Translators in the United States take home approximately $19.64 per hour on average. Geography and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of Translators (65 percent) who took the survey are women. Some workers in this field — slightly less than half — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by half and dental plans are enjoyed by more than a third. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers.

$24,406 - $70,642
$24K
$44K
$71K
MEDIAN: $44,150
10%
50%
90%

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$10.05 - $38.32
$10
$20
$38
MEDIAN: $19.00
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
$24,406 - $70,642  
   
Bonus
$515 - $10,033  
Profit Sharing
$1,100  
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).
)
$23,567 - $76,316  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 241
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$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$10.05 - $38.32  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.40  
Overtime
$5.36 - $37.15  
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$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$515 - $10,033  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,100  
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).
)
$23,567 - $76,316  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 284

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Employers: Start Here »

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

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

Common Career Paths for Translator


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For Translators, career advancements do not tend to correlate with a rise in salary. On average, lower-level Translators earn similar salaries to those in higher-end positions like Interpreter.

Translator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Translator


Survey results imply that Translators deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, facility with Localization and Translation, Arabic Language, and Editing are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 27 percent, 25 percent, and 23 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Russian Language and Spanish Language. Those educated in English Language tend to be well versed 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.


Translators with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $40K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $47K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Translators make a median salary of $51K. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Translators with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $57K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $41,810

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

Translators will find that Boston offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 44 percent. Translators will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+20 percent), Irvine (+20 percent), Chicago (+15 percent), and Seattle (+14 percent). Location significantly influences compensation, with Atlanta Translators earning much less — 33 percent less — than the national average. Employers in Tampa and Miami also lean toward paying below-median salaries (32 percent lower and 22 percent lower, respectively).

Translator Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Translator?

Translator in Boulder:
"Freelance Professional Translator."
Pros: I love the flexibility of choosing the hours I work and choosing the clients I work for. It is an intellectually stimulating job. I enjoy working with languages and writing.
Cons: The uncertainty of the feast and famine cycle.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Translator

Gender

Female
65 %
Male
35 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 27 votes.
Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
11%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Translator Salaries




National Average
$42,000


Skills That Affect Translator Salaries

Localization and Translation
up arrow 27%

Arabic Language
up arrow 25%

Editing
up arrow 23%


Korean Language
up arrow 16%

Italian Language
up arrow 15%



Portuguese Language
up arrow 1%

German Language
0%

National Average
$42,000



Russian Language
up arrow 6%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 27 votes.

Gender

Female
65 %
Male
35 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 51%
dental benefits
Dental: 36%
vision benefits
Vision: 30%
dental benefits
None: 47%
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