academic life, and I stay tuned to your site in order to educate myself in these alternate paths.”

$16,000 for 10 months - Public Ally, Nonprofit Sector

  • Bachelor of Arts in English from Presbyterian College
  • “Public Allies is an AmeriCorps program that places their Allies in partner nonprofits to work on capacity building within the organization. I was placed with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and will start later this week. Every Public Ally receives the same stipend, regardless of prior experience or placement organization. It's a great program for English Majors because one of the main requirements is the ability to communicate with your organization as well as the broader community.”

$8.70/hour - Barista/Proofreader

  • English
  • 3 years
  • “I have two part time, dead end jobs. (Yes, even my job as a proofreader is dead end.) I graduated a year and a half ago, and I'm considering going to grad school, even though I really don't want to, so I can actually find a job in my field.”

$9.50/hour - Customer Service, Box Office

  • BA English, Liberty University
  • 5 years
  • “I work for a non profit seasonal. I have yet to find a full time position, but every position I have temporarily worked for complains that no one knows how to write or communicate, but isn't interested in seriously hiring English majors. Thank you STEM curriculum for having people turn their backs to us."

$10.00/hour - PE Teacher/Media Specialist

  • English
  • Less than 1
  • “My situation is certainly not the norm. My plan was to be in film school right now, but I couldn't afford it. The two jobs I have now were the only offers I got.”

$20,000 (max $2400 per class, with 3-5 classes per semester) - Adjunct English Instructor

  • BS in Religion & English minor, MA in Theological Studies
  • 4 years
  • “Not technically an English major, I was an English minor in undergrad and took creative writing classes as part of my MA program in theology. I teach English composition at a community college and a regional campus for a large state university in small Midwest town.”

$21,000 - Administrative Assistant, Manufacturing

  • Bachelor's Degree in English from Missouri Southern State University
  • 10 years
  • “I live in a place where the cost of living is one of the lowest in the nation and actively observed minimum wage is less than $8. I also have paid health insurance for myself AND my spouse. This helps make my very very low wage seem doable.”

$10.50/hour - Assistant Manager at a Restaurant

  • BA English
  • 2 years

$22,000 - Journalist

  • MA Modern Thought and Literature, Stanford
  • 3 years

$22,500 - Reporter

  • Bachelor of Arts in English, professional writing concentration
  • 2 months experience in current field
  • “I work for a newspaper in a small town and mostly rural community.”

$11.00/hour - Content editor/reviewer

  • Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Delaware
  • 1 year
  • “I am currently a freelance contractor for Study.com, a major educational website that provides high school students and other individuals with information about different academic majors, careers, and colleges and universities. The site also offers online learning for those who need extra help in certain subjects or are just interested in expanding their education. Since I am a recent graduate from the University of Delaware, my career is only beginning and I have not made enough money to sustain myself yet. However, I feel very grateful that the work I am doing helps high school students and people of all ages find out what they want to do with their lives. I would not be able to that at the level that I do if I had majored in a different field.”

$23,000 - Administrative Assistant

  • B.A. in English
  • 2 years
  • “I took this job after a devastating break-up just to support myself. But, it sucks. Double major in something practical if you still can!”

$23,000 - Copywriter/Content Coordinator - Magazine Retail/Home Decor

  • B.A. in English from The University of Maine
  • Less than 1 year
  • “I work for a New England/Maine company that sells home decor nationwide, and am the only Copywriter/Content producer, so in my own department/in charge of myself (just under the head of the company). It's quite difficult to get a job position like this in Maine (the company is located in Portland) especially if you don't want to write in a journalistic style or for a newspaper.”

$23,000 - Part Time Instructor

  • MFA
  • 20 years
  • “I work for Penn State.”

$23,000 - Marketing Associate - Retail

  • Bachelor of Arts in English - Lake Erie College
  • 11 years
  • “I work in the job I took to make my way through college. Although I believe an English degree can be useful in pursuing many different types of jobs, no one seems to be willing to give a job (one that would lead to a career) without experience, hence I am still working my retail position.”

$11.72/hour - Supplemental Leader (Teaching Assistant) for Freshman Composition I

  • English - Tech Comm track. UCF.
  • 3 years experience in current field
  • “I hold an English B.A. and I work for a local college. There is no wage negotiation at for non-managers. Max hours are 25 per week for part-time positions like mine. English SLs get 7 hours for one class, and 6 hours for every other class, per week; I have one class this semester.”

$24,000 - Program Coordinator

  • English
  • Less than 1 year

$24,000 - Senior Dining Coordinator @ Non-profit

  • Bachelor's of the Arts in English and Sociology
  • 2 years

$25,000 Adjunct Professor; 5 classes taught

  • Bachelor's and Master's in English
  • 2 years
  • “This is the norm for adjunct professors. You have to piece together your yearly salary by teaching a lot of first and second year composition classes, and you're lucky if you get 5. If you're set on being a professor, and you want to make decent money, get a PhD. Adjunct professors do not get benefits either. You make more money with a Master's degree in English as a high school teacher—really.”

