How to Become a Linguist

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you to become a linguist depends on the business and industry you apply at. Those looking for an entry positions are likely to need a masters degree from an accredited program for interpreter, English or second language teaching program. Those looking to get into a competitive or advance position may benefit from earning a masters degree along with significant internship or volunteer experience.

Launch your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited colleges below that offer programs to help get you started as a linguistics professional.

How Much Does an Linguist Make?

$45,430 (median salary, for salaries in your state, click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:

+63,600 additional people employed


(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Interpreter and Translator pages) 

The Best Places to Become a Linguistics Professional

There are many paths for the linguist to pursue including jobs in teaching, translation, research and even documentation (anthropological linguistics). Linguistics are also highly in demand for governmental agencies including the United Nations in New York and the federal government in Washington, D.C.

Employment and Information Data for Linguistics

Why Become a Linguistics Professional?

The demand for interpreters and translators is expected to grow much faster than the average of all other professions at 42% over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The world is shrinking in terms of comunications. And that means more than ever the demand to understand thoruoughly people of other languages and cultures is paramount.

In fact, linguistic specialists are in such high demand that government (ahem, CIA) agencies offer large bonus for employees that can speak and read certain in-demand languages and dialects such as Farsi and Arabic. And it’s not only the government sector. We live in a global economy where borders are only as wide as a company allows its language and cultural differences to be.

Linguists are in high demand everywhere.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become a Linguist

  • Phonological Analysis
  • Grammatical Analysis
  • Sex, Gender and Language
  • Writing Systems of the World
  • Propositional Attitudes
  • Linguistics as Cognitive Science
  • Seminar in Syntax
  • Semantics
  • Neurolinguistics

Degree Options for Linguistics Careers

Bachelor’s Degree
The undergraduate study of linguistics is generally broken down into three categories: language meaning, language form, and language context. Students often opt to pursue advanced degrees before entering the jobs market. However, a bachelor’s in linguistics can help gain entry level linguistic based jobs.

Graduate Degree
To begin a Ph.D. program in linguistics students should have training in the fundamentals of phonetics and phonology, morphology syntax and semantics, from their earlier studies. Theses advanced programs are for students interested in a career in research.