Translator Salary

Translators in the United States can expect to earn an average of $19.57 per hour. Residence and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of Translators (66 percent) who took the survey are female. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and a little less than half lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by just over a half and dental coverage is claimed by more than a third. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$24,210 - $71,772
$24K
$45K
$72K
MEDIAN: $45,438
10%
50%
90%

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$9.99 - $36.71
$10
$20
$37
MEDIAN: $19.57
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
$24,210 - $71,772  
   
Bonus
$484.79 - $9,192  
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).
)
$23,070 - $75,694  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 245
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
$9.99 - $36.71  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.40  
Overtime
$6.20 - $38.67  
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
$484.79 - $9,192  
   
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).
)
$23,070 - $75,694  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 271

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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

  • 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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Translators' salary tends to stay somewhat level for those who assume higher-end positions like Interpreter. Median pay for Interpreters is $41K.

Translator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Translator


Translators seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, facility with Localization and Translation, Arabic Language, and Editing are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 26 percent, 25 percent, and 23 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Microsoft Office 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

Pay by Experience for a Translator has a positive trend. An entry-level Translator with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $40,000 based on 315 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Translator with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $46,000 based on 138 salaries. An experienced Translator which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $52,000 based on 119 salaries. A Translator with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $56,000 based on 56 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $41,932

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

For Translators, working in the bustling city of Boston has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Translators will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+25 percent), Washington (+22 percent), Irvine (+20 percent), and Chicago (+14 percent). Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Translators in Atlanta earning a whopping 33 percent below the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Miami (22 percent lower) and San Francisco (8 percent lower).

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
66 %
Male
34 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 31 votes.
Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
11%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Translator Salaries

▲33%

▲24%

▲11%

National Average
$42,000

▼5%

Skills That Affect Translator Salaries

Localization and Translation
▲26%

Arabic Language
▲25%

Editing
▲23%


Italian Language
▲14%


Korean Language
▲12%



Portuguese Language
▲2%

German Language
▼0%

National Average
$42,000



Microsoft Office
▼9%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 31 votes.

Gender

Female
66 %
Male
34 %

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: 52%
dental benefits
Dental: 35%
vision benefits
Vision: 29%
no benefits
None: 47%
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