$12.00/hour - Administrative Support Specialist for Marketing Dept. at Woolrich, Inc. (wool mill and outdoor apparel)

  • Lock Haven University - BA in English, writing concentration
  • With Woolrich for 4 years; full-time three days after I graduated (May 2015)
  • “I do FAR more than most with my title. I help with data entry, analytics, design, catalog proofing, work with imagery and our photo studio—I wear many hats! The job opportunity came because my hard work as a sales associate was noticed, nurtured, and harvested. Woolrich has been around since 1830. We've got a global market and impact, but our staff is currently several hundred people total. To that end, even though my title sounds menial, I frequently work with our President and Executive Board, so I have lots of opportunities. I also continue to write for our employee newsletter and plan to continue helping out at my former college with writing projects, like our student-run newspaper.”

$12/hour - Quality Assurance Expert/Customer Service

  • BA English with emphasis in literature
  • 8 years
  • “I don't know if this is the norm. My degree was under appreciated when researching for work but I have to pay the bills somehow.”

$12.30/hour - Emergency Dispatcher

  • BA in English with emphasis in Creative Writing
  • 6 years

$12.50/hour - Freelance Writer

  • Less than 1 year
  • BA English

$12.90/hour - Public School English Teacher

  • BA English, MEd Education
  • 10 years
  • “I went into teaching thinking I would do it until I could get a better job, believing teaching gave me relevant experience that could translate to other similar positions. I have found I was wrong. I have tried unsuccessfully for years to transition out of the classroom. People in the business world do not have the opinion that teachers have skills they are looking for, and my English degree seems less and less relevant to teaching as each year passes. If you can't commit to a career as a teacher, don't ever start.”

$28,000 - Department Lead, Retail Store

  • English, Bachelor of Arts, completed in 2011
  • 2 years

$29,000 - Customer Service Representative

  • Bachelor of Arts at the University of Virginia (English)
  • 2 years experience in current field
  • “My degree was disrespected to the degree that I was told that I wasn't paid to think, that thinking was above my pay grade. Since then, I have quit and am now attending law school. I think my background has definitely given me an edge there.”

$14.00/hour - Office Manager at a CPA firm

  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • 2.5 years
  • “I work for a small corporation. I handle the communications between the company and our clients. My salary was raised a few months before I graduated.”

$14.18/hour - Librarian Assistant 3

  • Master's in Arts in English with a concentration on Fabtasy and Science Fiction Literature
  • 1 year
  • “Mine is a county job in south Florida.”

$14.65/hour - Adult Literacy Coordinator, Library

  • Master of Arts in English from Colorado State University-Pueblo
  • 8 months
  • “I work for a local public library system. My current wage is entry level for my position level (Library Coordinator). I gained this position before completing my masters. Libraries tend to offer compensation that is lower than what one might make in the public sector. But, my wage is the same as other library coordinators within our district but higher than other districts throughout my state. I also work as a part time press writer for a local non-profit organization that supports the local arts @ $450/month.”

$14.75/hour - High School English Teacher

  • B. A. English
  • 4 years
  • “I also design English curriculum for an online store, which brings me between $500 to $950 extra each month.”

$15/hour - Substitute teacher

  • English Secondary Education
  • 5 years
  • “Public school English teacher positions are few and far between. I have been subbing since graduating with my BA in 2008 and have struggled to find a full time position in any Profession. The response I get is I'm either too qualified (I have an MA) or that my degrees have no correlation to the position. I'm interested to know where English majors find work, and how.”

$15.00/hour - Administrative Assistant

  • Bachelor of Arts with a Major in English from the University of North Dakota
  • “I worked as student employee for over two years and just graduated college. I work for a hospital. I know many people with a variety of Bachelor degrees - from Biology to Marketing - who work in Secretarial positions.”

$15.00/hour - Solutions Coordinator - Online Retail

  • Bachelor's of Arts in English
  • 2 years

$30,000 - Director of Outdoor School/ESL Instructor

  • Master of Arts - English: Teaching English as a Second Language
  • 2 years

$30,000 - Copywriter in Real Estate Marketing

  • English Language, Writing, & Rhetoric
  • 6 months
  • “I work for a small company and am the only full-time in-house copywriter and don't have health benefits, but the company culture and my job more than makes up for the financial aspect.”

$30,000 - Teacher/Counselor

  • English, Literature Option
  • 6 months
  • “Worked a minimum wage job for ten years before this."

$31,000 - Assistant Sales Manager in Retail

  • Bachelors of Arts - English
  • 2-3 years
  • “I have been in my field since I was in school, with my current company for 3 months. I was found on LinkedIn by the District Manager for a larger retail corporation than the one I was currently employed by and offered a much higher paying position (though the title of my job didn't change when switching companies.)”

$31,500 - Publishing, Production Editor

  • Bachelor's degree in English, College of Charleston
  • Less than 1
  • “I work for a publisher of local history books, and I feel lucky to be where I am. Definitely ask for more than your first instinct tells you, even if you don't necessarily have the experience. It can be a good thing, as you don't have bad habits to unlearn.”

$13.00/hour - Medical Receptionist

  • English - B.A., College of the Ozarks
  • 1.5 years

$32,000 - Local Marketing Support Representative (Marketing/Media)

  • Media Writing (Combination of Creative Writing/Media @ Ohio University)
  • Less than 1 year
  • “Recent graduate, fairly large company (three offices around 600 employees) created own major mixed English/Creative Writing and Media Studies, salary range given was $30,000-40,000 and got $32,000.”

