Average Translators in the United States make around $19.73 per hour. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. While some workers in this profession — just over two-fifths — do not have any health coverage, a little more than half do receive medical benefits and over a third have dental insurance. Translators survey participants are largely women, dominating at 65 percent. Work is enjoyable for Translators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction.

$24,364 - $71,832
(Median)
$24K
$46K
$72K
MEDIAN: $45,822
10%
50%
90%

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$10.02 - $39.40
(Median)
$10
$20
$39
MEDIAN: $19.00
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$27K$54K$81K
Salary
$24,364 - $71,832  
   
Bonus
$507 - $9,744  
Profit Sharing
$1,100  
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).
)
$23,212 - $80,219  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 239
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$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$10.02 - $39.40  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.40  
Overtime
$6.71 - $38.89  
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$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$507 - $9,744  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,100  
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).
)
$23,212 - $80,219  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 273
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.

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 takers working as Translators report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Localization and Translation, Arabic Language, and Chinese, Mandarin Language are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 25 percent, 24 percent, and 20 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Russian Language and Spanish 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.


For Translators, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $40K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $48K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Translators see a median salary of $51K after reaching one to two decades on the job. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Translators with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $57K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $42,369

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

Home to some of the best pay for Translators, Boston offers exceptional salaries, 42 percent above the national average. Translators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+21 percent), Irvine (+18 percent), Chicago (+18 percent), and New York (+15 percent). The lowest-paying market is Atlanta, which sits 34 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Employers in Phoenix and Miami also lean toward paying below-median salaries (7 percent lower and 6 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.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Translator Salaries




National Average
$42,000


Skills That Affect Translator Salaries

Localization and Translation
up arrow 25%

Arabic Language
up arrow 24%


Editing
up arrow 18%

Italian Language
up arrow 13%


Japanese Language
up arrow 4%

German Language
up arrow 1%

Portuguese Language
0%

National Average
$42,000

English Language
up arrow 3%


Russian Language
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 30 votes.

Gender

Female
65 %
Male
35 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
43%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 53%
dental benefits
Dental: 37%
medical benefits
Vision: 31%
dental benefits
None: 45%
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