What Types of Jobs Can I Get With a Master’s in English?

Hedy Phillips picture
Hedy Phillips
Updated June 14, 2021

After graduating with a bachelor’s in English degree, you might have to make the decision about whether to continue with your higher education and pursue a graduate degree in this field. If you decide to pursue a master’s degree in English, you can specialize or concentrate in a number of areas.

What you specialize in during your master’s in English program will have a significant impact on the types of jobs that you qualify for  — primarily because you take specific English classes related to your specialization and subsequently become an expert in those topics. That doesn’t mean you’re limited only to those parts of the field, though. There are plenty of other opportunities you can pursue outside of your specialization. 

So, what can you do with a master’s in English? You can teach community college classes, high school, or work as a writer, a technical writer, or editor with a master’s degree in English. You can also pursue a number of other job opportunities in fields like journalism, research, or communications. With a master’s degree in this field, your career opportunities may include the following:

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Journalism, Creative Writing and Copy Writing

Average salary: $49,000 to $67,120

Many of the writing positions that might be considered traditional jobs for an English major are those that directly involve writing. In journalism careers, master's degree graduates can not only work as reporters and senior columnists, but they are also qualified for positions such as managing editor. In addition to editing positions in journalism-based positions and companies, English master's level graduates might also find editing positions in publishing firms or the communications departments of various organizations and companies.

Writing is also a large part of traditional businesses from manufacturing companies to accounting firms. These industries employ writers to handle everything from writing copy for a website to developing advertising content in the marketing department. With a master's degree, English graduates are well-prepared for writing and editing in all types of industries.

The pay in these fields varies greatly, as each job is different. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reporters earned a median wage of about $49,300 per year as of 2020. Writers and editors earned a median wage of about $67,120 per year as of 2020.

Business Communications and Technical Writing

Average salary: $74,650

Many of the courses in a graduate level degree in English are focused on professional and technical writing. These courses prepare students for completing documents for business operations such as proposals, white papers, memos, contracts, instructions, and presentations.

Graduates might also qualify for senior level technical writing positions, a role in which they’re responsible for developing detailed instructions for electronics or business processes and working with the development of websites. 

Technical writers typically take on a wide range of projects as well, from writing product descriptions to designing documents like newsletters and brochures.

In addition to senior level writing positions, a master's degree is also often a requirement for executive level and management positions in writing departments in all types of industries and organizations. Positions that are likely to require a graduate degree include director communications, managing editor, editor-in-chief, and publisher.

As of 2020, technical writers earned a median annual wage of about $74,650 per year.

Education and Tutoring

Average salary: $80,790

A master's degree is often the minimum or preferred requirement for teaching at the community college level, and some universities also hire master's degree graduates to teach at the freshman and sophomore levels, such as beginning composition and writing for business courses. Additionally, some public and private schools at the secondary level employ English teachers who hold a graduate level degree without having a teaching certificate or degree in education. Tutoring companies also often prefer to hire master's degree graduates.

As of 2020, the average median wage for postsecondary teachers was about $80,790 per year.

Related Resource: Become a Teaching Assistant

Other Fields and Career Paths

Graduates of master's degree programs in English are also qualified for careers in human resources, market research, sales, public relations, customer service, film and television, and other positions not typically thought of as career paths for English majors. Additional information can be found at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs website

Explore these promoted online degree programs.

These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online graduate degree programs. Figuring out where to apply? Consider one of these online Master’s or PhD programs.

Whether looking to ghost write fiction stories for a major publishing company in a metropolitan city or looking to teach composition courses at a small community college, graduates have the options for which types of jobs with a Master's in English to pursue to fit their interests and goals.

Jobs You Can Get With an English Degree

What jobs can you get with an English degree? Well, an English degree is a rather versatile degree because it can translate to a number of career paths. Whether you want a career in writing, editing, teaching, or another related field, there are plenty of career options to choose from with this degree. 

Job TitleAverage Annual Salary Degree Requirement 
Market research $65,810Bachelor’s 
Public relations $118,430Bachelor’s
Advertising manager$141,490Bachelor’s
Instructional Coordinator$66,970Master’s
Elementary, Middle, and High School Principal$98,490Master’s
Technical Writer$74,650Bachelor’s

What Can I Do With a Master’s in English?

There are plenty of jobs you can pursue with a master’s degree in English. You can pursue a career as a book editor or writer. You can use your writing chops to work as a reporter or a newspaper editor. You can work in technical writing, publishing, in public relations, in communications, or a number of other capacities where written content is a top priority.

Is an English Master’s Degree Worth It?

Yes, a master’s degree in English can be very beneficial for pursuing jobs in certain fields. For example, if you want to teach higher-level English at a community college, your master’s degree will make you stand out when applying. It may also help you secure a job as an editor or a writer in a wide range of capacities. Plus, this degree will allow you to sharpen your skills and mastery of the English language.

What Are the Benefits of Earning an MA in English?

Aside from the career benefits, earning a master’s degree in English also gives you the opportunities to fine tune the skills that come with it, like critical thinking, reading analyses, complex editing, and written communication.

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