$32,000 - Academic Program Specialist English

  • Master of Humanities with a Concentration in English
  • 2 years
  • “I work at a pre-eminent state university in Florida.”

$32,000 - HR & Operations Assistant @ Non-profit

  • BA in English from Texas Lutheran University
  • 2 years

$32,000 - Copywriter

  • Bachelor of Arts in English with a Writing Emphasis
  • 1 month
  • “I have never had experience in this field or in an English related field, save for my college education. I was offered this job writing copy for a health food and supplements company based on a writing analysis. I did not negotiate for my salary; it was the first offer.”

$15.50/hour - Assistant Librarian

  • Bachelors of English
  • Less than 1 year
  • “The librarian circle is very small and tight-knit. Once you know one, you have access to an entire network. The hard part is breaking into the circle.”

$33,000 - Licensed Insurance Representative for State Farm

  • Bachelors of Art - English Literature
  • 1 year

$33,000 - High School English Teacher

  • BA English
  • 4 years
  • “I work overseas as an international educator.”

$16.00/hour - Library Aide, Adult Literacy coordinator/Book Mobile

  • BA English, Sacramento State
  • 10 years
  • “I work in an extremely poor city for an extremely poor library system.”

$34,500 - Assistant Editor; educational publishing

  • Bachelor's of Arts in English Language and Literature
  • 1 year
  • “The company I work for is a bit smaller. There around about 300 employees in our home offices and about 200 sales people throughout various countries.”

$34,000 - Prevention Specialist  in Higher Education

  • Bachelors of Arts, Austin College
  • 3 years
  • “I work for a state university. I also have my M. Ed in Higher Education Administration.”

$16.75/hour - Social Worker

  • Bachelors of the Arts in English Literature Binghamton university
  • 5 years
  • “This is the norm for social workers. I didn't plan on being a social worker but I don't feel like anyone pays attention to English Degrees on resumes. I wanted to teach elementary school but with so many budget cuts it wasn't a sure bet to get my masters in that either.”

$35,000 - Environmental/Business

  • Gonzaga University, Bachelor of Arts in English, Creative Writing
  • 1 year
  • “I work for a budding solar company and was promoted within a year of working there. I attribute this to my degree because of the various communicative channels I used as an undergrad. Not only am I eloquent in the way that I write, I am also an exceptional verbal communicator.”

$35,000 - Senior Editor, magazine publishing

  • Bachelor of English, writing emphasis
  • 2 years

$35,000 - Digital Ad Operations

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Less than 1 year
  • “A starting wage right out of school w/ no experience. A non-creative role, though my degree definitely helped me get my position.”

$17.00/hour - Proofreader. Insurance.

  • B.A. in English Literature
  • 1 year
  • “I work for a large corporation.”

$36,000 - Project Assistant at a law firm in Chicago

  • English; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Less than 6 months
  • “I work for a small law firm in Chicago and didn't negotiate my salary enough. It was the first time I had been given the opportunity to suggest a salary in an interview, and I low-balled myself by saying 17-18 dollars per hour -- my salary equates to something like $17.33/hour.”

$36,000 - English Teacher (Middle School)

  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • 2 years

$36,500 - Production Assistant, Publishing

  • English (Penn State University)
  • 1.5 years
  • “I feel incredibly fortunate to have landed what is pretty much my dream job in only a little over a year after graduation. My salary is pretty much the norm for my field, but the age range for others with similar titles at a small university press will vary widely.”

$18/hour - Production Assistant for Theatre and Dance department at a university. I work in marketing.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing, Pacific University
  • 1 year
  • “I work for a small, private liberal arts university. I actually hold two part time positions for the same university in different departments. It did take me a year to find this level of work.”

$18/hour - Executive Assistant; financial

  • BA English ECSU
  • 1.5 years

$18.00/hour - Healthcare Staffing Coordinator

  • Honors in English Literature
  • 4 years

$37,000 - PR Coordinator. Mobile Gaming.

  • Bachelor of Arts, English (UC Berkeley)
  • 2.5 (6 months unpaid at a fashion PR agency, 6 months paid at a global PR agency w/ video game client, 1.5 years doing in-house PR for mobile games company)
  • “Entry-level/associate level at my paid internship was $36,000 so my salary is pretty standard for PR in general. However, it might skew low in terms of in-house PR, but that's because most in-house PR is at a manager level.”

$37,000 - Service Manager - Restaurant/Hospitality

  • Bachelor of Arts - English - WKU
  • 3 years
  • “I started as a server! My critical thinking skills and other capabilities helped me advance. Because I work for a franchise, my job description is more fluid and also pertains to marketing, which I would not have been able to attain in a corporate-run restaurant.”

$37,500 - Writing Program Director and Instructor of Composition, higher education

  • Master's of Art:English
  • 4 years

$37,740 - Assistant Director of the Center for Integrated Learning at Earlham College. (Higher Ed)

  • Master of Arts in English
  • 1.5 years

$38,000 - Director of Education - Educational Business

  • Bachelor's of English
  • 1 year
  • “I work for a large, national corporation in Educational Business. I began working for them as a part-time tutor 3 years ago until I was recommended to take over the Director of Education role. I did not negotiate my salary.”

