Linguist Salary

An average Linguist in the United States can expect to take home roughly $60K annually. This group's pay is mainly influenced by geography, followed by career length and the specific company. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and close to a fourth lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by a strong majority and dental coverage is claimed by a little over a half. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$39,091 - $97,296
$39K
$60K
$97K
MEDIAN: $59,890
10%
50%
90%

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$17.45 - $40.80
$17
$26
$41
MEDIAN: $26.32
10%
50%
90%

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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$33K$66K$99K
Salary
$39,091 - $97,296  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $13,395  
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).
)
$39,012 - $96,016  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 164
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com
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$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$17.45 - $40.80  
   
Hourly Tips
$2.08  
Overtime
$37.75  
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 - $13,395  
   
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).
)
$39,012 - $96,016  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 55
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

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

  • Translate primary documentation, then summarize and add metadata.
  • Transcription, interpretation and content analyses of foreign language materials.
  • Write reports and analyses of data, training and web/media analyses.

Common Career Paths for Linguist


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Linguists often transition into upper-level roles like Intelligence Analyst, for which the average compensation is $67K per year.

Linguist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Linguist


U.S. Army offers the highest compensation with a median salary of $55K.

Though lagging the field in terms of compensation — U.S. Air Force (USAF) offers the lowest median salary at $45K — pay within the company still varies considerably between $22K and $107K.

Popular Skills for Linguist


Linguists generally report applying a varied skill set to their work. Most notably, facility with Pashto Language, Arabic Language, and Farsi Language are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 41 percent, 24 percent, and 20 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Spanish Language and French Language. Most people who know Data Analysis also know Farsi Language and Arabic Language.

Pay by Experience Level for Linguist

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


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Salaries for inexperienced workers average out to $62K, and those with five to 10 years' experience earn a higher median of $53K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $77K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't higher than less experienced individuals' earnings.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $59,573

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Surpassing the national average by 36 percent, Linguists in Reston receive some of the highest pay in the country. Linguists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Jose (+34 percent), Tampa (+33 percent), Los Angeles (+21 percent), and Augusta (+12 percent). The lowest-paying market is New York, which sits 24 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Employers also pay below the national average in San Antonio and Dallas (16 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Linguist

Gender

Female
41 %
Male
59 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 16 votes.
Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
9%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Linguist Salaries

Late-Career
▲30%

Experienced
▲29%

▲4%

National Average
$60,000

▼12%

Skills That Affect Linguist Salaries

Pashto Language
▲41%

Arabic Language
▲24%


Chinese, Mandarin Language
▲17%

Korean Language
▲1%

National Average
$60,000


Localization and Translation
▼2%

French Language
▼5%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 16 votes.

Gender

Female
41 %
Male
59 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 72%
dental benefits
Dental: 53%
vision benefits
Vision: 49%
dental benefits
None: 27%
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