Interpreters in the United States pull down an average of $19.89 per hour. Geography and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Interpreters survey respondents are women (73 percent). While some workers in this profession — more than two-fifths — do not have any health coverage, a majority do receive medical benefits and more than a third have dental insurance. Work is enjoyable for Interpreters, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$23,796 - $71,977
(Median)
$24K
$43K
$72K
MEDIAN: $43,423
10%
50%
90%

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$11.36 - $38.71
(Median)
$11
$20
$39
MEDIAN: $19.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Salary
$23,796 - $71,977  
   
Bonus
$15.46 - $19,392  
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).
)
$23,774 - $75,964  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 144
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$20$40$60
Hourly Rate
$11.36 - $38.71  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.50  
Overtime
$6.21 - $58.17  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$15.46 - $19,392  
   
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).
)
$23,774 - $75,964  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 331
United States (change)

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Job Description for Interpreter or Translator

An interpreter's main duties are to translate information from one language to another and vice-versa. An associate's or bachelor's degree may be required for this position, though not necessarily. All interpreter/translator positions within the country require that the person be a legal citizen of the United States of America, and most positions also require that applicants have their own reliable method of transportation to get to work.

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Interpreter or Translator Tasks

  • Proofread, edit, and revise translated materials.
  • Assist in creating documents and presentation materials in foreign languages for meetings and general communications.
  • Translate or interpret written, oral, or sign language text into another language for others.
  • Provide linguistic assistance to clients or associates.

Common Career Paths for Interpreter or Translator


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As Interpreters transition into upper-level roles like Sign Language Interpreters, it's possible that they won't see a change in salary. Sign Language Interpreters earn the same amount as Interpreters on average. However, Interpreters typically graduate to Translators or Spanish Interpretes and Translators.

Interpreter or Translator Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Interpreter or Translator

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


Workers with less than five years' experience earn around $40K on average, and those who have five to 10 years under their belts see a higher median salary of $43K. Interpreters bring in $50K after working for 10 to 20 years. Interpreters who have racked up more than two decades of experience report lower incomes overall; the average sum for this crowd comes out to only $44K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $41,671

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For those looking to make money, Interpreters in San Francisco enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 75 percent above the national average. Interpreters will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+44 percent), San Jose (+44 percent), Chicago (+35 percent), and Boston (+25 percent). Interpreters in Houston earn salaries far below the national average by 27 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

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Experience Affects Interpreter or Translator Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 19%

Late-Career
up arrow 6%

Mid-Career
up arrow 2%

National Average
$42,000


Skills That Affect Interpreter or Translator Salaries

Localization and Translation
up arrow 47%

French Language
up arrow 44%

Portuguese Language
up arrow 6%

National Average
$42,000

Chinese, Mandarin Language
up arrow 2%

Japanese Language
up arrow 3%

Bilingual
up arrow 6%



Microsoft Office
up arrow 16%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 29 votes.

Gender

Female
73 %
Male
27 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 56%
dental benefits
Dental: 38%
medical benefits
Vision: 31%
dental benefits
None: 43%
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