$38,000 - English Teacher

  • English Education
  • 2 years

$38,000 - Business Instructor at an online college

  • San Jose state. English: Career Writing
  • 1 year

$38,000 - Business Liaison and International Credential Evaluator - Business/Management/Communications

  • Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Tennessee at Martin
  • 1 year
  • “My situation is quite unusual. I work for a small but rapidly growing department at the National Association of the State Boards of Accountancy. I started out in customer service and quickly advanced into credential evaluation. The evaluation job essentially consisted of reviewing and researching international education systems and creating reports dictating the international education and the U.S. equivalence. I recently received a promotion to the Business Liaison, which is a newly created position resulting from the astronomical growth our department has felt in the last year. There are multiple teams within the department, and they communicate with state boards, universities, and various internal and external stakeholders. My job is to coordinate and manage all the projects going on with the different team members, and make sure all projects, budgets, and other changeable elements are on time and in order. The job is different every day, and is expected to grow into a more stable management position within the department.”

$19/hour - Communication Specialist - Water industry

  • Bachelors in English Language and Literature minor in Business Administration
  • 1 year

$39,000 - Report Typist for an accounting firm

  • Bachelor of Arts - English - Creative Writing Emphasis
  • 1 year
  • “Not a huge corporation, about 3000 employees nationwide. Job includes proofreading (2% of job) as well as formatting (98% of job) documents for clients. Extremely detail oriented work.”

$39,000 - Middle School Teacher, Education

  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • 1 year

$39,000 - Quality Control Technical Editor - Military Aeronautics, Technical Publications

  • English, Bachelor of Arts - Kennesaw State University
  • 1 year
  • “I work as a subcontractor for a major aeronautics company. Very little room for salary negotiation as the pay scale is predetermined by the government's contracting agreement. Technical editing is not necessarily the field that I was interested in during college but I have been very successful in moving up within my group and within my company. I expect to work for 2-5 years in this field in order to have enough experience for future corporate writing/editing endeavors.”

$40,000 - Manager; Grants & Foundation funding for a nonprofit

  • B.A. in English from TAMU-Commerce
  • 1 year
  • “I was making 65k at a big corporation as a content writer but took a pay cut to find more fulfilling work.”

$40,000 - Faculty education

  • MA English language and literature
  • 5 years

$40,000 - Digital Production, Publishing

  • BA in English; MA in Publishing
  • 2 years experience in current field
  • “I work for a large university press. Academic publishing, unless you work for a giant such as Pearson or Cengage, tends to be low-paying across all departments. I negotiated my current salary based on counter-offer from another company; I was initially offered 35,000.”

$40,100 - Non profit program coordinator

  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • 6 years

$40,889 - Automated Publishing Technician

  • BA in English
  • 1 year
  • “I work for the government and my degree helps out a lot when it comes to writing certain documents in the office and looking for grammar errors in certain publications and documents.”

$41,000 - English teacher

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • 1 year
  • “I also have a teaching credential, and am contracted annually.”

$41,000 - Instructor/ Learning Resource Center Assistant

  • English
  • 8 years

$41,600 - Membership Manager for a professional association

  • B.A. English Literature
  • 4 years

$42,000 - Project Manager, Marketing

  • English (University of Texas at Austin)
  • 1 year
  • “I work for a small (15-person) dental marketing company. I started as a copywriter at $38,000, but was promoted to project manager after 10 months and received a raise. Our current copywriter makes significantly more than I did starting out (and than I currently make), but he has prior experience in the field.”

$42,000 - Web Optimization, Technology

  • English Education + Language/Literature Studies
  • 1 year
  • “I work for a company that contracts with Google. I also studied French which helped immensely to get this position. I worked as a contractor for roughly a year before signing on full time in April 2015.”

$42,000 - Project Coordinator, IT

  • Bachelor of Arts, English Literature
  • 1.5 years experience in current field

$42,000 - Copywriter

  • English Literature, University of California Berkeley
  • Less than 1 year
  • “Network!! It's all about who you know and following up.”

$42,000 - Higher Education

  • MA English language and Literature
  • 5 years

$20.00/hour - Technical Writer

  • B.A. English: Professional Writing
  • 1 year
  • “I work for a smaller company. I do graphic design work on the side, making an additional $400 a month. My salary seems toward the lower end of average for my area and English major friends.”

$20.39/hour - Timekeeper - Health Care

  • BA in English - University of Akron
  • 11 years
  • “I work for the Cleveland Clinic - one of the top hospitals in the country. Although I'm not utilizing my English degree (other than sending frequent e-mails throughout the day), I believe my degree helped me get my foot in the door. I would still love to work in some capacity in a more Englisj related field, but it's currently not in the cards.”

$42,500 - Marketing Coordinator

  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • 18 months
  • “I left my previous job that I had gotten with no experience as an Internet Marketer - starting salary 32k and a raise to 38k at my one year. Both are small businesses. In both positions, I did not negotiate for salary.”

$42,600 - Program Analyst

  • English Literature, University of Washington
  • 1 year
  • “I work in state government, and while my English degree is for sure helpful, I would have even gotten my foot in the door as an administrative assistant without also having two masters degrees :( I'm still early in my career in government and am in my 40s!”

$43,000 - Coordinator at a non-profit

  • B.A. in English from UC Berkeley. M.A. in English from Cornell
  • 6 years experience in current field

$21/hour - Customer Operations Associate

  • Master's degree in English from Texas Woman's University
  • Less than 1 year
  • “I changed from poverty level university adjunct teaching to comfortable entry level corporate work. I miss teaching but I love being able to afford to eat.”

