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Linguist Salary

Linguists in the United States take home approximately $70K per year on average. Location and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Men make up the majority of Linguists (60 percent) survey respondents. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Linguists. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, between a fifth and a fourth are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by a fair number and dental insurance is reported by a majority. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$39,678 - $99,737
(Median)
$40K
$70K
$100K
MEDIAN: $70,248
10%
50%
90%

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$19.49 - $52.19
(Median)
$19
$27
$52
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
$39,678 - $99,737  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,060  
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).
)
$40,616 - $106,313  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 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
$19.49 - $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 - $15,060  
   
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).
)
$40,616 - $106,313  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 63

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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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Many Linguists move into an Intelligence Analyst role, which does not lead to a big boost in pay. Intelligence Analysts on average bring in a similar salary to Linguists.

Linguist Job Listings

Jobs by Simply Hired
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Survey results suggest that Linguists put a wide range of professional skills to use. 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 31 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate 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.


Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $60K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $81K. Linguists see a median salary of $80K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $81K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Linguists, Reston offers exceptional salaries, 30 percent above the national average. Linguists will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+25 percent), San Jose (+24 percent), Washington (+13 percent), and Los Angeles (+4 percent). The lowest-paying market is San Antonio, which sits 23 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Employers in Augusta and New York also lean toward paying below-median salaries (16 percent lower and 4 percent lower, respectively).

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United States (change)

Experience Affects Linguist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 26%


Experienced
up arrow 24%

National Average
$64,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 7%

Skills That Affect Linguist Salaries

Farsi Language
up arrow 31%

Pashto Language
up arrow 31%

National Average
$64,000

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 41 votes.

Gender

Female
40 %
Male
60 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
32%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 77% dental benefits Dental: 69%
vision benefits Vision: 62% employee benefits None: 22%
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