Average salary for an in-house linguist in UK
Thread poster: xxxyanadeni

xxxyanadeni  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:57
French to Russian
+ ...
Sep 4, 2011

Hello

Could you please advise me on the salaries in UK (London suburb)?

What is the average (i.e. not "basic" neither "very good") salary in UK for a linguist? It's not about a translator position, but just linguist, close to computational linguistics field.
Experience (only abroad): 8 years

If you have a specific figure, how much would it make after tax approx.?

Thank you


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:57
Hebrew to English
Not really possible to answer Sep 4, 2011

I'm also not exactly 100% sure of what you mean.....

I'm not convinced there is even such a thing as "in-house linguist" in the UK, without it really meaning "translator".

As for positions in linguistics, well, we aren't a nation that values languages or linguistics very highly...

Narrowing it down to computational linguistics...No doubt there are positions within some governmental agencies (although I'm sure for security you'd need to be a British citizen).

Mostly these roles are found in academia, in university research departments and the like.

Given the cash strapped nature of British universities, I suspect most of these departments rely on subsidies and research grants etc....therefore ensuring that no computational linguist will make any rich list any time soon!

A quick bit of google research shows some corporate interest in some areas of computational linguistics like NLP (natural language processing) specialists and speech recognition specialists. They are offering around £30,000 - £40,000. Although this is HIGHLY specialised even within a specialisation and from what I quickly glanced at, most expect a PhD.

Maybe someone else can give you a better answer...

P.S I couldn't begin to give you a figure after tax. As a general rule, our taxes tend to be quite extortionate, so I would suspect it would put quite a dent in any figure.


 

xxxyanadeni  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:57
French to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
... Sep 5, 2011

Hi Ty,

I'm talking about a job in particular (that I've already applied and I've already had one interview). It's not a government, nor a university.
If it's difficult to determine a salary for a linguist, let's take a translator. Not HIGHLY specialized, just an average translator.

The problem is that the salary that is offered for the job I applied is curiously low. I just wonder if it's a rule for UK or just particular to this company. Since I want this job, I'd like to negotiate, but have no idea what would be a reasonable salary to ask.

As to the taxes, well, I'm in Canada and I pay appr. 30% of my revenue. If you're paid, for example, an officially average salary of 33000 CAD a year or 20600 GBP (not the one of translators, the just an average for all the professions), I can tell that you'll have a bi-weekly pay check of about 950-1000 CAD after tax. And if you're smart enough, you can get back appr. 2000-2500 of your taxes after your tax declaration in April. This doesn't include the sales tax of appr. 13% that you pay on almost everything you buy.

So is it possible to have a similar estimation for UK? I'm not asking something exact to 10 GBP, but +/- 100-200 would be OK.

Thank you


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 23:57
Chinese to English
Tax is the easy part Sep 5, 2011

Tax calculator:
http://listentotaxman.com/index.php
And UK VAT is now 20%, I thinkicon_frown.gif

My feeling is you'd be lucky to get anything over 30,000 GBP, and more likely something around 25,000. But I don't live and work there, so don't take it as gospel.


 

Steve Booth  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:57
Member (2007)
English to Arabic
+ ...
.. Sep 5, 2011

if it was in the government sector would have thought you would be looking at around the 25k mark which roughly equates to 40k in Canadian dollars although starting rate could be lower. As it isn't then you could be looking a little lower than this maybe 23 but with a starting rate of probably less than 20

 

Richard Foulkes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:57
German to English
+ ...
Have you tried looking on language career web sites? Sep 5, 2011

I've no idea what current average salaries are like in London but I would have thought the best way to find out would be to find some language job sites and see what other employers are offering. HTH.

 

Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:57
Member
French to English
+ ...
Linguist roles are not well paid in the UK Sep 5, 2011

The job you're describing sounds highly unusual (and you're not giving much away about it!), so that makes comparisons difficult. If it's a linguist position offered by an intelligence or press monitoring agency, don't expect a lot more than you could earn as an in-house translator at an agency. In-house translation jobs simply aren't very well remunerated here, I think it's a reflection of the British attitude towards foreign languages ("of course I could pick one up if I wanted to, but I just don't have the time...") Even an in-house translator position at the Foreign Office that I saw advertised a few years ago (requiring French and Spanish plus English) only offered a salary of something like £25k, if I remember rightly. Of the private-sector in-house positions I've seen advertised over the last few years, only a handful (mostly those requiring expertise in a non-language field such as IT or law) paid more than about £22k before tax (I'll leave you to do the maths), even in London, but in quite a few cases, job postings specify a range rather than a specific figure, or say that the salary is "negotiable".

