Translator Salary

Average Translators in the United States make around $20.04 per hour. Earnings sit near $11.34 per hour on the lower side but can approach $41.18 on the higher side. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Work is enjoyable for Translators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Translators survey participants are largely women, dominating at 68 percent. While a little less than one-half report receiving no health benefits, one-half do receive medical coverage, and over a third have dental, as well. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$24,622 - $78,108
(Median)
$25K
$45K
$78K
MEDIAN: $44,964
10%
50%
90%

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$11.34 - $41.18
(Median)
$11
$20
$41
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
$24,622 - $78,108  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,817  
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).
)
$24,553 - $84,271  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 184
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$22$44$66
Hourly Rate
$11.34 - $41.18  
   
Overtime
$13.81 - $63.35  
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 - $5,817  
   
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).
)
$24,553 - $84,271  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 268
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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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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 $41K a year.

Translator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Translator


Survey results imply that Translators put a diverse skill set to use. 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 22 percent, 16 percent, and 15 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Portuguese Language, Spanish Language, and Russian Language. Most people who know English Language also know French Language and Japanese Language.

Pay by Experience Level for Translator

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


Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $41K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $48K on average — a distinctly larger sum. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $50K. Respondents who boast more than two decades on the job don't boast commensurate pay, unfortunately; these veterans see average earnings of only $49K.

Pay Difference by Location


Translators will find that Washington offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 20 percent. Translators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Portland (+19 percent), New York (+14 percent), Salt Lake City (+12 percent), and Denver (+12 percent). Translators in Atlanta report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 35 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. Los Angeles and San Diego are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 14 percent lower and 10 percent lower, respectively.

Translator Reviews

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.

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Experience Affects Translator Salaries


Late-Career
up arrow 16%

Mid-Career
up arrow 13%

National Average
$43,000


Skills That Affect Translator Salaries

Chinese, Mandarin Language
up arrow 22%

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 2%

Spanish Language
up arrow 4%

Russian Language
up arrow 4%

Portuguese Language
up arrow 8%

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
5%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 51% dental benefits Dental: 37%
vision benefits Vision: 31% employee benefits None: 46%
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