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Translator Salary

Average Translators in the United States make around $20.03 per hour. The bottom of the pay range sits near $10.77 per hour, and the top verges on $47.32. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. There are more female Translators who answered the questionnaire than male, making up 68 percent. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — just under one-half lack coverage. On the flip side, close to one-half have medical insurance and over a third receive dental plans. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Translators. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$24,448 - $77,862
(Median)
$24K
$45K
$78K
MEDIAN: $45,317
10%
50%
90%

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$10.77 - $47.32
(Median)
$11
$20
$47
MEDIAN: $20
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$29K$58K$87K
Salary
$24,448 - $77,862  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,978  
Profit Sharing
$150.00 - $20,000  
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).
)
$24,376 - $85,268  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 166
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$23$46$69
Hourly Rate
$10.77 - $47.32  
   
Overtime
$12.37 - $67.87  
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 - $4,978  
   
Profit Sharing
$150.00 - $20,000  
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).
)
$24,376 - $85,268  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 238

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Job Description for Translator

A translator is an essential link between people who speak different languages. At the core, a translator facilitates written communication between two or more persons who speak different languages and are unable to directly communicate. They often work on documents for broader consumption such as brochures, books, and advertisements. However, a translator often does more than just translate; frequently, they also educates her clients about the history, culture, and customs of the people with whom the client is seeking to communicate. Armed with this cultural knowledge, the translator helps ensure that the client is able to abide by local customs and therefore not engage in taboo behavior.

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Translator Tasks

  • Maintain confidentiality of all translations and engagements as needed.
  • Identify and resolve misunderstandings of meaning quickly and tactfully while maintaining neutrality.
  • Translate communications dynamically or statically while preserving context, content, and intent.

Common Career Paths for Translator


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Many Translators move into an Interpreter role, which does not lead to a big boost in pay. Interpreters on average bring in a similar salary to Translators.

Translator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Translator


Translators seem to require a number of specific skills. Most notably, facility with Chinese, Mandarin Language, Japanese Language, and Localization and Translation are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 34 percent, 16 percent, and 15 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Portuguese Language and Spanish Language. Those proficient in English Language are, more often than not, also skilled in French Language and Japanese Language.

Pay by Experience Level for Translator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $41K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $49K. For Translators, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $50K. Translators who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are no higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Translators, Washington offers exceptional salaries, 22 percent above the national average. Translators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Portland (+19 percent), New York (+16 percent), Salt Lake City (+12 percent), and Houston (+6 percent). Translators in Atlanta make 35 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Employers pay around 15 percent less in Los Angeles and 10 percent less in San Diego, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Translator Salaries


Late-Career
up arrow 17%

Mid-Career
up arrow 14%

National Average
$43,000


Skills That Affect Translator Salaries

Chinese, Mandarin Language
up arrow 34%

Japanese Language
up arrow 16%

Localization and Translation
up arrow 15%

French Language
up arrow 14%

Arabic Language
up arrow 14%

German Language
up arrow 12%

National Average
$43,000

English Language
up arrow 1%


Portuguese Language
up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 41 votes.

Gender

Female
68 %
Male
32 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 50% dental benefits Dental: 37%
vision benefits Vision: 30% employee benefits None: 47%