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Interpreter Salary

Interpreters in the United States can expect to earn an average of $20.00 per hour. Pay generally varies between $10.61 per hour and $38.53. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level and the particular employer. Most Interpreters survey respondents are women (74 percent). A majority of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, over a third report medical coverage and just under a third claim dental coverage as well. Work is enjoyable for Interpreters, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$18,142 - $71,582
(Median)
$18K
$37K
$72K
MEDIAN: $37,155
10%
50%
90%

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$10.61 - $38.53
(Median)
$11
$20
$39
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
$18,142 - $71,582  
   
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).
)
$21,020 - $81,381  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 91
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
$10.61 - $38.53  
   
Overtime
$12.98 - $49.89  
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).
)
$21,020 - $81,381  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 349
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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


Bringing up the rear, Language Line Services' median pay of $20K is the lowest in town; however, employee salaries widely range, with some making up to $47K.


Survey results imply that Interpreters put a diverse skill set to use. 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 19 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, 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 with a lot of experience tend to enjoy 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. For Interpreters, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $53K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $61K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

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.

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Experience Affects Interpreter Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 48%

Experienced
up arrow 28%

Mid-Career
up arrow 5%

National Average
$41,000


Skills That Affect Interpreter Salaries

Russian Language
up arrow 19%

English Language
up arrow 14%

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
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 38% dental benefits Dental: 30%
vision benefits Vision: 26% employee benefits None: 62%
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