Interpreter or Translator Salary
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.
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.Read More...
Some companies may require interpreters to work with other interpreters and double-check the work they have submitted to the company. In some cases, prior training is preferred, but not a strict requirement. Interpreters must also be able to translate texts and speak on behalf of a representative of a specific company or client.
Those in this position are responsible for ensuring that everyone is able to understand everyone else clearly and regardless of the language barrier. Depending on the employer, the work environment can vary, though it is usually an indoor office setting. Hours can vary depending on the company's needs; some companies may prefer interpreters to work full 40-hour work weeks, while others may employ them for ten or twenty hours per week.
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
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
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.