$44,000 - Associate Technical Writer

  • Bachelor of Arts - English Literature
  • 5 months experience in current field
  • “I feel like I lucked out with a company that treats its employees really well. They actually offered me a higher salary than I asked for. I originally wasn't going to apply for any technical writing jobs, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to work for such a great company.”

$44,513 - Associate University Librarian

  • Bachelor of Arts in English (and a Master of Science in Library Science)
  • 8 years
  • “I work for an academic library at a state university. I was given the opportunity to negotiate a bit for my beginning salary, which is about the norm in my state for academic librarians at my level, I believe.”

$44,000 - Project Manager, English Higher Ed. Educational Publishing

  • BA in English, Dickinson College
  • 5 years
  • “I started as an Editorial Assistant in NYC at $32,620 in 2010. I think this was on the high side for the industry. My promotion to Project Manger included a 10% pay raise and access to the company bonus program (my current bonus goal is $4,000).”

$44,000 - Associate Editor, greeting cards

  • English, creative writing, BA, University of Kansas
  • 2 months
  • “I work at one of the main greeting card corporations. My salary was the base salary offered. I have the potential for advancement in a variety of positions.”

$45,000 - Community Coordinator, marketing and e-learning industry

  • B.A. English
  • 1 year
  • “I work for a growing start-up company, and this was my starting salary along with a 10% bonus each quarter dependent on if my company reached our quarter goals. In a month, the 10% bonus will no longer be in effect with my salary, but I will be receiving a bonus for working at the company for one year along with a 10% increase in my current salary.”

$45,000 - Restaurant Manager

  • UGA Bachelors of Arts in English
  • 10 years

$45,000 - Professor

  • Ph.D.
  • 11 years experience in current field

$46,000 - High School English Teacher

  • Bachelor of Arts with a major in English
  • 9 years

$46,000 - Teacher

  • BS English Education - Ball State University
  • 9 years

$46,100 - Digital Web Consultant / Online Marketing

  • Creative Writing, Texas A&M University
  • 2 years
  • “For my first full-time job out of college, I worked at a medium size business doing online data entry making $13 an hour. I heard it was easy to transfer into the copywriting department from there, where I would do social media, SEO analytics, blogs, web content, and press releases. 6 months later, I was able to transfer. I worked as a copywriter for $14 an hour for a year, then I got promoted to Lead Copywriter and got bumped up to $18.50. 6 months after that, I landed my current job, where I make 46.1K a year. I busted my butt for it.”

$47,000 - High School English Teacher

  • University of La Verne Bachelors Degree in English with a Single subject Teaching Credential in English
  • 1 year
  • “I work for a public school. Teachers are paid on a pay scale that gives you raises based on how much education you have and how long you have been teaching.”

$24/hour - Copy editor/Page designer (Journalism/Newspapers)

  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • 16 years experience in current field

$49,000 - 9th grade English I Teacher

  • BA in English, concentration in Creative Writing. Second BA in Theatre Arts.
  • 2 years

$49,000 - Business Services Specialist

  • English literature
  • 1 year
  • “First year in a big corporation.”

$49,000 - Educational Technologist (Higher Ed)

  • Bachelors in English, Western Kentucky University
  • 3 (kind of. Teaching lead me here, and that was 7 years)
  • “I work at Ohio State University. When teaching, I made $25-33k annually. Doing instructional design and Ed tech had been a big financial change.”

$50,000 - Writing Teacher

  • BA
  • 1 year

$50,000 - Digital Marketing Manager

  • English -Literature & Creative Writing
  • 2 years experience in current field

$50,000 - Production Editor in Trade Publishing

  • BA in Creative Writing, MA in Publishing
  • 4 months in trade publishing, 3 years in publishing in general (was in educational publishing for about 2.5 years)
  • “I work for a major trade publishing company and lucked into my job in that they hired me even though I had relatively little trade publishing work experience. My position is not entry-level. I did my entry-level work in educational publishing, where the pay is higher than entry-level trade positions. But it seems like very few people are able to jump into trade publishing at a level higher than entry-level.”

$50,000 - Teacher

  • BA on Literature - University of Houston Clear Lake
  • 2 years

$50,000 - Vice President of Client Services. Advertising

  • BA English, Mississippi College
  • 3 years
  • “I work for a small business, and my situation is definitely not the norm. I was essentially hired to help with project coordination, and I took the opportunity to learn about the industry and the company. A few raises and promotions later, and now I'm the senior employee, not including the owner/president. We've also begun a small publishing company (focusing on magazines), and now I'm regularly able to concentrate on writing, editing, and managing freelance writers. It's nearly an ideal job!”

$50,000 - Classroom Integration Developer; Higher Ed

  • MS in Book Publishing
  • Less than 1 year

$50,000 - Secondary Teacher

  • B.A. English Language and Literature, University of Washington
  • 1 year

$50,000 - Youth Development Director @ Non-profit

  • BA in English
  • 2 years

$51,000 - Community Outreach

  • English (Westminster College)
  • 6 years
  • “I also get $20,000 per year in benefits.”

