What Government Jobs Are Available For Someone With a Linguistics Degree?

Well-paying government jobs available for individuals with linguistics degrees! Linguistics is the scientific study of the usage and differences of languages. Linguists are known for the ability to speak multiple languages. However, the linguists’ job can be multi-faceted and require significant skills and knowledge of how different languages interact with one another and the cognitive processes involved. Governments offer many jobs in local and international levels, in diplomatic and military arenas, and within global intelligence services.

Linguist Jobs With The Local Government

Linguist jobs with the local governments range from clerical work to highly skilled field work. Linguists in the computer field design computers or software, initiate computer-mediated language learning skills, or create text-to-speech synthesis. Educational jobs include training teachers and employees. Cross-language skills of high-level proficiency Translators may help with interpretation between patients and medical staff in the government hospitals or in courts of law. Language Documentation Consultants work to document, analyze, and preserve the language. Journalists write and edit articles or interpret foreign correspondence and newsworthy items.

Military Jobs for Linguists

The Army, Air Force, Navy, and other branches of the military have a special need for linguists who are proficient in at least one foreign language. In the US Army, Communications Officers serve missions in foreign lands as translators. Interpreters assist in easing communication between the locals and members of the Army, or interpreting radio broadcasts, recorded interviews, or documents. Air Force linguists are stationed in other countries. Their training is in decoding information. Cryptologists have further specialized training in the operation of communications equipment, searching out new frequencies to decipher intelligence information, analyze transcripts, and alert officers of any exposed threats. Navy Cryptologic Technic Interpreters interpret foreign artificial intelligence, advise top level officers, develop strategic data concerning the enemy, and analyze radio, phone, and computer communications. Other branches of the military offer quite similar positions.

Linguists and Intelligence Agencies

The Federal Government hires linguists for their Foreign Service Department to monitor, translate, interpret, analyze, and transcribe documents and forms of communication. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), NSA (National Security Agency), DOD (Department of Defense), and DOE (Department of Education) offer specialized positions to help with the security of our country. The FBI uses linguists as translators, investigators, and interpreters in the areas of terrorism, corruption, civil rights violations, drug trafficking, foreign counterintelligence, and criminal activity. These linguists must carry a professional level proficiency in the language.
There are 4 different levels of linguists in the FBI. Contract Linguists translate documents or audio, and assist with interviews, interrogations, and polygraph exams. Contract Language Monitors translate voice recordings and texts. Contract Testers are self-employed linguists that administer phone-based proficiency tests in the spoken language. Special Agent Linguists help to block terrorist activities, monitor wiretaps, collect evidence for espionage, are undercover agents, and interview witnesses and suspects. The CIA hires linguists for research, to examine foreign materials, and teach critical language skills to others within the agency.

Other generalized positions available for linguists are Sign Language Interpreters, Data Scientists, Foreign Language Instructors, Special Agents, and Support Officers.

For more information visit the Linguistic Society of America.