Translator Salary

Translators in the United States can expect wages of $19.45 per hour on average. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Female Translators are more common than men among those who completed the survey; more than half (67 percent) are women. Work is enjoyable for Translators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — just over two-fifths lack coverage. On the flip side, over one-half have medical insurance and over a third receive dental plans. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$24,388 - $70,471
$24K
$45K
$70K
MEDIAN: $44,601
10%
50%
90%

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$9.95 - $36.68
$9
$19
$37
MEDIAN: $19.45
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
$24,388 - $70,471  
   
Bonus
$961 - $9,967  
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).
)
$23,099 - $75,018  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 239
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com
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
$9.95 - $36.68  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.40  
Overtime
$5.36 - $36.84  
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
$961 - $9,967  
   
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).
)
$23,099 - $75,018  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 259
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com

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 who go on to become Interpreters may see somewhat stagnant compensation. On average, an Interpreter, an upper-level role, pays $41K.

Translator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Translator


Survey results imply that Translators deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Localization and Translation, Arabic Language, and Editing are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 27 percent, 25 percent, and 23 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Microsoft Office and Spanish Language. The majority of those 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.


For many Translators, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $40K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $46K. On average, Translators make $52K following one to two decades on the job. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $56K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $41,779

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

Boston offers some of the highest pay in the country for Translators, 46 percent above the national average. Translators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+26 percent), Washington (+22 percent), Irvine (+20 percent), and Chicago (+15 percent). Translators in Atlanta make 33 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Miami and San Francisco (22 percent lower and 8 percent lower, respectively).

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
67 %
Male
33 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 27 votes.
Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
11%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Translator Salaries

▲34%

▲24%

▲11%

National Average
$42,000

▼5%

Skills That Affect Translator Salaries

Localization and Translation
▲27%

Arabic Language
▲25%

Editing
▲23%


Italian Language
▲15%


Korean Language
▲13%



Portuguese Language
▲2%

German Language
▼0%

National Average
$42,000



Microsoft Office
▼8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 27 votes.

Gender

Female
67 %
Male
33 %

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: 53%
dental benefits
Dental: 37%
vision benefits
Vision: 30%
dental benefits
None: 45%
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