$52,080 - Senior Revenue Agent with Washington State Department of Revenue

  • BA in English Literature from Pacific Lutheran University
  • 3 years

$53,000 - High School English Teacher

  • B.A. in English from U.T. Austin
  • 15 years

$53,000 - Technical Writer/Editor

  • Master of Arts in Technical and Expository Writing
  • 8 years
  • “I work for the federal government and have had no opportunity to negotiate but have received consistent within-grade increases each year due to acceptable performance. I even got a small bonus this year for the first time.”

$53,000 - Teacher

  • BA English, M.Ed. English Education, Ed.S. Curriculum and Instruction
  • 8 years

$53,000 - English Teacher

  • University of Maryland, BA in English; MEd
  • 6 years
  • “Public school system in Maryland. Because of budget cuts, we're about 2 steps behind our pay grade.”

$54,000 - Communications Specialist for Advancement

  • M.A English Literature
  • I've been in my current job for almost a year. I have been working for about 4-5 years in a professional writer environment.
  • “I work in marketing/alumni relations at a local university.”

$54,600 - Associate Director of Admission Field: Higher Education

  • BA in English
  • 15 years

$55,000 - Higher Education

  • B.S. and M.A. in English.
  • 2 years

$55,000 - Higher Education / Marketing

  • BA English / MBA
  • 7 years

$55,000 - Event Coordinator, Hospitality (Restaurant)

  • BA, English (Texas A&M University)
  • Less than 1 year
  • “Small, privately-owned restaurant chain in Houston, TX. Salary is based on a $45K base plus commission.”

$55,000-$60,000/year - Sole Proprietor (graphic design and editing services)

  • BA in English, literature and professional writing tracks, Virginia Tech
  • 5 years
  • “My first 3 1/5 years out of college, I was a production editor for a small book publisher where I went from $33,000 to $41,000. I began working on B2G proposals and desktop publishing work on the side, and realized I could make more money as a freelancer. I also have a background in graphic design, so I do graphic services as well under the same freelancing pseudonym.”

$55,389 - Teacher

  • English-Creative Writing
  • 6 years
  • “Teacher pay in Texas is based on experience. Our school does not participate in merit pay, so my students' standardized test scores do not earn me any bonuses. We can earn more if we teach in the summer. I believe our salary is higher than the overall state average. School finance is a big controversy right now, so many teachers have gone several years without raises and saw paychecks diminish due to rising healthcare costs.”

$60,000 - Digital Content Manager

  • 5 years experience in current field
  • Bachelor of Arts in English & Master of Arts in English
  • “[I] work for a large state university in Kentucky.”

$60,000 - Digital Marketing Specialist

  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • 1 year

$60,000 - High School Teacher

  • BA in English and MA in English and teaching credential
  • 2 years

$60,000 - Admissions Representative

  • BA in English, CSUF
  • 1 year in the business 15 years started as a rep then director now rep again
  • “Small for profit college. I have a Masters in Education too. Couldn't find work in management. I was a Director of Admissions now a rep again at $60K.”

$61,000 - Director of Information Systems (IT)

  • BA English
  • 5 years

$61,000 - "Research Program Officer" in the field of Research Administration

  • Master of Arts in English Composition and Communication
  • 5 years
  • “My full-time job is in the research office of a large university. I was hired based on my experience as a grant writer. I also earn additional income as a freelance writer (about $5,000 - $15,000 per year) and as a used book seller on Amazon (less than $1,000 per year). So English, particularly the development of my writing skills, has paid off and provided three income streams.”

$30-50/hour - Editor (publishing), Copywriter (travel)

  • English Literature, UW-Madison
  • 7 years
  • “I am a freelancer for multiple agencies. I have a few of my own clients and projects as well. I travel as I work. I've lived abroad for about six years while working 100 percent remotely.”

$64,000 - Professor of English

  • Masters-English (Rhetoric)
  • 9 years
  • “I work for a community college. If I would have known then what I know now, I definitely would have gotten more certificates and a phd. Those are huge bump ups on the pay scale. Get them while you're young and motivated!”

$65,000 - Senior Intake & Communication Specialist

  • Bachelor of arts degree in English
  • 7 years
  • “Bank - financial services; technology. Located in Toronto.”

$65,000 - Content Strategist @ an Ad Agency

  • English, Tufts University
  • 1 year
  • “Work for a large ad agency. Was offered starting salary of 55k. Successfully negotiated to 60k. Promoted after a year and increased to 65k.”

$65,000 - Operations Manager, Retail Management

  • English literature
  • 13 years

$65,000 - Associate Director of ESL DEPT.

  • Undergrad: English, Grad: ESL
  • 23 years
  • “I work at a University in NY.”

$65,700 - Senior Technical Writer, Johns Hopkins Healthcare

  • Bachelor of Arts, English - Bowie State University and Master of Science, Professional Writing - Towson University
  • 10 years
  • “My advice to English majors is to always pursue an advance degree. You'd be suprises how many doors the extra education opens up for you. Most CEOs aren't grammar fanatics but they always have someone on their team that is and can keep them sounding smart.”

$67,000 - Supply Chain Manager / Aerospace

  • English Literature, University of Nevada Reno
  • 6 years
  • “I work for a small business with about 20 employees. My first job out of college was as a technical writer, and through that I learned project coordination and later supply chain management. I will be finishing an MBA program this year.”

