Education and Training Requirements

High School

To prepare for a career as a lexicographer, take English, literature, and composition classes in high school. You should also familiarize yourself with word processing programs, either by taking a computer science class or by completing school assignments. History and foreign language classes will also help prepare you for this career.

Postsecondary Training

Lexicographers usually have at least a bachelor's degree in linguistics, English, foreign languages, or history. Some, however, have advanced degrees in other subjects, and this education gives them the expertise to work on scientific entries, for example, or on a dictionary specifically for the chemical industry.

Other Education or Training

The Dictionary Society of North America provides continuing education opportunities at its biennial conference. Past sessions included Grammar in Dictionaries and Technical Vocabulary in Dictionaries. Contact the society for more information.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

There is no certification or licensing available for lexicographers.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Previous experience in other publishing positions (such as editor) or work as a junior member of a lexicographic team will provide useful preparation for aspiring lexicographers. 

Lexicographers need to be detail oriented, persistent, curious, organized, and precise in research and writing. They could accurately be described as word detectives.