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Interpreter Salary

Pay for Interpreters in the United States sits in the ballpark of $19.96 per hour. The pay spectrum stretches from $10.59 per hour to $37.99. While tenure and the individual firm impact pay for this group, location is the most influential factor. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Interpreters making up 74 percent. Health benefits are not claimed by all — the greater part lack any form of coverage — but two in five have medical insurance, and slightly less than a third have dental, too. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$18,093 - $72,093
(Median)
$18K
$37K
$72K
MEDIAN: $36,540
10%
50%
90%

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$10.59 - $37.99
(Median)
$11
$20
$38
MEDIAN: $19.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Salary
$18,093 - $72,093  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,600  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$21,015 - $81,103  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 89
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$10.59 - $37.99  
   
Overtime
$13.45 - $50.02  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,600  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$21,015 - $81,103  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 347

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United States (change)


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Job Description for Interpreter

An interpreter works to break down the language barrier for their clients. In the classic sense, an interpreter facilitates communication between two people by translating the statements of each person into the other person's language. For example, if an English speaker and a Mandarin Chinese speaker need to conduct business with each other, and neither knows the other's language, an interpreter would listen to the English speaker's statements and repeat them in Mandarin; conversely, the interpreter would listen to the Mandarin speaker's statements and repeat them in English.

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Interpreter Tasks

  • Explain and clarify cultural expectations and idiom.
  • Translate written documents or audio tapes to and from target language and English.
  • Convey spoken content accurately from one language to another.
  • Assist with documentation, filing and paperwork.

Common Career Paths for Interpreter


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Interpreters who transition into an upper level Sign Language Interpreter position will not necessarily make much more than they do in their current role. The average Sign Language Interpreter makes $44K a year.

Interpreter or Translator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Interpreter


Language Line Services reports the lowest median salary in the area (it's only $20K) but some workers make up to $47K, indicating a rather large gap in employee earnings.


Survey results show that Interpreters use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in Russian Language, English Language, Chinese, Mandarin Language, and American Sign Language are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 20 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Sign Language and Spanish Language.

Pay by Experience Level for Interpreter

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Interpreters who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Workers with less than five years' experience earn around $36K on average, and those who have five to 10 years under their belts see a higher median salary of $43K. On average, Interpreters make $53K following one to two decades on the job. Interpreters who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $61K.

Interpreter Reviews

What is it like working as an Interpreter?

Interpreter in Kennesaw:
"Work Flexibility, Work From Home By Phone, Good Hourly Pay."
Pros: Flexibility on my job. Able to help people to understand each other taking the barrier on language. Not a physical straining job, but mental.
Cons: Need to be waiting for the call to come, you don't know when the call is coming.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Interpreter Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 50%

Experienced
up arrow 29%

Mid-Career
up arrow 4%

National Average
$41,000


Skills That Affect Interpreter Salaries

Russian Language
up arrow 20%

English Language
up arrow 15%

Chinese, Mandarin Language
up arrow 4%

American Sign Language
up arrow 1%

National Average
$41,000


Sign Language
up arrow 9%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 57 votes.

Gender

Female
74 %
Male
26 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 39% dental benefits Dental: 30%
vision benefits Vision: 25% employee benefits None: 61%
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