What Can You Do with a Linguistics Degree?

A Linguistics degree is an extremely versatile qualification to graduate with. Right now, maybe you are making your own career plans and have yet to graduate. Maybe you are deciding on the degree you should enroll yourself in so that you can stay relevant for the future. Here I will share why you would want to study Linguistics and what can you do with a Linguistics Degree.


A Linguist and A Polyglot

Why you would want to study Linguistics?

Linguistics is the scientific study of language and its structure, including the study of grammar, syntax, and phonetics. Broadly speaking, Linguistics is a giant umbrella that covers a lot of fields. Besides helping you to understand language better and how different parts of a language fit and function together, Linguistics affords you the opportunity to acquire strong analytical and argumentative skills. Not only through scientific tests, formulating hypotheses, making insightful observation, and drawing logical conclusions, Linguistics is an art of appreciating culture and knowledge, as well as honing your marketing, public relations and communication skills. Here are what you can do with a Linguistics degree.

What Can You Do with a Linguistics Degree?

Become an Interpreter or Translator

Interpreters are highly sort after by various organizations to facilitate communication between two or more parties who speak more than two different languages. Translations of one message to another are usually done by communicating verbal messages or written texts to each party. Usually organizations such as government agencies, law courts, hospitals, or private businesses would hire a translator or interpreter.


Estimated Salary Range in Singapore: S$28,000 - S$62,000 per year[1]

Estimated Salary Range in the USA: US$25,000 - US$46,000 per year[2]

Estimated Average International Salary: $59,000 per year[3]


Become a Teacher of a Foreign Language

Language teachers spend much of their time preparing lessons, procuring study materials, marking student assignments, and coaching students either one-to-one or in classroom settings. Language teachers for children may also be required to work with parents to improve the child's performance. In general, language teachers are expected to impart to learners a degree of proficiency in a new language, as well as knowledge on the culture and history behind the language.


Estimated Salary Range in Singapore: S$24,000 - S$60,000 per year[4]

Estimated Salary Range in the USA: US$35,000 - US$75,000 per year[5]

Estimated International Salary Range: $12,000 - $66,000 per year[6]


Become a Lecturer or Professor

If you have a passion to influence lives and add value to humanity, you may want to consider becoming a lecturer or a professor at a tertiary institution. Depending on your specialization or subject of interest, lecturers with a Linguistic degree may find themselves teaching arts and social sciences, as well as communication related subjects such as Language Studies, Mass Communications, Philosophy, Psycholinguistics, or Anthropology.


Estimated Salary Range in Singapore: S$30,000 - S$75,000 per year[7]; may be up to $100,000 per year for an experienced professor at the university.

Estimated Salary Range in the USA: US$32,000 - US$46,000 per year[8a]; up to US$100,000 per year for a full professorship[8b]

Estimated International Salary Range: $25,000 - $70,000 per year[9]; typically varies across different countries.


Become a Speech and Language Therapist

If you have a passion to provide life-changing treatment, support and care for children and adults who have difficulties with communication, or for physical or psychological reasons, have problems speaking and communicating, becoming a Speech and Language Therapist would not be a bad idea. Here are some of the key responsibilities you need to prepare yourself for, because this job requires a lot of patience and dedication to the role.


Estimated Salary Range in Singapore: S$35,000 - S$74,000 per year[10]

Estimated Salary Range in the USA: US$40,000 - US$83,000 per year[11]

Estimated Average International Salary: $76,000 per year[12]


Become a Lexicographer

Lexicographers are, in short, editors and authors of dictionaries. They write, compile and edit dictionaries for native speakers, learners of English, professionals and bilingual speakers. In addition, they are on a look out for new words and recording them within the dictionary they are compiling. They perform a wide variety of editorial tasks within their firm. Now that digital technology has taken over the use of dictionaries, Lexicographers might be required to be well equipped with digital knowledge of mobile apps and other online publishing tools in order to work on dictionaries on the Internet.


Estimated Salary Range in Singapore: No data (Solution: Work abroad)

Estimated Salary Range in the USA: US$50,000 - US$55,000 per year[13]

Estimated International Salary Range: $32,000 - $59,000 per year[14][15]


Become a Technical Writer

If you like to collect information, plan and produce content by writing technical documentation to educate consumers about a product, software, or service in the form of manuals, white papers, business correspondence and so on, then you may want to consider becoming a technical writer. In your vocation, you will be working very closely with graphic designers, user experience designers, testers, and software developers.


Estimated Salary Range in Singapore: S$29,000 - S$90,000 per year[16]

Estimated Salary Range in the USA: US$38,000 - US$90,000 per year[17]

Estimated Average International Salary: No data


Become a Computational Linguist in the Tech Industry

The work of computational linguists involves a combination of two disciplinary fields — computing and rule-based modeling of natural language. They generally develop computer systems that deal with human language, and systems that can perform tasks such as speech recognition (i.e. Siri). A good understanding of programming language and linguistics is required for this job. This is a rather challenging and technical field, but computational linguists are currently high in demand.


Estimated Salary Range in Singapore: No data (Solution: Work Abroad)

Estimated Salary Range in the USA: US$45,000 - US$101,000 per year[19]

Estimated Average International Salary: No data


Become a Marketing or Public Relations Executive

With your deep knowledge in the use of languages, you will be required to fit words together in order to grab attention, draw laughter, and even elicit a variety of emotions from your target audience whom you would like to sell the product to. For Public Relations, your role will involve a lot of communication through various forms of media in order to promote and manage public's view of a public figure, an organization, products, or services.


Estimated Salary Range in Singapore: S$26,000 - S$48,000 (Marketing Executive)[20]; S$20,654 - S$49,896[21] (PR Executive)

Estimated Average Salary in the USA: Up to US$230,000 (Marketing Executive)[22]; US$54,000 per year[23] (PR Executive)

Estimated Average International Salary: No data


Other variety of jobs to consider with a Linguistics degree or qualification include:

- Editor/Writer/Author/Columnist/Journalist

- Natural Language Processing (NLP) Specialist

- Computer Programmer

- Audiologist

- Accent Coach

- Language Researcher

- Psycholinguist

- Librarian

- Missionary/Pastor/Religious leader

- Civil Servant

- Advertising Executive


These and many more are the reasons you should take up this study as a life long journey. You will be spoilt for choice, because shortly before you graduate, you will have to choose from these arrays of rewarding and fulfilling jobs.


Whichever path you choose, be exceptionally skilled in at least one area that others can consult you on. This will eventually pave the way for your wealth and success.

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  1. Stefania Yoh on 2 Apr 2019 at 07:12

    wohh exactly what I was searching for, appreciate it for posting.

    • Thomas F Lim on 2 Apr 2019 at 10:00

      Thanks for your comment Stephania, you are most welcome. 🙂

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      Thanks for your support, Jasmine! Glad that you find some info here useful. I’ve just returned from a long overseas trip and have been busy lately with work, thus am taking a small hiatus. I will be posting entries from time to time. Stay tuned.

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