Translator Salary

The average Translator in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $20.04 per hour. Lower pay rates hover around $11.27 per hour, and the higher rates verge on $41.28. Geographic location and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Translators. The majority of Translators (69 percent) who took the survey are women. Some workers in this field — slightly less than one-half — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by close to one-half and dental plans are enjoyed by more than a third.

$24,569 - $78,465
(Median)
$25K
$45K
$78K
MEDIAN: $45,179
10%
50%
90%

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$11.27 - $41.28
(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
$24,569 - $78,465  
   
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).
)
$24,503 - $84,497  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 181
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
$11.27 - $41.28  
   
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).
)
$24,503 - $84,497  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 265
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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' 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 number of specific 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 34 percent, 18 percent, and 15 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Portuguese Language, 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.


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. Translators who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $50K. Folks with more than two decades of experience actually report lower incomes overall; their average comes out to a mere $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 will also find cushy salaries in Portland (+19 percent), New York (+14 percent), Salt Lake City (+12 percent), and Denver (+11 percent). Translators' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Translators in Atlanta bring in salaries that are 35 percent lower than the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Los Angeles and San Diego (15 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 15%

Mid-Career
up arrow 13%

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%

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 5%

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
5%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
24%
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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