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Linguist Salary (United States)

For Linguists, yearly average wages total $68K annually. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Although one-fifth lack health benefits of any kind, a strong majority do enjoy medical insurance, and a fair number get dental coverage, too. Male Linguists are more prevalent than women among those who took the survey — 60 percent of professionals. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Linguists. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
Linguist Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$38,775 - $99,831
(Median)
39K
51K
68K
88K
100K
MEDIAN: $68,340
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Linguist Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$12.75 - $52.04
(Median)
13
23
31
52
MEDIAN: $26.00
10%
25%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$38,775 - $99,831  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,518  
Profit Sharing
$10,250 - $29,500  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$39,686 - $107,654  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 196
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$12.75 - $52.04  
   
Overtime
$9.50 - $59.67  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,518  
   
Profit Sharing
$10,250 - $29,500  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$39,686 - $107,654  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 64
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Job Description for Linguist

A linguist is someone who works with languages. This job will vary depending on which industry they work in. The job will generally have them working as translators, interpreting, and doing forensic sciences. Generally, linguists are required in law enforcement and the military. They have an important role of helping these agencies in investigating and preventing various crimes. If they work with the CIA or FBI, they will also assist in securing national security. The linguist will generally work on their own or in a team, depending on the industry that they are employed in. There is a lot of freedom on the job, and they often set the working tone themselves. If working as part of the team, they will interact with various other linguists.
Read More...
Linguist Tasks
  • Write reports and analyses of data, training and web/media analyses.
  • Transcription, interpretation and content analyses of foreign language materials.
  • Translate primary documentation, then summarize and add metadata.

Common Career Paths for Linguist

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Many Linguists move into an Intelligence Analyst role, which does not lead to a big boost in pay. Intelligence Analysts on average bring in a similar salary to Linguists.

Linguist Job Listings

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location

Survey results suggest that Linguists use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Pashto Language and Farsi Language are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 34 percent and 34 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Localization and Translation and Data Analysis.

Pay by Experience Level for Linguist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $59K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $81K. Linguists claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $82K. Folks who claim more than 20 years of relevant experience actually report a comparatively lower median income of $79K.

Pay Difference By Location

Reston
up arrow 34%
Los Angeles
up arrow 31%
National Average
$63,000
New York
up arrow 4%
Augusta
up arrow 15%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Linguists, Reston provides a pay rate that is 34 percent greater than the national average. Linguists will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+31 percent) and Washington (+31 percent). In Augusta, salaries are 15 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Linguist Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 32%
Late-Career
up arrow 27%
National Average
$63,000
Entry-Level
up arrow 5%

Skills That Affect Linguist Salaries

Farsi Language
up arrow 34%
Pashto Language
up arrow 34%
National Average
$63,000
Spanish Language
up arrow 3%
Data Analysis
up arrow 5%
Localization and Translation
up arrow 14%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 47 votes.

Gender

Female
40%
female alumni
 
Male
60%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
33%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 78% dental benefits Dental: 71%
vision benefits Vision: 63% employee benefits None: 21%