What comes to mind when you think of Japan?
Anime, Bonsai, Geisha, Mount Fuji, Karaoke, Walkman, Origami, Temples, Miso? Maybe Samurai, Shinkansen, Sudoku, Sumo, or Sushi?
You’ll be amazed to know that there’s much more to it than you imagine.
There are many benefits to learning Japanese. And of all the motivations, career choices are the top reason among language learners.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Why choose Japanese as a career?
19 Dream Jobs That Require Japanese Skills
- 1. Career as a Japanese translator
- 2. Jobs for Japanese interpreters
- 3. Media and subtitle related work
- 4. Japanese language teacher
- 5. English teacher in Japan
- 6. Political avenues to explore
- 7. Operations head in any corporate office
- 8. Jobs in Japanese companies
- 9. Analyst or data curation
- 10. Marketing and sales
- 11. Customer Service Management
- 12. IT and Software
- 13. Tourism and hospitality
- 14. Working in an embassy
- 15. Aviation sector and Flight attendants
- 16. Blogging about Japan & Japanese
- 17. Content creator
- 18. Career as a Japanese YouTuber
- 19. Export houses and international businesses
- Final Words on Careers in Japanese
Why choose Japanese as a career?
Globalization, multinational corporations, international organizations, and whatnot. We often hear these terms being used in today’s context of employment.
More and more businesses from other countries are establishing corporate offices or local offices in other nations. This is because they are doing it to expand their company and develop their skills.
Speaking of countries seeking expansion, one cannot miss Japan, “The Land of the Rising Sun.” The reasons are natural. Japan is synonymous with advanced technologies, innovation, and a high-productivity work environment.
The island country has seen the need of the hour. As a result, many Japan-based enterprises have opened offices and branches worldwide.
The local language would be the medium of communication internally. There sure is an advantage for those who speak Japanese well.
It would also increase the scope of growth opportunities. And also reduces the contact gap between the headquarters and the branch office.
Further, career prospects for Japanese exist in the economy of Japan and the job market.
You will see that an international job market would have opened up for you. This is because recruiters will look for people who can speak both Japanese and English.
This bridges their communication gap with the international scenario.
19 Dream Jobs That Require Japanese Skills
The career choices after studying Japanese are one to certainly look forward to.
The number of people who speak Japanese as a second language is few, and the number of job roles that need those who do is more. Thus, you would have many opportunities to choose from.
The Japanese work culture and outlook on human relations make all employment options good ones to opt for.
Naturally, the question arises, what are the career chances for those who have learned Japanese? What options exist, and what would they entail?
To clear up all the confusion, I have put together a list of the available opportunities for you. Here are 19 top careers after learning Japanese.
1. Career as a Japanese translator
Translators are one of the sought-after options by both employers and potential employees. Plus, companies and organizations across industries look for translators to help them deal with an international clientele.
Since the work would relate to formal matters, those who have learned the standard form as in the textbooks would have an edge.
This is perfect for those who learned Japanese at a language school or through textbooks.
There is a growing demand for scientific, self-study, children’s academic, and literary translations. Plus, you can make a career as a proofreader.
Being a translator requires advanced Japanese and English reading and writing language skills. You can also work with other combinations, like Japanese and your mother tongue.
2. Jobs for Japanese interpreters
If there were a list of popular language jobs, this would probably rank right after translators.
Communication, or more importantly, lack of miscommunication, is vital in any transaction. Thus, this is an opening with high demands.
In most scenarios, the assignment would involve on-the-spot translation, interpretation, thinking, and communication.
Thus, your language skills must be at their best as if you were a native speaker. Like JLPT N1, NAT level 1, or masters in Japanese.
Being an interpreter, thus, is the best way to keep those language guns blazing.
A person becoming a Japanese interpreter broadens the career scope even to include working with the government or a multinational and more.
3. Media and subtitle related work
Japanese dramas and anime are admired and watched worldwide in this era of global media consumption.
J-pop, dramas, and films are a top business with devoted followers from all over the world. Yet, fans often require subtitles or dubbed versions of these shows as they are not good in the Japanese language.
The media content providers are always looking for transcriptions fluent in English and Japanese. This is to cater to their international audiences.
Entertainment businesses also sought multilingual people. This can increase the worldwide following of their stars and artists.
Subtitle transcription will be in high demand as video streaming services grow in the amount of material. This is irrespective of languages from individuals of all nations and races.
This would also work vice versa, as Japan has significant English shows and content consumers. Hence, proficiency in Japanese is the first need to take up such a career.
4. Japanese language teacher
In today’s environment, the desire to learn a new language is rising among professionals and even youngsters.
The growth of international communication has caused people to adapt and stand out constantly to survive the competition.
Consequently, coaching centers and other language-learning institutions are increasingly coming up. This is other than hundreds of schools, colleges, and universities that hire Japanese instructors.
Each would look to recruit candidates who have achieved the advanced level. So that they can work as trainers or teachers in various roles.
