How Much Does a Linguist Make a Year?


Linguists focus on language through scientific study. How much a linguist makes a year depends on the type of job they have, level of education, qualifications, experience and the requirements of the job.


  • Linguists often work in the academic social science field studying language history and its role in society. They may also teach people who are learning English as a second language, or as translators and interpreters. Each type of job requires its own qualifications and training, causing the pay for linguists to vary greatly between career options.


  • Social scientists, including linguistic anthropologists, made an average annual salary of $57,230 as of May 2009, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Linguists working as teachers for students learning English as a second language received $50,390 as a yearly average salary, while linguists working as translators or interpreters received an average salary of $45,700.


  • The demand for each type of linguistic job varies throughout the United States with linguists in different specialties receiving the highest average level of pay in different states. As of 2009, linguists working in the anthropology field received the highest pay in Alaska, making an average annual salary of $69,160, while those working as teachers were compensated with the highest salary of $70,410 in California. Interpreters in Virginia received the highest average salary of $69,360 a year, according to the BLS.

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