Translator Salary

The average Translator in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $20.08 per hour. Earnings sit near $11.44 per hour on the lower side but can approach $41.06 on the higher side. Geography and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The majority of Translators (68 percent) who took the survey are women. Although one-half have medical coverage and more than a third have dental coverage, a little less than one-half claim no health benefits at all. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$24,565 - $78,697

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$11.44 - $41.06

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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$29K$58K$87K
Salary
$24,565 - $78,697  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,081  
Profit Sharing
$196.53 - $15,260  
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).
)
$24,560 - $84,115  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 189
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$21$42$63
Hourly Rate
$11.44 - $41.06  
   
Overtime
$13.91 - $62.92  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,081  
   
Profit Sharing
$196.53 - $15,260  
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).
)
$24,560 - $84,115  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 272
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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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Many Translators move into an Interpreter role, which does not lead to a big boost in pay. Interpreters on average bring in a similar salary to Translators.

Translator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Translator


Survey results suggest that Translators put a wide range of professional skills 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 21 percent, 16 percent, and 15 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Portuguese Language, Spanish Language, and Russian 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.


Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $41K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $48K. For Translators, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $50K. For some reason, Translators with more than two decades of experience report lower paychecks overall; the median sum in this group sits near $49K.

Pay Difference by Location


Washington offers some of the highest pay in the country for Translators, 20 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 earn salaries far below the national average by 35 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Los Angeles and San Diego are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 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 16%

Mid-Career
up arrow 13%

National Average
$43,000


Skills That Affect Translator Salaries

Chinese, Mandarin Language
up arrow 21%

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%

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
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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