Linguist Salary

Linguists in the United States take home an average $69K annually. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. Health benefits are not claimed by all — nearly one-fifth lack any form of coverage — but a strong majority have medical insurance, and a fair number have dental, too. Job satisfaction for Linguists is high. Most people who answered the questionnaire are men; 61 percent of Linguists are male. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$40,612 - $99,376
(Median)
$41K
$69K
$99K
MEDIAN: $68,724
10%
50%
90%

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$19.20 - $51.18
(Median)
$19
$27
$51
MEDIAN: $27.00
10%
50%
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
$40,612 - $99,376  
   
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).
)
$40,658 - $105,202  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 200
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
$19.20 - $51.18  
   
Overtime
$-0.50 - $59.20  
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 - $15,080  
   
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).
)
$40,658 - $105,202  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 62
United States (change)

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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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Linguists who go on to become Intelligence Analysts may see somewhat stagnant compensation. On average, an Intelligence Analyst, an upper-level role, pays $68K.

Linguist Job Listings

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Job skills reported by Linguists are limited. Most notably, facility with Pashto Language and Farsi Language are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 31 percent and 26 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Localization and Translation, Data Analysis, and Spanish Language. Many workers who know Data Analysis also know Spanish Language.

Pay by Experience Level for Linguist

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


Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $60K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $79K. Linguists with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $82K. Survey participants with more than twenty years of experience only make around $79K on average, though; this group reports a lower median than the one claimed by mid-career individuals.

Pay Difference by Location


Los Angeles offers some of the highest pay in the country for Linguists, 46 percent above the national average. Linguists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Reston (+32 percent), San Francisco (+26 percent), San Jose (+25 percent), and Washington (+14 percent). Linguists in San Antonio report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 21 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay.

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Experience Affects Linguist Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 28%


Late-Career
up arrow 24%

National Average
$64,000


Skills That Affect Linguist Salaries

Pashto Language
up arrow 31%

Farsi Language
up arrow 26%

National Average
$64,000

Data Analysis
up arrow 7%

Spanish Language
up arrow 7%

Localization and Translation
up arrow 16%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 37 votes.

Gender

Female
39 %
Male
61 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
33%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 78% dental benefits Dental: 71%
vision benefits Vision: 65% employee benefits None: 21%
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