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Career Areas
Government Agencies
FBI | CIA | NSA | INS | Dept of State

Federal Bureau of Investigation
The FBI needs language professionals in a wide variety of languages both on a contract and permanent basis. The contract linguist positions entail interpreting, testing monitoring, and translation skills. These contracted employees are considered self-employed and do not have the same benefits as other FBI employees. Language specialists perform the same types of tasks as the contract linguists, but this is a full-time salary position. Much higher education background is required for language specialists, on a variety of levels, with the highest being 6 years of experience and a PhD. All language employees of the FBI must be fluent in reading, writing, speaking, and listening, complete a battery of oral and written examinations, and be US citizens.

Central Intelligence Agency
One of the core positions with the CIA is foreign area specialist. The more specific job title in this area is entitled Open Source Officer, and as an integral part of the Agency's mission, a variety of tasks are expected. Language ability is, of course, required including ability to read, write, speak, and translate into a foreign language. Eligible individuals should also have extensive regional and cultural knowledge of a specific area of the world, and most of the current foreign employees have lived in their region of interest.

National Security Agency
The NSA needs linguists who would perform a variety of language services such as translation, transcription, reporting, and analyzing information that is of national concern and global importance. These language specialists must be able to take into account current and past political and cultural factors. Opportunities abound from anything to field assignments abroad, language teaching and research, or mastery of a new language.

Immigration and Naturalization Service
The INS offers a wide variety of opportunity with their 9 core careers, and every job requires the knowledge of Spanish. Education level depends on position entry level, and education in other fields may be required. Career choices with the INS include Immigration Inspector, Border Patrol Agent, Deportation Officer, and Immigration Information Officer, for example.

Department of State
This website provides a fairly comprehensive list of employment opportunities with the UN and other International Organizations. This list changes monthly, but language specialist positions are often included.


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© 2001 Ola Furmanek, Laura Wray, Jonathan Crosson