Interpreter Salary

Median pay for Interpreters in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $19.89 per hour. Pay ranges from $10.43 per hour on the low end to $36.32 on the high end. While experience level and the particular employer impact pay for this group, residence is the most influential factor. Job satisfaction for Interpreters is high. Most Interpreters survey respondents are women (74 percent). Although the greater part lack health benefits of any kind, approximately two in five do enjoy medical insurance, and just under one in three get dental coverage, too. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$17,991 - $70,513
(Median)
$18K
$38K
$71K
MEDIAN: $37,984
10%
50%
90%

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$10.43 - $36.32
(Median)
$10
$20
$36
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$26K$52K$78K
Salary
$17,991 - $70,513  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,961  
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).
)
$20,894 - $77,719  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 95
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
$10.43 - $36.32  
   
Overtime
$13.13 - $49.62  
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 - $1,961  
   
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).
)
$20,894 - $77,719  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 377
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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' salary tends to stay somewhat level for those who assume higher-end positions like Sign Language Interpreter. Median pay for Sign Language Interpreters is $44K.

Interpreter or Translator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Interpreter


Employees of Language Line Services can expect to make the least, with the company offering a median salary of $20K; however, pay is widely dispersed from top to bottom, ranging from $15K to $47K.


Survey results show that Interpreters use a fair number of skills. Most notably, facility with Japanese Language, Russian Language, and Chinese, Mandarin Language are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 22 percent, 15 percent, and 4 percent, respectively. Those listing Medical Terminology as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Sign Language and Spanish Language also typically command lower compensation.

Pay by Experience Level for Interpreter

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


Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Interpreters. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $36K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $43K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $52K in this role. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $61K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location


With a pay rate for Interpreters that is 74 percent greater than the national average, Washington offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Interpreters will also find cushy salaries in New York (+51 percent), San Jose (+29 percent), Charlotte (+12 percent), and Portland (+12 percent). Compared to the national average, Houston Interpreters have considerably lower salaries, 23 percent below the national average to be exact. Location appears to be a major driving force in pay for those in this profession. Workers in Phoenix and Seattle earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (9 percent less and 8 percent less, respectively).

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 4%

National Average
$41,000


Skills That Affect Interpreter Salaries

Japanese Language
up arrow 22%

Russian Language
up arrow 15%

Chinese, Mandarin Language
up arrow 4%

American Sign Language
up arrow 3%

English Language
0%

National Average
$41,000


Sign Language
up arrow 9%

Medical Terminology
up arrow 39%

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
43%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 40% dental benefits Dental: 30%
vision benefits Vision: 26% employee benefits None: 60%
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