FBI Contract Linguist Recruitment

To be considered for an invitation-only recruitment event focused on the Contract Linguist opportunity, apply to job ID 26208 CHICAGO CONTRACT LINGUIST INTEREST POOL on FBIJOBS.GOV


Contract Linguists provide valuable knowledge of foreign languages and cultures to support FBI investigations into counterintelligence threats, cases of corruption, espionage, cyber crime, human trafficking and other offenses.


Contract Linguists are considered self-employed and are not eligible to receive government benefits. They earn an hourly rate (ranging from range from $29 to $41) as determined by their language proficiency and the FBI's current need for their language(s). Hours are based on operational need and opportunities may be available for part-time or full-time hours.


The majority of FBI Linguists begin their careers as contractors, but Contract Linguists may convert to become full-time employee Language Specialists.

FBI Linguists’ duties can include:

  • Translating written or audio materials, normally from a foreign language into English
  • Interpreting during interviews of suspects, victims, and witnesses or visits from foreign dignitaries
  • Providing cultural expertise relating to any matter over which the FBI has jurisdiction
  • Testifying at trial and occasionally accompanying Special Agents on searches or arrests

Minimum Qualifications
To apply, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have lived in the United States for three of the last five years, unless serving outside the country as a federal employee or the dependent of an employee
  • Be able to obtain a Top-Secret Clearance
  • Be willing to complete a language proficiency test battery, polygraph, and comprehensive background investigation
  • Be available to work on-site at least 20 hours a week

Automatic Disqualifiers
You are not eligible if you:

  • Are not a U.S. citizen
  • Have been convicted of a felony
  • Have violated the FBI Employment Drug Policy
  • Have defaulted on a loan insured by the U.S.

Professional Proficiency Required
Successful candidates must exhibit proficiency in English and pass the required components of the FBI’s Language Test Battery in English and a foreign language. The FBI looks for candidates who score in the general professional proficiency range according to the Interagency Language Roundtable (www.govtilr.org).