With more and more students considering educational and career opportunities abroad, learning the language is necessary. This is an avenue to explore, as they need a tutor to help them.
Since the spread of COVID, online classes have also become popular. For example, you can conduct classes online or make pre-recorded programs.
5. English teacher in Japan
There are a variety of occupations available that include teaching English in Japan. The most prevalent is to work as a teacher in a public school for children in elementary, middle, or high school.
University ESL teaching jobs are more complex and demand higher qualifications. For instance, a master’s degree in English or a similar discipline.
There are also many openings for educators who can teach English at private language institutes around the country.
In local parlance, they are called Eikaiwa, or conversational schools. Because of the performance incentives, teaching English at Japan’s private schools is engaging, encouraging, and fun.
Although, all these positions require a bachelor’s degree and certification called TEFL. However, it is an excellent chance to travel to and stay in Japan and experience the Japanese culture and lifestyle.
6. Political avenues to explore
Candidates for political office might hire political consultants to act as managers and public relations professionals. Also, they usually develop promotional materials and media to educate and enlighten people about their candidates and parties.
A Japanese major can prepare you for employment that needs you to consult with, advise, and promote Japanese political candidates.
Yet, it would mean that you have to move to Japan and have solid experience in a similar line of work.
Another option would be to be a political analyst.
You would have to evaluate documents and share the findings and research with legislators, business executives, and other professionals in reports, document briefs, and presentations to support various goals.
For example, selling products in international markets, communicating with foreign nationals, and other activities cause an understanding of unfamiliar political environments.
7. Operations head in any corporate office
Many firms and corporations have multiple branches and offices across the world. As a result, they may engage operations managers to oversee the day-to-day operations at these locations.
Operations managers handle many tasks, including project completion, collaboration with other senior executives, and workforce management.
An operations supervisor who could communicate in Japanese would be vital to the success of a new branch of a multinational firm in Japan.
Because a Japanese office is likely to have many Japanese employees, it is vital to have an operations staff who can speak with them.
8. Jobs in Japanese companies
There are branches of Japanese organizations all over the world. You can work for one.
Japanese companies can hire you for a variety of skills. For example, Yamaha, Toyota, Honda, Toshiba, Sony, Suzuki, Canon, Fujitsu, Panasonic, Casio, Mitsubishi, Daikin, and the list is endless.
You are good to go once you have the primary qualifications required.
A degree in mechanical engineering, an advanced diploma in graphics designing, a master’s in IT, an MBA in marketing, or a simple graduate can be used for various roles.
Your Japanese skills will put you far ahead of people who cannot speak the language but have more qualifications.
You can work for companies that do business with Japanese MNCs in sectors like engineering, automobiles, IT, animation, consumer goods, entertainment, and games.
9. Analyst or data curation
In today’s market, research and development are crucial requirements to ensure the survival of any business. Your job would help the entity understand and assess the market and competition.
In an international situation, where rivalry cuts across national borders, it’s critical to comprehend information in various languages.
Knowing Japanese will help your career as an analyst for any company that competes in the Japanese language.
For example, a career as a research analyst might be great for you if you like to research and have outstanding Japanese reading skills.
10. Marketing and sales
Worldwide marketing is becoming increasingly important, especially for products with a global audience. Thus, you would focus on extending a brand’s presence in foreign countries, such as Japan, in the capacity of a marketing specialist.
The Japanese language is necessary for this function if a company or brand wants to market its goods in Japan.
You may need to live in Japan to successfully oversee a company’s marketing team. Thus, you must be fluent in both written and spoken Japanese.
There has recently been a surge in the need for sales executives and agents in Japan.
So there are plenty of prospects for you to get high-paying work as a sales professional in Japan’s import-export market if you know the Japanese language.
11. Customer Service Management
Customer service managers oversee and guide customer service teams and respond to client and customer inquiries, issues, and conflicts.
As a customer service manager, you can work for firms that serve clients on a global scale, where having a second language is helpful.
If you want to work in sales, customer support, or client account management for an international company. Then, your Japanese language knowledge can help you succeed.
You would also be an advantage as they would not need translators to communicate with local offices. It would help them boost sales and increase their customer outreach.
12. IT and Software
Known for its high-end technology and complex software, Japan is the place for IT and software-related careers.
Because of their soon depleting workforce, many Japanese corporations have explored other options. This includes India to gain talented labor. Hence, this is your chance to get the best outcome in this sector.
You could choose to work in India or Japan. Either way, the Japanese IT sector provides plenty of opportunities. And it is for freshers and seasoned professionals.
Further, there is a growing need for software engineers in Japan. So, if you want to work as a software engineer in Japan, your chances of getting employed are good, especially if you understand the language.
13. Tourism and hospitality
Tourism has a significant role in the economies of most nations.
Added to this is the hospitality and management of the tourists who visit. Thus, being multilingual could be a considerable advantage to break into this industry.
Since you would act as the tour guide for the tourists, you would be a highly valued employee in any tourism-based business.
