Forensic Linguist Salary

Updated March 23, 2017

A forensic linguist analyses spoken and written material for use in legal proceedings. These professionals also help individuals involved in these proceedings to understand the relevant legal issues. Forensic linguists are typically anthropologists with a specialised education in linguistics. This occupation is most common in law enforcement, corporate law and research.


The employment increase for forensic linguists was forecast to be 28 per cent between the period from 2008 to 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS. This rate is much higher than the average rate for all occupations during the same time period. The growth in scientific and technical consulting will continue to drive the need for forensic linguists. The best opportunities for advancement will be available to forensic linguists with doctoral degrees.

National Salaries

The average annual salary for forensic linguists in 2010 was £37,726, according to the BLS. The bottom 10 per cent of forensic linguists earned an average of £20,351 per year and the bottom 25 per cent collected an average salary of £25,421 per year. The middle half of forensic linguists earned an average of £35,249 per year. The average annual salary for the top 25 per cent of forensic linguists was £47,333 and the top 10 per cent earned an average salary of £58,136.

Industry Salaries

The BLS provides salary information for forensic linguists by industry, as of 2010. The federal government is the top-paying industry sector for forensic linguists, offering an average annual salary of £46,761. Forensic linguists in architectural and engineering services earned an average of £39,143 per year. Local governments paid their forensic linguists £38,200 per year and the annual salary for forensic linguists employed by state governments averaged £35,080. The average annual salary for forensic linguists in scientific research was £33,046 per year.

Geographic Salaries provides average salaries for forensic linguists by state as of the 2011. Forensic linguists in Massachusetts earned an average of £62,400 per year and those in Washington, DC, earned an average of £61,100 a year. Forensic linguists working in California made £57,850 per year on average and Pennsylvania forensic linguists had salaries averaging £49,400 a year. The forensic linguists in Hawaii had salaries of £41,600 per year on average.

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About the Author

James Marshall began writing professionally in 2006. He specializes in health articles for content providers such as eHow. Marshall has a Bachelor of Science in biology and mathematics, with minors in chemistry and computer science, from Stephen F. Austin University.