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Translator Salary

Pay for Translators in the United States sits in the ballpark of $19.98 per hour. Earnings generally vary between $11.15 per hour and $44.70. Location and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. While just under a half report receiving no health benefits, one-half do receive medical coverage, and more than a third have dental, as well. More than half of Translators (69 percent) survey participants are women. Work is enjoyable for Translators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction.

$24,652 - $77,734
(Median)
$25K
$45K
$78K
MEDIAN: $45,206
10%
50%
90%

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$11.15 - $44.70
(Median)
$11
$20
$45
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
$24,652 - $77,734  
   
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).
)
$24,494 - $84,653  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 177
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
$11.15 - $44.70  
   
Overtime
$13.57 - $64.40  
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).
)
$24,494 - $84,653  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 250

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

  • 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.

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 34 percent, 18 percent, and 15 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Portuguese Language, Spanish Language, and Russian Language. Most people experienced in 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.


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 $50K. Folks who claim more than 20 years of relevant experience actually report a comparatively lower median income of $49K.

Pay Difference by Location


Washington offers some of the highest pay in the country for Translators, 22 percent above the national average. Translators will also find cushy salaries in Portland (+19 percent), New York (+15 percent), Salt Lake City (+12 percent), and Denver (+12 percent). Translators in Atlanta make 35 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Los Angeles (15 percent less) and San Diego (10 percent less).

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.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Translator Salaries


Mid-Career
up arrow 14%

Late-Career
up arrow 14%

National Average
$43,000


Skills That Affect Translator Salaries

Chinese, Mandarin Language
up arrow 34%

Japanese Language
up arrow 18%

Localization and Translation
up arrow 15%

Arabic Language
up arrow 14%

French Language
up arrow 13%

German Language
up arrow 12%

National Average
$43,000

English Language
up arrow 2%

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
69 %
Male
31 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 51% dental benefits Dental: 37%
vision benefits Vision: 32% employee benefits None: 46%
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