5 Career Opportunities with a Linguistics Degree

5 Job Opportunities with a Degree in Linguistics

  • Translators and Interpreters
  • Lexicographers
  • Technical Writers
  • English as a Foreign Language Instructors
  • Forensic Linguists

Careers with a degree in linguistics are highly flexible positions that provide many fascinating opportunities for linguistic graduates. Whether graduates would like to specialize in the areas of law, education, or technical writing, there is sure to be a great career that will suit their occupational goals. The following five careers can all be obtained with a linguistics degree and are in moderate to high demand today.

1. Translators and Interpreters

Some of the most common careers available for persons with a degree in linguistics are translators and interpreters. These professionals convert various forms of communications from one language to another. Translators typically convert written communications, and interpreters convert spoken communications. There are many organizations and companies that employ the services of translators and interpreters including social service and government agencies, private and public medical facilities, publishing companies, legal firms, and large business organizations.

2. Lexicographers

Another terrific career with a linguistics degree is that of a lexicographer. Lexicographers are linguistic professionals who are responsible for the creation of English, Spanish, medical, legal, and other types of dictionaries. While some lexicographers work independently, most are employed by such businesses as dictionary or publishing companies. Their work involves researching facts for dictionary entries, creating actual entries for dictionaries, editing existing entries, and monitoring trends in new words and phrases.

3. Technical Writers

Also among top careers with a degree in linguistics are positions in technical writing. Technical writers create a wide array of content for such things as instructional manuals, scholastic journals, assessments, and training guides. During the year 2017, technical writers in the United States earned an average yearly salary of nearly $71,000 according to the United States Department of Labor. Manufacturers, educational facilities, research companies, and many other types of organizations employ the services of technical writers to create and update informational, marketing, and instructional content both on and off-line.

4. English as a Foreign Language Instructors

Becoming an English as a second language instructor is yet another great career option for individuals with a degree in linguistics. With the United States becoming more and more diverse, there is currently a growing demand for qualified ESL instructors on all levels of education. ESL instructors work with students of varying cultures by helping them improve their skills in reading, writing, and speech. Common responsibilities of these professionals include creating lesson plans, preparing classroom activities, attending board meetings, and interacting with parents.

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5. Forensic Linguists

Forensic careers with a degree in linguistics are ideal for people who are interested in the legal aspects of linguistics. These positions often require a doctorate degree, and persons who choose this path typically work for such organizations as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, local law enforcement agencies, court systems, and research facilities. Their daily duties vary depending on the current needs of their employers but may include such things as determining the intent of communication, determining the competency of communication, voice matching, and tracing authorship of documents.

The field of linguistics offers many exciting career options in a broad range of specialties. And while there is a vast array of careers with a degree in linguistics for graduates to choose from, the five careers described above are among the most popular today.

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