There are several good placement prospects for people who have taken up linguistics as a major in college. Because the field is counted as a social science specialty, its scholars acquire a broad perspective of society. Coupled with the ability to analyze all forms of speech, this perspective allows them to gain entry into any endeavor that requires deciphering behavior through the words people say.
Linguists can find employment in educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, high-tech corporations, consulting firms, the federal government, and the military. Educational requirements and qualifications will, of course, depend on the jobs applied for. If you’re still undecided about pursuing linguistics, it might do you well to try the best Spanish-language immersion lessons online to prepare you.
Now aside from the most common job – in the academe – there are other interesting job prospects for people who can speak languages other than their native tongue.
Many nonprofit organizations hire language to create instruction books, do background community research, or translate material from English to a dialect. One of the best known linguistic non-profits is SIL which sends linguists to live with communities, learn the community’s dialect, and translate the bible into that dialect.
High-Tech Corporate Work
High-tech companies, especially those with businesses related to information technology may need linguists to work with them in several ways. For example, linguists and computer scientists often do collaborative work to come up with new computer languages or discover a language that enables computers to answer to voice prompts. Companies that sell electronics and other devices also hire linguists to create effective instruction books, and translate these into languages.
Federal Government Jobs
The federal government has hired linguists for a variety of job descriptions whether a fresh graduate and with or without experience could start working for $24,000 to $30,000 per year. An individual with a master’s degree could start at a salary of $36,000 while a person with a doctorate could begin working with a salary of $45,000 per year.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The FBI hires linguists to translate documents and materials under the jurisdiction of the agency. These documents may relate to investigations of clandestine operations, terrorist activities, or organized crime. Usually, linguists determine when the documents are indicative of serious problems based on their analysis of the material and its context. Materials studied by linguists include interviews, interrogations, polygraph tests, and written statements.
Often, linguists do contractual work for the FBI. This means that their contracts are from assignment to assignment. Linguists who work for the FBI are generally required to have US citizenship. Furthermore, they are requested to relinquish any dual citizenship they may hold.
There are enough jobs for people in linguistics, and while linguistics jobs may not promise fame and fortune, they certainly open the door to an interesting and fulfilling career.