Linguists in the United States can expect wages of $61K per year on average. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is geographic location, though tenure and the specific company have a (lesser) impact as well. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, about one in four are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by a fair number and dental insurance is reported by a little over a half. Male Linguists who responded to the survey are more common than women; more than half (61 percent) are men. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$38,877 - $97,385
$39K
$61K
$97K
MEDIAN: $60,960
10%
50%
90%

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$17.62 - $40.61
$18
$26
$41
MEDIAN: $26.09
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
$38,877 - $97,385  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $13,178  
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).
)
$38,808 - $96,016  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 163
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
$17.62 - $40.61  
   
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 - $13,178  
   
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).
)
$38,808 - $96,016  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 56

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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Many Linguists advance their careers by becoming Intelligence Analysts, who report a slightly higher median income of $67K.

Linguist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Linguist


U.S. Air Force (USAF) offers the lowest pay in the field with a median salary of just $45K, but on the other end, some employees may earn up to $107K.

Popular Skills for Linguist


Survey results suggest that Linguists put a wide range of professional skills to use. Most notably, facility with Pashto Language, Arabic Language, and Farsi Language are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 40 percent, 25 percent, and 18 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Spanish Language. Those familiar with Data Analysis also tend to 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.


Linguists with a lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. The median compensation for relatively untried workers is $53K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $63K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $78K in this role. Linguists with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $80K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $60,192

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

For Linguists, working in the bustling city of Reston has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Linguists will also find cushy salaries in San Jose (+33 percent), Tampa (+31 percent), Los Angeles (+20 percent), and Augusta (+10 percent). Location significantly influences compensation, with New York Linguists earning much less — 25 percent less — than the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in San Antonio and Dallas (18 percent lower and 17 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Linguist

Gender

Female
39 %
Male
61 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 15 votes.
040
Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
8%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Linguist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 33%

Experienced
up arrow 29%


National Average
$60,000


Skills That Affect Linguist Salaries

Pashto Language
up arrow 40%

Arabic Language
up arrow 25%

Farsi Language
up arrow 18%

Chinese, Mandarin Language
up arrow 15%

National Average
$60,000


Localization and Translation
up arrow 3%

Spanish Language
up arrow 9%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 15 votes.

Gender

Female
39 %
Male
61 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 73%
dental benefits
Dental: 55%
vision benefits
Vision: 52%
dental benefits
None: 26%
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