Interested in lexicography?

I receive a lot of questions from students who are exploring lexicography as a career! Here are some resources that you may find useful.

First, the bad news: there are very few jobs. In North America, I think you could fit all the working lexicographers in the auditorium of the average high school.

However, new lexicographers have to come from somewhere! Why not you? And thinking critically and scientifically about words has never been shown to do anyone any harm.


Wordnik semi-maintains a list of books about lexicography and lexicographers at Bookshop.org.


The Dictionary Society of North America offers free memberships to students in North American and internationally.

Outside of North America, there are regional lexicography associations. You can find them linked from Globalex.


Lexicom offers lexicography workshops.

The EmLex (European Master in Lexicography) is a formal degree program.

Many members of the Dictionary Society of North America teach lexicography classes; you can ask about upcoming classes on the society’s Facebook page.

General Advice

Most dictionary projects have some sort of computational aspect at this point; taking a few programming classes couldn’t hurt and would almost certainly help.

Many dictionaries don’t have advertised internships, but you can often email to ask/offer yourself as an intern. Unfortunately, lexicography internships are often unpaid or have very low stipends.

Don’t wait for some official permission to begin work! Why not compile a small glossary of words in a subject or domain that you are familiar with (for example, the jargon of a particular fandom or regional terms from your hometown). You can learn by doing!