Linguistic Anthropologist

Follow the evolution of language.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$31,000 – $89,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Linguistic Anthropologists do?

As a Linguistic Anthropologist, you glean social and cultural insights from the way people communicate, historically and in modern times. You wear a number of hats — Sociologist, Linguist, and Historian — and it’s your job to investigate the relationship between language and people.

Over time, Linguistic Anthropologists begin to recognize subtleties in the way people speak and interact. You’ll understand, for example, why the “p” sound in the words “pot” and “spot” sound different to native speakers of Mandarin. And with your background, you should have no trouble explaining why our neighbors to the north have a funny way of pronouncing the word “about.”

Your job is to keep tabs on modern languages that evolve before your very eyes. And your work addresses both the implications of these changes and the driving force behind them.

At one point or another, you may find yourself embedded in a foreign place for an intimate look at the way people there communicate. The duties include conducting research and interviews, and recording your findings in reports. Along with written and verbal communication, sign language and other forms of nonverbal communication may be of interest to you.

Communication is the fabric of human existence, and your work helps expose its societal significance. If you’re passionate about other cultures, history, and communication, working as a Linguistic Anthropologist may be a fitting career.

Should I be a Linguistic Anthropologist?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.

  • How to Become a
    Linguistic Anthropologist

    Most Linguistic Anthropologists have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaa9u&chl=||||master%27s+%2857%25%29|doctorate+%2843%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,57
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