What Can You Do With a Linguistics Degree?

What Can You Do With a Linguistics Degree?

Key Takeaways

  • Although there are challenges when finding employment as a linguist, graduates may find opportunities to work as can work as translators, editors, or copywriters.

  • Speech language pathologists and computational linguists make the highest salaries of other potential linguistic fields.

  • A bachelor’s degree in linguistics can open opportunities for entry-level positions, but an advanced degree is required in many linguistics fields.

After getting a bachelor’s degree in linguistics, most people struggle to find a suitable career path. Limited higher education options, low employment rates, and below-average pay scales are its key challenges. If you’re also wondering, “What can you do with a linguistics degree?” we’re covering some of the top careers you can get with this degree.

What can you do with a linguistics degree?

With a linguistics degree, you can work as a translator, editor, linguist, copywriter, or foreign language teacher. Linguistic degree holders can also become communication officers, marketing experts, and lexicographers.

Linguistics students learn different aspects of a language, such as phonetics, phonology, morphology, sentence syntax, and semantics. This aids them in exploring voice recognition-related career paths.

So, if you’re a linguistic degree holder, here are the key career options you can consider.

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Career Options for Graduates with a Linguistics Degree

Speech Therapist

Speech therapists, also called speech-language pathologists, work to identify, treat, and prevent speech and language issues in people of all ages. They help patients communicate well and overcome speaking and swallowing problems. They work in education and medical centers and provide one-to-one services to individuals.

A good starting point is to visit the ASHA website to keep yourself updated about speech-language-related news and updates. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is needed in subjects like linguistics, communication, or psychology. However, a master’s degree in speech pathology is required to practice as an official speech pathologist.

If you are interested in a fast path to a master’s degree, an accelerated online master’s program in speech pathology may be right for you. And if cost is a consideration when pursuing an advanced degree, there are a number of excellent and affordable online master’s of speech pathology programs in the United States.

Choosing a graduate program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (Audiology|Speech Language Therapy) is important if you plan to gain CCC-SLP certification.

  • Annual Salary: $107,588
  • Job Growth Rate: 6% (2022-2032)
  • Average Job Openings per Year: 34,000
  • Reputed University for Higher Education: University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Copy editors proofread content for grammatical errors, syntax inconsistencies, and sentence structure issues. They work for organizations producing large amounts of content or marketing material. They also collaborate with publications, content marketing agencies, or as freelancers.

An associate degree is the minimum requirement; however, employers mostly require a bachelor’s degree. You should practice writing and proofreading daily to polish your skills. Moreover, joining professional bodies like the Editorial Freelancers Association and the American Copy Editors Society can set you apart from competitors.

While The University of Texas at Austin is an excellent school for a linguistics degree, there are a number of top-ranked research universities for English degrees. The skills developed in an English degree program could also be very applicable to a career as a copy editor.

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Language translators typically specialize in two languages and sometimes even more. They work in government agencies, call centers, or public institutes where most of their interaction is with foreigners. They provide translation for both written documents and oral communication.

It’s essential to master a second language to become a translator. While having a strong grip over a second language is necessary, you will need specialized training to succeed in this field. American Translators Association provides a list of schools and universities offering translation training.

Foreign Language Teacher

Foreign language teachers educate students in a foreign language. They work with students in groups or one-to-one, both onsite and online. They teach core concepts of a language, like vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure, etc.

To become a foreign language teacher, you should have a minimum bachelor’s degree in linguistics, foreign language, or education. Studying abroad in immersive courses is recommended to get acquainted with the culture and language practice.

The next step is to undertake the state’s specific educator certification exam. It’s an excellent way to set yourself apart from other candidates. Students with degrees in unrelated fields can take alternative programs like Career and Technical Education, Teaching Equivalency and Portfolio Evaluation, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

  • Annual Salary: $87,071
  • Job Growth Rate: 8% (2022-2032)
  • Average Job Openings per Year: 118,800
  • Reputed University for Higher Education: Liberty University


Copywriters are the type of content creators who write to promote a company’s products or services. Their primary focus is on bringing more conversions, leads, and sales. They work for large organizations, specialized marketing agencies, or as freelancers.

There are no prerequisites to becoming a copywriter; however, a minimum bachelor’s is a good starting point. Many copywriters learn this skill from online courses and put their knowledge into practice. They work in internships at any marketing agency or corporation for hands-on experience.

Some copywriters also prefer freelancing, offering their writing skills to employers worldwide.

  • Annual Salary: $61,880
  • Job Growth Rate: 4% (2022-2032)
  • Average Job Openings per Year: 15,500
  • Reputed University for Higher Education: Western Governors University


Linguists are like language scientists. They research and evaluate different aspects of languages. Linguists may specialize in a single language and deep dive into it or research any aspect of languages, like syntax or history. They work with companies providing editing services or government agencies.

Linguists can enter various fields depending on their preferences. The level of studies and certifications depends on the domain they choose to enter. They can work as interpreters, translators, foreign language instructors, or ESL teachers.

  • Annual Salary: $94,982
  • Job Growth Rate: 4% (2022-2032)
  • Average Job Openings per Year: 7,200
  • Reputed University for Higher Education: Eastern Michigan University
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What Is the Highest Paying Job in Linguistics?

Linguists usually secure the highest-paying jobs in linguistics. For instance, according to Glassdoor, computational linguists make $117,283 on average per year. Likewise, interpreter roles also secure decent payouts; e.g., court interpreters make $71,883 annually.

Where Can I Find Job Opportunities Related to Linguistics?

Indeed, Appen and Glassdoor are three popular platforms for finding job opportunities related to linguistics. You can find many jobs in fields like interpretation, transcription, translation, and teaching.

What Does a Career in a Language Look Like?

Careers in language involve different tasks, such as evaluating language structures, translating documents (legal or medical), and teaching foreign languages. It is highly dependent on the type of roles and job requirements.

In this article, we have discussed some of the best possible career paths you can follow after completing your degree in linguistics. You can do additional courses to fine-tune your skills and potentially secure higher salaries.

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