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Translator Salary

Translators in the United States can expect wages of $20.00 per hour on average. Compensation ranges between $10.26 per hour and $47.79. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and a little less than one-half lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by about one-half and dental coverage is claimed by over a third. For the most part, Translators enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Female Translators make up most of the survey respondents at 71 percent.
$24,236 - $80,015
(Median)
$24K
$45K
$80K
MEDIAN: $44,831
10%
50%
90%

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$10.26 - $47.79
(Median)
$10
$20
$48
MEDIAN: $19.00
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
$24,236 - $80,015  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,025  
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).
)
$23,798 - $86,024  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 147
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$24$48$72
Hourly Rate
$10.26 - $47.79  
   
Overtime
$11.92 - $70.47  
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 - $5,025  
   
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).
)
$23,798 - $86,024  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 193
United States (change)

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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Translators who transition into an upper level Interpreter position will not necessarily make much more than they do in their current role. The average Interpreter makes $40K a year.

Translator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Translator


Translators report using a wide range of professional 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 48 percent, 18 percent, and 15 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Spanish Language and English Language. For most people, competency in English Language indicates knowledge of French Language and Japanese Language.

Pay by Experience Level for Translator

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


The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $41K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $49K. Translators who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $51K. For some reason, Translators with more than two decades of experience report lower paychecks overall; the median sum in this group sits near $45K.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Translator Salaries


Mid-Career
up arrow 15%

Late-Career
up arrow 5%

National Average
$43,000


Skills That Affect Translator Salaries

Chinese, Mandarin Language
up arrow 48%

Japanese Language
up arrow 18%

French Language
up arrow 15%

Localization and Translation
up arrow 15%

Arabic Language
up arrow 14%

German Language
up arrow 6%

National Average
$43,000



Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 37 votes.

Gender

Female
71 %
Male
29 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
19%
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%