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Interpreter or Translator Salary

The average Interpreter in the United States earns approximately $19.78 per hour. Compensation ranges between $11.02 per hour and $40.96. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Most Interpreters report high levels of job satisfaction. Female Interpreters are more common than men among those who completed the survey; more than half (68 percent) are women. Although roughly one-half have medical coverage and just under a third have dental coverage, close to one-half claim no health benefits at all. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$18,000 - $70,222
(Median)
$18K
$40K
$70K
MEDIAN: $39,955
10%
50%
90%

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$11.02 - $40.96
(Median)
$11
$20
$41
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
$18,000 - $70,222  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,020  
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).
)
$21,290 - $82,627  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 134
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$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$11.02 - $40.96  
   
Overtime
$6.00 - $35.98  
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$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,020  
   
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).
)
$21,290 - $82,627  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 232

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Job Description for Interpreter or Translator

The position of translator or interpreter requires someone with proficiency in at least two languages. A high school degree and/or a bachelor's degree, fluency in both languages, and additional courses focusing on translation skills are usually required. Interpreters and translators are required to have sufficient knowledge of the subject matter that they will be translating. For example, translators and interpreters often work in health care settings, where it is important to have an understanding of medical terminology in order to accurately assist doctors and patients.

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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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Interpreters tend not to experience significant pay changes as they move up the career ladder to roles like Sign Language Interpreter. The two jobs pay about the same on average.

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.


For Interpreters, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. During their first five years in the workforce, individuals in this position earn $38K on average. Survey participants with five to 10 years under their belts see an only a slightly bigger average of $42K. Interpreters see a median salary of $46K after reaching one to two decades on the job. In the end, the overall pattern seems to be that more experience generally corresponds to higher pay; an Interpreter with more than 20 years of experience can earn $55K on average.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Interpreter or Translator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 34%

Experienced
up arrow 13%

Mid-Career
up arrow 2%

National Average
$41,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 38 votes.

Gender

Female
68 %
Male
33 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 49% dental benefits Dental: 31%
vision benefits Vision: 26% employee benefits None: 50%