 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:57
Hebrew to English
The curiously low figure is probably accurate Sep 5, 2011

I agree with Peter and the others.

Since you're being quite tight-lipped about the details, perhaps rightly, it is problematic to give a figure or advice on salary negotiation.

The rather gloomy tone of the posts may be discouraging but it is accurate and I agree that it is a reflection of our society's attitude towards language.

As you know the details yourself, try looking for the same role in other companies in the UK, see what they're offering. (Although Peter's right, it sounds like a strangely unique role - this could be a disadvantage - if there's no comparative roles to benchmark against, it wouldn't really leave you room to negotiate)

For these reasons, giving you a figure to the nearest +/- 100 is impossible, it would have to be the nearest +/- 1000. I would say to expect a salary range in the £20,000ish + range (somewhere in the 20's).

I think if it gets as high as £30,000, take the job and consider yourself lucky!


 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:57
Italian to English
Useful info Sep 5, 2011

Dear Yana

A quick google search brought this webpage showing salaries for computational linguists in the UK: http://www.jobisjob.co.uk/computational-linguistics/jobs

Hope it helps.

Russell


 

xxxyanadeni  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:57
French to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
... Sep 5, 2011

Thank you guys. Now I have an idea.
Actually they're offering 22K, that's almost a salary for a secretary here in Canada.
On the other hand, the tax calculator that Phil gave me is quite optimistic and leaves more money after tax compared to Canada.

Russel, thank you for the link, quite interesting, but I'm not as specialized. I think this job is closer to translator than to CL analyst.

Now I've learned something new about the English mentality about the languages. As we say here in Canada, tonight I'll go to bed less stupidicon_smile.gif


 

Natalia Mackevich  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:57
English to Russian
+ ...
Typical Sep 5, 2011

Yana Deni wrote:
Actually they're offering 22K

This amount is quite typical here. It's not much, but most "linguists" (translators, PMs, etc.) accept it. The maximum annual salary I've seen for a similar position was about 38K, but you won't find it every day. The average is 25-30K.
Good lurk!


 

xxxyanadeni  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:57
French to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
work permit Sep 5, 2011

I've googled about the work permit and I see that the necessary minimum to have as salary is 24K to get the necessary points.

 

BabelOn-line
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:57
English to French
+ ...
Agree with Peter Shortall and Ty Kendall Sep 13, 2011

In-house linguists in the UK must really be passionate about languages as they are usually paid peanuts considering their education, experience and long working hours.

You really need a rare specialisation to get some bargaining chips when you go to a job interview. Figures provided by Peter, Ty and others seems pretty accurate. And 22k pre-tax in London does not go a long way.

Freelancers seem to have a somewhat better outlook - with the usual caveat that there is no guarantee of a pay cheque by the end of the month.

Taxes should you want to go self-employed: if you incorporate (i.e. set up a limited company), you can pay yourself a small salary of approx. £6000 / year that is below the income tax threshold and National Insurance contributions. Then you will pay about 20% of your taxable profit. That is in my view the most efficient way of doing it.

Running a limited company costs me £350 per year, but it is a bit more demanding in terms of paperwork. The flip side is that you are “a company” - instead of a sole trader.

Good luck!

Jean


 

Marc Rizkallah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:57
Member (2010)
English to French
+ ...
Advantages of being "a company"? Sep 13, 2011

BabelOn-line wrote:
Running a limited company costs me £350 per year, but it is a bit more demanding in terms of paperwork. The flip side is that you are “a company” - instead of a sole trader.


Hi BabelOn-line,
Sorry if this is off-topic, but I've been wondering... what exactly are the advantages of being “a company” - instead of a sole trader?


 

Elena Volkova  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:57
English to Russian
+ ...
Only 20%? Sep 14, 2011

BabelOn-line wrote:

Taxes should you want to go self-employed: if you incorporate (i.e. set up a limited company), you can pay yourself a small salary of approx. £6000 / year that is below the income tax threshold and National Insurance contributions. Then you will pay about 20% of your taxable profit. That is in my view the most efficient way of doing it.

Running a limited company costs me £350 per year, but it is a bit more demanding in terms of paperwork. The flip side is that you are “a company” - instead of a sole trader.



Do you mean that 20% is the only deduction you will make from your taxable profit? No NI or anything?


 


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