$68,000 - Senior Executive Secretary, Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, English, California State University, Fullerton
  • 3 years
  • “I work in the Superintendent's Office in one of the largest school districts in California.”

$33.15/hour - Human Resources Analyst

  • English Language and Literature
  • 4 years
  • “I work for a municipality with a workforce of about 480 full-time employees. I started as clerical support staff and was recently promoted to Analyst this year. Many people don't think about public sector employment when looking for a career, but it's great. You won't get rich working in government, but you can't beat the benefits. My degree in English has helped me write policies, interpret policies and procedures, as well as give me a different take on things that my coworkers who majored in Business can't relate to.”

$70,000 - Dual Credit Instructor

  • Master of Arts Literature
  • 9 years
  • “My situation is not the norm, but I teach dual credit literature in a midsized school district and receive a salary from both the high school and college.”

$70,000 - Technical Writer

  • English
  • 2 years
  • “I work for a large corporation. I don't love my job, but it's good money. And I get to write (although most of my writing is about things I don't care about) My real love (creative writing and reading) I do on evenings and weekends.”

$73,500 - Technical Writer. Oil and Gas industry

  • English Literature from Oklahoma State Univ.
  • 10 years
  • “I have been tech writing since I got out of college. I make a very decent salary now but I have had to work very hard to prove that I am worth the salary that I am asking for when I have job hunted in the past. It always turns out that people are thankful to have a writer on staff after a small amount of time. The job that gave me the biggest raise was doing civilian contract writing for the Dept. of Defense.”

$75,000 - English Language Arts Teacher

  • MA English/rhetoric and composition
  • 9 years
  • “I work for a small school district in LA county.”

$90,000 - Financial Analyst

  • English literature - Montana state university
  • 3 years

$90,000 - Account Executive (Sales)

  • English Literature
  • 15 years
  • “Corporation - I'm paid on commissions only!”

$92,000 - Digital Research Manager

  • BA English, Graduate degree in Business
  • 6 years

$100,000 - Chief Development Officer

  • BA in English
  • 30 years
  • “I've been doing my job a very long time, mostly because I'm getting old! Back when I was in college I had many people tell me that I should get a degree in computer science or business or accounting for security. All of those degrees sounded so boring to me. I went with English, writing papers about Chaucer and Toni Morrison, though mostly not together. When I graduated I got a secretarial job, and then about two years later I found myself working for a nonprofit. The pay was lower than it had been at my secretarial job, but they were willing to allow me to use my writing skills (although not willing to compensate me for my writing skills). So I stayed with them, built up a portfolio of writing samples and started moving from job to job, up the ladder gradually. I hit a few points where I switched jobs because I was unhappy and therefore made a lateral move, but mostly I've been on a slow climb up. I don't always love what I do, but I do like that in my career path I have generally increased my pay and responsibility. I make a good living (or at least good enough for my needs). I work in an expanding field, I get generous vacation and benefits. I also am vested in two traditional retirement programs. I have friends who went the corporate route, some made a lot of money early but now that we are in the last phase of our careers (I assume that I will retire in the next 15 years), I find that in some ways I am in a better financial position than some of my more corporate friends due to generous retirement benefits at two of the larger nonprofits that I worked for. And being able to take complex ideas and describe them in a way that many people can understand is a big part of what makes me good at my job. Thanks, English degree!”

$50/hour - Editor/Publishing

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • 8 years
  • “I freelance so my income fluctuates quite a bit.”

$110,000 - Property Manager in Real Estate

  • Bachelor of Arts - English. Florida state
  • 5 years

$111,000 - Communications Manager, Retail Industry

  • B.A. English, Eastern Illinois University
  • 9 years
  • “I work for a huge corporation.”

$142,000 - HR Business Partner

  • BA, English Literature
  • 18 years

$150,000 - Lawyer

  • BA -Theatre & English (Whittier College), MA-English Literature (DePaul University), JD (DePaul University)
  • 5 years
  • “Majoring in English is a good start, but I definitely wouldn't rely on it being the final goal. I'd couple it with plans for graduate school or a second major.”

$225,000 - President/Education

  • B.A., M.A., Ph.D., all in English
  • 25 years experience in current field
  • “Typical academic track--faculty, chair, dean, VPAA, president.”

$385,000 - Community Health Educator in Healthcare

  • BA in English Literature
  • 6 years
  • “I work for a fortune 100 company and went into social work after college.”



READ MORE: 

Posted on September 13, 2015 and filed under Articles, Featured Articles, Job Search Resources.

Networking for English Majors: It’s Easier (& Less Painful) Than You Think!

For some people, there’s something about hearing the word “networking” that sends them into fight-or-flight mode: “Nope. No way. I can’t network. If I have to network to find a job, I guess I won’t be finding a job. Ever.”

We don’t blame you if you’re not convinced of the awesome powers of networking yet; “networking” definitely has some negative connotations to it. It summons visions of awkward “networking events” where you’re supposed to meet strangers and strike up conversations out of thin air. To some, it refers to insincerity, “using” people to get ahead, and just being plain uncomfortable. To many of us English majors, this is NOT what we signed up for.

But as many seasoned professionals will tell you, networking is incredibly important when it comes to developing and growing a successful, rewarding career. Networking can help you score interviews, provide unique opportunities, get a foot in the door at a company you want to work at, expose you to freelance gigs, meet some awesome people, and sooo much more! (Want to jump straight to job search advice? Check out our ULTIMATE guide!)

