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For many American students, going away to college is a life-changing event that leads to newfound freedom, friends and responsibilities. As a freshman starting college, it’s difficult to think about what life will be like in the “real world” four years down the line. At some point, it can be helpful to think about finding the balance between studying what you love and finding a job β€” particularly when the average student’s debt is $37,172.

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Although some people may assume that “soft” majors β€” majors that focus on reading and writing β€” are impractical (maybe you don’t need to recite Shakespeare on a daily basis), these studies hone writing and communication skills, which are crucial abilities for many positions in today’s job market.

If you or your child has a serious passion for studying English or journalism, don’t write it off. There are various jobs in diverse industries perfect for these majors. CareerTrends, a career data site by Graphiq, looked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics data to determine the best careers for English, journalism and literature majors. The data analysts ranked all careers associated with English language, literature and journalism majors by their average annual salary β€” with the highest-paid career taking the No. 1 spot. Additionally, each profession’s 2016 employment numbers in the U.S. are included. One tie occurs between three professions.

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From teaching to photography and graphic design, there are numerous jobs out there for students interested in taking a less conventional path in college. If medieval English history or 20th Century Irish poetry interests you in college, it might get you further than you think.

23. Photographer

  • Average salary: $40,280
  • National employment: 50,070

Photograph people, landscapes, merchandise or other subjects, using digital or film cameras and equipment. May develop negatives or use computer software to produce finished images and prints. Includes scientific photographers, aerial photographers and photojournalists.

22. Announcer

  • Average salary: $46,410
  • National employment: 30,390

Speak or read from scripted materials, such as news reports or commercial messages, on radio or television. May announce artist or title of performance, identify station or interview guests.

21. Reporter and Correspondent

  • Average salary: $46,560
  • National employment: 41,050

Collect and analyze facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation or observation. Report and write stories for newspaper, news magazine, radio or television.

20. Audio-Video Technician

  • Average salary: $46,630
  • National employment: 62,460

Set up, or set up and operate audio and video equipment including microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, recording equipment, connecting wires and cables, sound and mixing boards and related electronic equipment for concerts, sports events, meetings and conventions, presentations and news conferences. May also set up and operate associated spotlights and other custom lighting systems.

19. Interpreter and Translator

  • Average salary: $48,360
  • National employment: 49,650

Interpret oral or sign language, or translate written text from one language into another.

18. Graphic Designer

  • Average salary: $51,640
  • National employment: 204,850

Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

17. Adult Education Teacher

  • Average salary: $54,060
  • National employment: 65,110

Teach or instruct out-of-school youths and adults in remedial education classes, preparatory classes for the General Educational Development test, literacy or ESL. Teaching may or may not take place in a traditional educational institution.

16. Kindergarten Teacher

  • Average salary: $54,510
  • National employment: 158,150

Teach elemental natural and social science, personal hygiene, music, art and literature to kindergarten students. Promote physical, mental and social development. May be required to hold state certification.

15. Elementary School Teacher

  • Average salary: $57,730
  • National employment:Β 1,381,430

Teach students basic academic, social and other formative skills in public or private schools at the elementary level.

14. Middle School Teacher

  • Average salary: $58,760
  • National employment: 632,760

Teach students in one or more subjects in public or private schools at the middle, intermediate or junior high level, which falls between elementary and senior high school as defined by applicable laws and regulations.

13. High School Teacher

  • Average salary: $60,440
  • National employment: 962,820

Teach students in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics or social studies at the secondary level in public or private schools. May be designated according to subject matter specialty.

12. Editor

  • Average salary: $64,910
  • National employment: 96,690

Plan, coordinate or edit content of material for publication. May review proposals and drafts for possible publication. Includes technical editors.

11. Education Professor

  • Average salary: $68,200
  • National employment: 60,260

Teach courses pertaining to education, such as counseling, curriculum, guidance, instruction, teacher education and teaching English as a second language. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

8. (tie) Writer and Author

  • Average salary: $69,130
  • National employment: 43,380

Originate and prepare written material, such as scripts, stories, advertisements and other material.

8. (tie) Creative Writer

  • Average salary: $69,130
  • National employment: 43,380

Create original written works, such as scripts, essays, prose, poetry or song lyrics for publication or performance.

8. (tie) Copy Writer

  • Average salary: $69,130
  • National employment: 43,380

Write advertising copy for use by publication or broadcast media to promote sale of goods and services.

7. Foreign Language Professor

  • Average salary: $69,520
  • National employment: 30,120

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

6. Communication Professor

  • Average salary: $70,290
  • National employment: 29,050

Teach courses in communications, such as organizational communications, public relations, radio/television broadcasting and journalism. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

5. English Professor

  • Average salary: $71,210
  • National employment: 75,730

Teach courses in English language and literature, including linguistics and comparative literature. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

4. Technical Writer

  • Average salary: $73,350
  • National employment: 49,770

Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.

3. Art & Music Professor

  • Average salary: $76,710
  • National employment: 98,310

Teach courses in drama, music and the arts including fine and applied art, such as painting and sculpture, or design and crafts. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

2. Film and Video Editor

  • Average salary: $80,300
  • National employment: 27,660

Edit moving images on film, video or other media. May edit or synchronize soundtracks with images.

1. Broadcast News Analyst

  • Average salary: $89,240
  • National employment: 4,730

Analyze, interpret and broadcast news received from various sources.

Tessa Boyce, StartClass |
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