As a linguist in the active Army or Army Reserve, you will be deployed to duty stations around the world, where you will translate highly classified documents and information for military troops and allied forces. Depending on your area of expertise, you’ll be assigned to either a strategic or tactical position. Strategic linguists tend to work from an office, while tactical linguists work more from the field.
To become linguist, however, you don’t have to already be fluent in a language. The Army can teach you. If you have an aptitude to learn, meet the qualifying standards and are a U.S. citizen, you can get a linguistics job in the U.S. Army.
Most linguist jobs require background checks and security interviews for top secret security clearance. Some use this clearance for civilian and/or government employment opportunities after leaving military service, including roles in the FBI, the National Security Agency and corporations needing employees with language skills.
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THE DEFENSE LANGUAGE INSTITUTE (DLI)
After nine weeks of Basic Combat Training, you will report to the Defense Language Institute (DLI) for language and linguistics training. One of the world’s foremost language schools, DLI provides expert instruction in many different languages. In addition to your Advanced Individual Training, your language training will last from 6 to 16 months. As part of your education at DLI, you will also learn about the history, culture and people who speak the language you’re learning.
TESTING AND REQUIREMENTS
The Army uses the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) to evaluate how well a native English speaker can learn a language. The score on the DLAB determines the level of difficulty for language training.
If you already speak a foreign language, the basic measure of language proficiency is a score of 2/2 or better on the Defense Language Proficiency Test. If no DLPT is available for the language, an Oral Proficiency Interview can be scheduled through the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center.
CIVILIAN LINGUISTICS CAREERS
Having experience as a military linguist sets you up for many opportunities once you complete your time in active duty. You might want to pursue a civilian linguistics career in a government agency such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, Homeland Security or in the fields of education or international business.
BENEFITS AND INCENTIVES
In addition to all regular benefits, linguists are paid a Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus as an incentive to maintain and improve their language skills. Linguists are paid up to $400 for each language they demonstrate proficiency in and can receive up to $1,000 a month.
You might also qualify for an enlistment bonus up to $40,000 and the Montgomery GI Bill worth over $60,000. College credits may also qualify you for advanced promotion and extra pay.
Job Types: Full-time, Part-time
Salary: $30,000.00 to $40,000.00 /year
Hours per week: