Education Careers | Bilingual / ESL / Foreign Language Teacher

Bilingual / ESL / Foreign Language Teacher

Career Area: Education and Training

Occupation Group: K-12 Teaching


Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Bilingual / ESL / Foreign Language Teacher earns the following wages (national and state):


The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $44,031

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.


The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $47,995

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Teaches foreign languages to students in elementary to secondary schools. This includes English as a second language. Common foreign languages which are taught are Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, German, Dutch, Russian, Mandarin, and Arabic.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

North Carolina801+7.5%


A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Bilingual / ESL / Foreign Language Teacher is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Spanish: Spanish (; espaol ), also called Castilian (, castellano ), is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers around the world.
  • Bilingual: Fluency of two different languages.
  • English: English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and is now a global lingua franca.
  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • English as a Second Language: English as a second or foreign language is the use of English by speakers with different native languages.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Teaching: Working experience of teaching, which is defined as imparting knowledge to an individual or class, or instruct someone as to how to do something.
  • Lesson Planning: Working experience developing or implementing teachers' description of a course of instruction for a lesson.
  • Teaching Speakers of Other Languages: encompasses what used to be called TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language). Generally, TEFL emphasises aspects of teaching English in countries where English is not widely used in daily life, such as Russia, China, France and Brazil.
  • Learning Styles: Learning styles refer to a range of competing and contested theories that aim to account for differences in individuals' learning.
  • Special Education: Special education (also known as special needs education, aided education, exceptional education or Special Ed) is the practice of educating students with special educational needs in a way that addresses their individual differences and needs.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Bilingual / ESL / Foreign Language Teacher that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Tutoring: Working experience of Tutoring, which is the act of teaching or instructing, or remedial or additional teaching, designed to help people who need extra help with their studies.
  • Group Instruction: Experience leading a group of learners to construct their own knowledge models in a socially collaborative environment.

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills:

  • Elementary Education: Working experience of Elementary Education, which is typically the first stage of formal education, coming after preschool and before secondary education.


This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years60%
3 to 5 years32%
6 to 8 years5%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Spanish Teacher
  • Esl Teacher
  • High School Spanish Teacher
  • French Teacher
  • Middle School Spanish Teacher

Similar Occupations

If you are interested in exploring similar occupations, you may want to research the following job titles: