View Full Version : Industry Standard for Linguist?

30 May 2006, 12:10
I am currently being recruited by a company for a job as a linguist. Job requires a US CIT, current USGOV clearance, and either a native speaker in Spanish and Portugese or be a DLI Grad.

I have no idea what a good salary for this type of position would be. Any input would be great!


ODA 564
30 May 2006, 13:28
CONUS based linguists, non-security clearance, usually start at the DOL Wage Determination hourly rate for instructors for that area (on a US Govt contract).

Above that? Depends on location, other qualifications required, specific language required, and security clearance.

For example, Titan and one of their (former) sub-contractors was paying ~$25 an hour, plus the SCA mandated "health and welfare" on the first 40 hours per week (which was an extra $2.59 an hour then) for US citizen, SECRET cleared, Phasto and Dari speakers at Fort Bragg. Each linguist on that contract was basically hand-selected by the client's technical representative (for want of a better term).

The kicker was that the linguists were working 80+ hours per week and both Titan and the (former) sub were not paying overtime - they were paying straight time for the total hours worked. Of course, they got away with it.

You could check some of the GSA schedules of the companies that have language services schedules on the GSA Advantage web site, but that will only get you what the vendors charge the USG, not what they pay.

Bear in mind that this work is considered hourly work under the Service Contract Act - meaning that if you work over 40-hours per week you should ("must") be paid time-and-a-half. Of course, most vendors will offer you a "salary" and try to avoid paying overtime because they deliberately bid the contract without it.

I'm going to guess that the company you mentioned in your PM is going to offer you $30-$35 an hour, plus medical for yourself (you'll be able to pay for your family members yourself) - or H&W in lieu of any benefits, which is going up to $3.01 on 1 June ($6260.80 tax-free per year). They will express it as $62400 - $72800 "per year" ($69K - $79K with H&W included) and try to pay you a "salary" instead of paying you hourly as the SCA requires. The problem will be that they will (probably) then try to get you to work uncompensated overtime because "you are salaried" and because the USG client (probably) will be pushing them to do so despite the statement of work being specific about "no overtime authorized".

30 May 2006, 14:18
Thanks ODA,

Thats exactly the type of info I was looking for.

ODA 564
30 May 2006, 16:31
No problem. PM me as to how close I was when they talk numbers (I won't ask what they actually offer but I'm just curious if I'm close or talking out of my ass).