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Interpreter or Translator Salary

Interpreters in the United States can expect wages of $19.70 per hour on average. Lower pay rates hover around $11.64 per hour, and the higher rates verge on $40.85. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. Although a little more than half lack health benefits of any kind, just under one-half do enjoy medical insurance, and around one in three get dental coverage, too. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Interpreters. Female Interpreters make up most of the survey respondents at 70 percent. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
$17,357 - $70,744
(Median)
17K
29K
40K
54K
71K
MEDIAN: $40,420
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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$11.64 - $40.85
(Median)
12
20
26
41
MEDIAN: $19.00
10%
50%
75%
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
$17,357 - $70,744  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,667  
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).
)
$21,939 - $83,840  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 139
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$19$38$57
Hourly Rate
$11.64 - $40.85  
   
Overtime
$9.90 - $54.25  
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 - $5,667  
   
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).
)
$21,939 - $83,840  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 256
United States (change)

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 may not always see an increase in earnings as they climb the career ladder. For example, top-notch roles like Sign Language Interpreter offer money in line with Interpreters.

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 many Interpreters, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $38K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $42K. For Interpreters, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $47K. More than 20 years of experience seem related to solid financial gains; veterans in this group report earning a median of $60K.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Interpreter or Translator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 45%

Experienced
up arrow 13%

Mid-Career
up arrow 3%

National Average
$41,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 42 votes.

Gender

Female
70 %
Male
30 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 46% dental benefits Dental: 32%
vision benefits Vision: 27% employee benefits None: 53%