Hospitality will involve more detailed conversation, providing the perfect chance to show off your Japanese skills. You can work in hotels, resorts, leisure domains, and various places linked to or attracting Japanese.
14. Working in an embassy
Communicating in both English and Japanese will be highly valuable since it will allow you to work in any country’s embassy. Both countries’ embassies are almost certain to exist in the other nations.
Because embassies deal with issues that affect both nations and their peace. So, they search for professionals who can communicate in both languages.
And those who can bridge the communication gap to maintain efficient processes.
Diplomatic agents or government representatives could find a chance to work in foreign countries. They represent and mediate between their home countries and the places they travel.
Being a staff would require you to assist in international talks frequently. Your language abilities as a Japanese major can help you thrive in a diplomatic capacity, especially if you go to Japan for employment.
15. Aviation sector and Flight attendants
Tending to passengers is the primary role of a flight attendant. Since the passengers would be diverse, being a decent Japanese language ability could help you secure a career as a flight attendant.
You are more likely to better cater to the passenger’s needs when talking with them more personally. You can do this by speaking to them in their native language.
This will help boost your reputation in your line of work.
A company that shuttles between the USA and Japan would prefer to hire someone who speaks Japanese.
Therefore, many airlines seek out Japanese-speaking ground staff. So, Japanese learners can profit significantly from these careers.
In addition, there are positions for customer service, airfare & ticketing staff, pilots, transport officers, logistics, immigration officers, etc.
16. Blogging about Japan & Japanese
Do you have a good understanding of Japan and its related things and a flair for superb writing?
In that case, you could earn a living as a freelance blogger.
You can write about anything from the Japanese language to food, education in Japan, travel, J-pop, culture, and movies.
Blogging offers many benefits.
You will first create content about Japan and the Japanese language, something you are passionate about.
You can also work whenever and wherever you wish. Plus, you can also earn a decent income.
Your blog can earn money with affiliates, advertisements, and sponsored reviews. You have so many options! One more way to make money is to sell courses and promote 3rd party products.
You can share your passion for Japanese through your blog as a professional who speaks the language.
A ton of hard work is required to be successful.
High-quality content and a large audience are essential. But bloggers usually have to wait a few years to see any significant return.
Then, you will be able to take advantage of many opportunities.
17. Content creator
Content development may be lucrative, depending on the quality and how much one gets involved with customers.
Creating content relatable to both English and Japanese speakers will offer you access to a much bigger audience on the global level.
Depending on your area of expertise and interest, the content might take the shape of social media interactions, blogs, vlogs, and more.
You’d be letting your creative side flow. As a result, it’s a decision worth considering.
18. Career as a Japanese YouTuber
Those who aren’t camera-shy can also have a YouTube channel.
YouTube is the undisputed king of online video. People worldwide can express their creativity by creating media content on this platform and making money.
Is there a way I can make money?
As a YouTuber, you can introduce your viewers to various aspects of Japanese culture. Further, you can sell products and services besides creating “how-to” videos.
Affiliate marketing, advertisement, and promotion can also earn your money.
The number of views and Google Ads displayed during videos determines how much money you can make per video.
You can achieve this by having huge visitors and uploading videos regularly. Still, because of intense competition, you will need patience as well.
You can start this as a part-time job. Then, once you have a good return, you can consider becoming a full-time Japanese Vlogger.
19. Export houses and international businesses
Are you interested in automobiles, semiconductors, computers, consumer electronics, manufacturing, steel, construction, etc.?
If that’s the case, learning Japanese increases career options.
International sales professionals sell goods all over the world. Knowing Japanese allows you to do business in Japan.
Having a foreign language skill is an asset in international sales and marketing. Global sales marketers deal with B2B companies. So, they face a lot of challenges.
Salespeople who can negotiate with cross-border companies can become effective salespeople. Plus, they appreciate a salesperson who can talk with clients, suppliers, and business partners.
There will be many chances for you to travel abroad. You will also earn a handsome salary as a foreign sales manager.
Final Words on Careers in Japanese
Studying Japanese can lead to a wide array of career choices.
Your Japanese skills can help you in the workplace once you achieve a certain level of proficiency. For example, at least JLPT N3, if not N2 or N1.
There are two ways you can use your Japanese skills professionally. Like you can combine your existing skills with language. Or pursue Japanese as a full-time career.
With so many options, I believe it would persuade you to brush up on your Japanese abilities and pick the one that best suits your needs.
Regardless of which path you choose, you will have a successful career. Learning Japanese has a lot to offer. Besides, working in Japan or at a Japanese-based company near you may be an exciting experience.
Is there something you would like to ask or share with me? Feel free to do so in the comment below.
I want to learn either online or offline Japanese language for only communication purpose.
Wish you good luck. There are 100’s of options to choose from.
What is the best way to practice Japanese while learning?
Practice with natives or those who speak well, listen to audio lessons, podcasts, videos, written excesrises, short paragraph, etc.
How long it will take one to go from JLPT N5 to JLPT N3 if seriously pursued.
Duration varies depending on many factors, but from zero to N3 takes around 2 years.