Interpreter or Translator Salary

Interpreters in the United States take home an average $20.11 per hour. Earnings generally vary between $11.05 per hour and $39.92. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Female Interpreters make up most of the survey respondents at 70 percent. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and just over two-fifths lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by a little more than half and dental coverage is claimed by over a third. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$19,852 - $70,345
(Median)
$20K
$42K
$70K
MEDIAN: $42,465
10%
50%
90%

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$11.05 - $39.92
(Median)
$11
$20
$40
MEDIAN: $20
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$27K$54K$81K
Salary
$19,852 - $70,345  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,091  
Profit Sharing
$7,500  
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).
)
$22,311 - $80,431  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 138
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
$11.05 - $39.92  
   
Hourly Tips
$2.50  
Overtime
$6.07 - $59.60  
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
$0.00 - $3,091  
   
Profit Sharing
$7,500  
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).
)
$22,311 - $80,431  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 270
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. It is not uncommon for an Interpreter to continue on to become a Translator or a Spanish Interpreter and Translator.

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. The average beginner in this position makes around $40K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $45K. Interpreters who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $50K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $54K.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Interpreter or Translator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 26%

Experienced
up arrow 19%

Mid-Career
up arrow 7%

National Average
$42,000


Skills That Affect Interpreter or Translator Salaries

Localization and Translation
up arrow 45%

Chinese, Mandarin Language
up arrow 18%

National Average
$42,000

Spanish Language
up arrow 2%

English Language
up arrow 4%

Japanese Language
up arrow 5%

Bilingual
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 28 votes.

Gender

Female
70 %
Male
30 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 54%
dental benefits
Dental: 36%
medical benefits
Vision: 30%
dental benefits
None: 45%
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