Revealed: The most desirable and highest-paying second languages for employers


New research has revealed which second language may provide the most value when securing a job in the UK, with Spanish named the most in-demand - whilst German found to be most lucrative.
The study by language experts, LTL Language School, analysed 7,717 listings on Indeed which mentioned a second language in the job description. This was used to reveal the ten most in-demand languages and their earning potential, based on the average annual salary for each role.

The top five most desirable second languages in employment 

  1. Spanish
  2. German
  3. Italian
  4. French
  5. Mandarin Chinese

Of all the job listings analysed, Spanish was the most in-demand, with 1,576 jobs (20%) requiring a level of fluency as part of the job description. However, the language placed fifth for earning potential when compared to the other most in-demand languages. 
The study found that the second most desirable second language for employers is German, which appeared in the job descriptions of 1,479 (19%) of the job listings across the UK. As a global language, it makes sense why the demand for German-speaking is high among employers.
Italian ranked as the third-most desired second language by employers in the UK, with the language appearing in the descriptions of 1,038 (13%) jobs on Indeed. 
According to the study, the fourth most sought-after second language when securing a job is French. The study found that a level of fluency in the language appeared in 847 (11%) of the job descriptions analysed. 

Rounding out the top five most in-demand second language by employers is Mandarin Chinese, the second-most spoken language globally - with figures showing that more than 1.1 billion people worldwide speak Mandarin either natively or as a second language. The data reflects this, as the language was required in 775 (10%) of the listings analysed.

The top five highest-paying second languages in employment 

  1. German
  2. Portuguese
  3. Italian
  4. French
  5. Spanish 

As well as analysing which languages are the most in-demand among UK employers, the language experts at LTL Language School identified the average salaries offered for each of the most sought-after second languages, to name the most lucrative.
Interestingly, the highest-paying second language is German, with an average salary of £45,795 reported across the analysed job listings. This is 31% higher than the reported median UK salary across all industries and areas.
The language which offers the second-highest paying employment opportunities is Portuguese. The data shows that a Portuguese speaker may take home an annual salary of £44,463.  
Following closely behind is Italian, which boasts an average estimated salary across the listings analysed of £44,214 – 26% higher than the median UK salary.

As well as being the fourth-most desirable language, French also benefits from providing the fourth-highest paying opportunities across job listings, at an estimated average of £43,490.  
In addition to being named the most desired second language, Spanish was found to be the fifth-highest paying second language by UK employers - highlighting the benefits of having knowledge of the language to potential employees. The study revealed that those who speak the language can earn an average of £42,263 annually.  
CEO and co-founder of  LTL Language School Andreas Laimbock commented on the findings: “It’s interesting to see which second languages prove most attractive to employers and which carry the most weight in various industries in the UK. It’s unsurprising that some languages carry a high earning potential as the demand for multilingualism continues to grow globally.  
“It’s evident that anyone seeking new career opportunities and greater prospects would benefit from learning a new language. The ability to communicate effectively with people from around the world increases networking opportunities and allows for market expansion, which is invaluable for employers who have this at the forefront of their business plan as they look to expand their teams.  
“On a more personal level, research also suggests that people who speak more than one language develop stronger problem-solving skills, an increased ability to concentrate, and can even delay cognitive decline in older age. Therefore, learning a second language can benefit not only your chances of gaining employment but also your lifelong wellbeing.”

Add a Comment

No messages on this article yet

Editorial: +44 (0)1892 536363
Publisher: +44 (0)208 440 0372
Subscribe FREE to the weekly E-newsletter