Interpreter or Translator Salary

Interpreters in the United States can expect to earn an average of $19.91 per hour. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Although a little more than half have medical coverage and over a third have dental coverage, just over two-fifths claim no health benefits at all. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Interpreters making up 73 percent. Work is enjoyable for Interpreters, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$23,553 - $70,614
$24K
$43K
$71K
MEDIAN: $43,188
10%
50%
90%

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$11.18 - $39.02
$11
$20
$39
MEDIAN: $19.91
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
$23,553 - $70,614  
   
Bonus
$107.50 - $13,675  
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).
)
$23,406 - $76,602  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 150
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
$11.18 - $39.02  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.50  
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
$107.50 - $13,675  
   
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).
)
$23,406 - $76,602  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 341

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

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

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

Common Career Paths for Interpreter or Translator


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Interpreters sometimes move into a Sign Language Interpreter role, where the salary is similar. However, it's more common for Interpreters to move into roles as Translators or Spanish Interpreter/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.


The average inexperienced worker's salary is approximately $40K, and people with five to 10 years of experience bring in more at around $43K on average. Interpreters with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $50K. Folks with more than two decades of experience actually report lower incomes overall; their average comes out to a mere $44K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $41,757

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

For Interpreters, San Francisco provides a pay rate that is 74 percent greater than the national average. Interpreters can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+47 percent), San Jose (+43 percent), Atlanta (+37 percent), and Chicago (+27 percent). Interpreters' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Interpreters in Houston bring in salaries that are 27 percent lower than the national average.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Interpreter or Translator

Gender

Female
73 %
Male
27 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 33 votes.
Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
10%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Interpreter or Translator Salaries

Experienced
▲21%

Late-Career
▲6%

Mid-Career
▲3%

National Average
$42,000

▼3%

Skills That Affect Interpreter or Translator Salaries

Localization and Translation
▲47%

French Language
▲44%

Portuguese Language
▲3%

National Average
$42,000

Chinese, Mandarin Language
▼3%

Japanese Language
▼3%



Bilingual
▼10%

Microsoft Office
▼16%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 33 votes.

Gender

Female
73 %
Male
27 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 55%
dental benefits
Dental: 38%
vision benefits
Vision: 32%
dental benefits
None: 44%
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