  • When should I network?

ALL. THE. TIME. While you’re in high school, when you're in college, when you’re unemployed, when you’re happily employed. When you need a job ASAP or are desperately unhappy at a current position and looking for a new job… it’s too late. (Although late is better than never…) Ok, maybe that was a little dramatic. We're just trying to stress that you need to think ahead when it comes to building your network. 

  • Networking doesn’t have to be awful!

To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of people and places to network with. Implementing some of these ideas will come more naturally than others, but whether or not you have a job, we encourage ALL English majors to build up their networks of likeminded individuals no matter where they are in their career!

Here’s our 8 ideas for people and places to network with:

1. College

One of the benefits of going to college includes the people you meet there. Your peer group in school can be one of the most valuable networks you build. While other English majors are technically your post-grad competition, they’re also your allies! Let’s say one of your friends gets hired, and they hear the company needs another copywriter. Boom! You not only get a hot job tip, but you have an internal referral, too!

Of course, making friends with people outside of your major is also important. Business students go on to work at and start businesses, and they all need writers and people with top-notch communication skills. Chemistry students go on to work for companies that need writers, or people to write grants for research. See how this works?

And of course, it’s important to pick the brains of your professors and career center staff! If you have a dialogue going with them before it's time to hit the pavement and they're being bombarded by other similar requests, it'll be that much easier for them to be on the lookout for opportunities that might suit you. 

2. Alumni

Another excellent benefit of your college degree includes the alumni network you automatically inherit from your alma mater. Many alumni remember what it was like to have just graduated, and that means many are happy to help when asked! Whether it’s giving some advice, a recommendation, or an actual job referral, connections with alumni can be incredibly valuable.

Your school might have an online networking system for you to connect with alumni, or you can see if your Career Center can connect you with someone who has experience in the type of career you may be interested in. LinkedIn also has an alumni feature where you can see who else went to your college, what jobs they have, and in some cases even what they majored in. Send them a message and start the conversation! Invite them to coffee and ask some questions. Speaking of LinkedIn…

3. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is useful for connecting with alumni, but also others in your city and field or desired field. And by the way… if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet, now is the time to make one! There are lots of job postings on LinkedIn, and it’s a good way to see what other professionals in your field are up to. Have a question? Take a chance and send someone a message! Be sincere, don't send out impersonal, form-like messages, and respect everyone's time.

For tips on how to create a stand-out resume and how to clean up your online presence, you’ll want to check out our book From Graduation to Career Ready in 21 Days: A Guide for English Majors. We show you exactly what to do!

4. Professional associations

This is a great way to get your toes wet as a young professional. Becoming a member of a professional organization/association can get you plugged into the scene in your desired field. Many organizations offer advice, feature job listings, connection opportunities and more! Many are free to join, so there’s no reason to not give it a try. Here are just a few that might interest you: Society of Professional Journalists, American Copy Editors Society, Society for Technical Communication, American Marketing Association, Social Media Professional Association, Grant Professionals Association.

5. Groups & clubs

Connecting with like-minded people doesn’t sound so bad, right? Becoming part of a local writing community or book club isn’t just a great networking opportunity—it’s a good motivation boost, too! Try Meetup.com to get started in finding a group—there are TONS! Not only are these types of groups good for meeting new people, but they can also help you hone your writing skills and stay sharp when you’re out of school. 

6. Social media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads and other social media sites are filled with writers, readers, and other professionals who love learning, connecting and sharing. These all offer excellent ways to share your work, get noticed, and see what others are up too. Many connections and lifelong friends have been made using these sites—you just have to get creative and friendly!

7. Staffing agencies

Staffing agencies are companies that work to connect businesses with professionals, and there are several out there that specialize in working with creatives (including writers!). Staffing agencies come in all shapes and sizes; some are easy to sign up for and you can start browsing jobs right away, and others require in-person interviews. Some are specific to a particular city, and some can be used from anywhere in the world. We recommend meeting people in person whenever you can—making a personal and lasting connection does wonders when you're looking for a job! Agencies will sometimes host networking events or free classes, and this is another way to be the first to hear about new opportunities and meet like-minded professionals. 

8. Professionals in other fields

Like we mentioned in the "College" category, it can be beneficial to network with those outside of your usual sphere of connections. For example, professionals like graphic designers, videographers, photographers, and web designers often work on projects that need—you guessed it—writers and editors! Business owners need people to write press releases, website copy, and marketing materials. Nonprofits need grant writers and communications officers and savvy copywriters. The list goes on and on! While this particular bullet point could kind of say "Everyone With a Job," we only share this to get you thinking in new ways about what "networking" can be.


Want more job search advice? 

In our book From Graduation to Career Ready in 21 Days: A Guide for English Majors, we show you:

  • how to find the right jobs to apply for
  • what you need to know about marketing yourself online
  • how to make yourself a more appealing candidate
  • what to do after you’ve received a job offer

...and everything in between.

This simple, detailed guide is packed with the information and resources English majors need to successfully navigate the job search process in 21 days! CLICK HERE to download your FREE chapter! 

Posted on June 25, 2015 and filed under Articles, Featured Articles, Job Search Resources.