How Do I Become a Cryptologic Linguist?

Enlisting in the military and qualifying for a specific branch can lead to a career as a cryptologic linguist. If you live in the United States and want to work in the military as a cryptologic linguist, you must first take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test and score in a certain way to be considered for training. This job is offered the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.

The first step in becoming a cryptologic linguist in the United States is to join the military and pass the ASVAB test. Military recruitment standards include meeting certain height and weight requirements, as well as medical fitness standards and background check qualifications. The last requirement is crucial for anyone interested in working as a cryptologic linguist, as the job typically requires top secret security clearance. This is a thorough investigation into an applicant’s criminal, financial, and character history. A personal history form is completed in its entirety and truthfully, and references are requested.

Because a cryptologic linguist interprets and reports intercepted data, background checks and security clearances are required. They may have access to information that is vital to national security. Because the data they translate and analyze is spoken or written in a language other than English, becoming a cryptologic linguist may take many years of foreign language study. Foreign language training may not be required if a recruit is already fluent in another language.

After boot camp, a cryptologic linguist receives language training in a foreign language. It’s a shortened training course held at a military base. The language learned is determined a score on a test that assesses an individual’s language learning ability. This test is different from the ASVAB, and high scores on both are required before a person can work as a cryptologic linguist.

Not everyone who passes the ASVAB and passes the language test will be able to work as a cryptologic linguist. The number of people the military can accept for this job within a particular branch at any given time is determined the military’s needs for this occupation. You may be asked to choose from a list of jobs that you are willing to accept in some cases. When this happens, your first choice would be cryptologic linguist, but you should be prepared to accept any job that is offered to you. Before signing a contract, some branches may allow you to learn more about your specific assigned job.