Linguist Salary

Median pay for Linguists in the United States is around $71K annually. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — somewhere between a fifth and a fourth lack coverage. On the flip side, a strong majority have medical insurance and the greater part receive dental plans. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$40,352 - $99,737
(Median)
$40K
$71K
$100K
MEDIAN: $70,901
10%
50%
90%

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$13.40 - $52.19
(Median)
$13
$26
$52
MEDIAN: $26.00
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
$40,352 - $99,737  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,456  
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).
)
$40,534 - $106,621  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 193
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
$13.40 - $52.19  
   
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 - $15,456  
   
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).
)
$40,534 - $106,621  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 63

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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.

Linguist Job Listings

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Survey results show that Linguists typically report just a few professional skills. Most notably, facility with Pashto Language and Farsi Language are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 30 percent and 30 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Localization and Translation, Data Analysis, and Spanish Language. Data Analysis and Spanish Language are also commonly seen together.

Pay by Experience Level for Linguist

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


For many Linguists, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. 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 $81K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $82K. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $83K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 30 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 Francisco (+25 percent), San Jose (+24 percent), Washington (+19 percent), and Los Angeles (+3 percent). Linguists in San Antonio report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 23 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Augusta (17 percent lower) and New York (6 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Linguist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 29%

Experienced
up arrow 27%


National Average
$65,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 7%

Skills That Affect Linguist Salaries

Farsi Language
up arrow 30%

Pashto Language
up arrow 30%

National Average
$65,000

Spanish Language
up arrow 7%

Data Analysis
up arrow 8%

Localization and Translation
up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 43 votes.

Gender

Female
40 %
Male
60 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
33%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
5%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 77% dental benefits Dental: 69%
vision benefits Vision: 63% employee benefits None: 23%