Linguist Salary

Median pay for Linguists in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $70K per year. Geographic location and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. While nearly one in five report receiving no health benefits, a fair number do receive medical coverage, and a strong majority have dental, as well. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Men make up the majority of Linguists (61 percent) survey respondents. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$41,697 - $99,586

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$13.18 - $51.28

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$41,697 - $99,586  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,080  
Profit Sharing
$8,139 - $31,107  
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).
)
$40,942 - $105,286  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 200
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$13.18 - $51.28  
   
Overtime
$-0.50 - $59.20  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,080  
   
Profit Sharing
$8,139 - $31,107  
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).
)
$40,942 - $105,286  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 61
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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.

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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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For Linguists, career advancements do not tend to correlate with a rise in salary. On average, lower-level Linguists earn similar salaries to those in higher-end positions like Intelligence Analyst.

Linguist Job Listings

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Linguists generally report applying a varied skill set to their work. Most notably, facility with Pashto Language and Farsi Language are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 29 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Localization and Translation, Data Analysis, and Spanish Language. Competency in Data Analysis frequently indicates knowledge of Spanish Language.

Pay by Experience Level for Linguist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $60K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $80K. Linguists bring in $84K after working for 10 to 20 years. Respondents who boast more than two decades on the job don't boast commensurate pay, unfortunately; these veterans see average earnings of only $83K.

Pay Difference by Location


Linguists will find that Los Angeles offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 44 percent. Linguists will also find cushy salaries in Reston (+30 percent), San Francisco (+24 percent), San Jose (+23 percent), and Washington (+21 percent). Linguists' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Linguists in San Antonio bring in salaries that are 21 percent lower than the national average.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Linguist Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 30%

Late-Career
up arrow 28%


National Average
$65,000


Skills That Affect Linguist Salaries

Pashto Language
up arrow 29%

Farsi Language
up arrow 24%

National Average
$65,000

Data Analysis
up arrow 8%

Spanish Language
up arrow 8%

Localization and Translation
up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 34 votes.

Gender

Female
39 %
Male
61 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
33%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 77% dental benefits Dental: 72%
vision benefits Vision: 65% employee benefits None: 21%
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