August 5, 2021

New research highlights the most lucrative languages in the UK

There are many reasons to learn a second language, both professionally and personally. In fact, according to online educational platform Preply, almost 40% of users learn a new language to grow professionally.

Employment rates in the UK have increased by 0.3% in the last year therefore standing out from the crowd with the advantage of being able to speak another language has never been more important.

To help multilingual workers in the UK looking to enter a new field, or inspire those debating on which language to learn for work purposes, Preply has created an interactive map showcasing the most lucrative languages across the UK alongside the average wage, top sectors and locations3, the map also showcases data for both the USA and Australia. 

Arabic revealed as the UK’s most lucrative language

Arabic has been unveiled as the most lucrative language across the UK. With the average UK salary currently at £30,4204, this could increase by 74% if you’re able to speak Arabic. What’s more, teaching is the sector with the highest demand for Arabic-speaking candidates.

Mandarin and Dutch follow closely behind.

The top five most lucrative languages, alongside the average wage and region/sector with the highest demand for workers who can speak the language, are as follows:

Language Average wage Region and sector
Arabic £52,806 South East England, Teaching
Mandarin £44,664 Eastern England, Teaching
Dutch £44,157 Eastern England, IT
German £41,227 Eastern England, Teaching
French £40,894 Eastern England, Engineering

For those considering learning one of the most sought-after languages, it costs around £11-£16 per hour, on average, to learn with a dedicated Preply tutor.

Explaining how learning a second language helped to elevate her career, Ylenia Raia, a Preply tutor based in London, says: “I’m a teacher as well as an interpreter. I’m currently living in London and because I can speak fluent English and Italian, I’m able to teach English to students based in Italy. So far, I’ve had many results in my career due to being able to speak another language, and I love sharing my knowledge with everyone I work with.” 

Summarising the findings, Kirill Bigai, CEO and co-founder at Preply, expresses: “It’s interesting to see which languages are the most lucrative across the UK and just how in-demand they are.

“Being fluent in two or more languages will always give you an edge over a monolingual candidate when it comes to job interviews and these opportunities exist in many businesses from health care, to education and tourism. As outlined, language skills also lead to an increase in salary.

“Whatever your career aspiration might be, with the additional skill of being able to speak another language, you’ll certainly thrive and reach your goals.”

Other lucrative languages in the UK include Spanish and Italian. Click here to find out more: