How much do translators make?

Who is a Translator:

A translator is a person who translates the content from the source language to the target language. He has to be proficient in both languages, source as well as target language.

A translator’s job is not confined to the mere word-to-word translation. He has to take care of the tone and style of the text. There are companies that hire translators on the basis of their proficiency in both languages. Few of these prefer to hire translators who have acquired formal, relevant education and knowledge of the translation industry. According to the final survey in 2019, the average salary a translator took his home was around $57,000.

Translator Job Details:

The translation is an integral part of professional localization services. A translator’s job involves taking written content from one language and translating it into one or more other languages. The translation job could include books, business documents, technical documents, software interfaces, or website content. The translator is expected to translate the content, keeping the tone and style of the original text.

There are a number of software available for the assistance of translators. These have libraries in the software which save the text and phrases of a particular language that translators used during the first draft. The software using its artificial intelligence can provide the basic draft. Afterward, the translator can edit and tweak the content further to make it look correct grammatically. Most translators work online and submit their work through an online medium. The translation services work remotely and offer their services through digital mediums.

Educational Requirements for the job:

The requirements for the job of a translator include proficiency in at least two languages. The translators need to know the languages fluently so that they can translate complex content. Working as a freelancer is different, and the supervisors require the experience primarily. However, for a regular job, employers often ask for at least a bachelor’s degree in a particular language or linguistics. As for medical or technical translators, they need to have training as an additional feature to get hands-on medical terminology and other specialized roles. Besides that, there are certifications awarded to translators.

Advanced technology has its share in the translation process too. There are programs that offer translation services. The translators can use software to translate more quickly. So a basic training to use the software and utilize it fully for convenience is also significant to go for. There is a plethora of software that offers translation and the translators can edit further. The words and terminologies which translators use once go into the library and database of the translation software. These are saved there to use whenever required.

Working Environment:

The translators enjoy full liberty and creative freedom. They decide on their own about how they should work. Most of them work for a single company dealing with educational and other document translation services. However, according to a report, 22% of them are self-employed. The translators have the privilege to work from anywhere, especially with an immense increase of video conferencing software and other advanced technology.

The work schedule depends on the workload and the working position. Self-employed translators mostly experience stressful workloads and regular employees however tend to enjoy stable schedules.

Translator’s Earning:

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the highest-paid translators make an average of around $94,370. Translators who get less salaries make around $28,170 which is far less as compared to the highest-paid translators. The statistics further state that around 42 percent of them lend their services to the companies that offer professional translation services as well as professional localization services, making around $61,310. The translators who work for K-12 schools had an average of $48,750 in the past year. Higher education paid them $75,000. The translators who were working for the federal governments got one of the highest wages of $83,300.

The BLS further quotes, as of Aug 2020, PayScale handled self-reported salaries from 547 translators, and the number varied according to the language. The average hourly rate reported for Spanish was $19, Japanese stood on $22, and it was $20 for Mandarin Chinese translators.

Experience wise wages:

PayScale further quotes the numbers depending on the years of experience and seniority. Translators can get highly paid depending on their skills and work experience. The data as shown by the PayScale till August 2020 is as follows

  • 1 year or below: $15.52
  • Between one to four years: $19.21
  • Five to nine years: $21.57
  • Ten to nineteen years: $24.76
  • 20 years or more: $25.12

Future prospects of Translator’s job:

The BLS further predicts how translators have a bright future and good job prospects, with 19 percent job growth expected by 2028. Advanced technology has helped in the creation of tools that can help provide an instant translation. However, the bureau is of the view that there are many enterprises that might need translators for translation services. Since tools and artificial intelligence can never replace human minds.

Whenever it comes to the preferable language for translation jobs, BLS suggests that translators who are proficient in the languages such as Spanish, Chinese French, and German are very much in demand. Moreover, translators who have medical or legal knowledge might have the best opportunities in the future. The translators can further polish their skills by getting certifications or bachelor’s and master’s degrees related to the particular language and linguistics. Chinese translation company and other companies are always looking for translators proficient in the relevant language.

There are bright job prospects for someone who is fluent in two or more languages as a translator. According to the bureau statistics, the number of translator jobs stands tall at more than 76,000 with better job growth of 19% between 2018 and 2028 which is way faster than average which is around 7-13%. The annual earning is in between the mid-five figure range and translators have different environments as their working areas.

The USA is full of opportunities for translators. According to BLS findings, California, Florida, New York, and Arizona has most of the translator jobs. Translators in the states where there is a huge number of non-English speaking people can make up to $41-65,000 annually. Meanwhile, the translators in Washington D.C are getting $92,000 per year. However, the translators from New Jersey can make as much as $73,000 per year. The pay rate is getting increased with the increase in popularity.

There is an immense rise in the translators’ demand, and it is increasing every passing day. The professional localization services have engaged the business setups, motivating them to launch their business into a new foreign market. A translator who speaks Mandarin Chinese is very much required by a number of Chinese translation companies. Translators with mandarin, Spanish, Arabic, and English can make as good as $92,000 annually. The average wage is around $50,000-55,000 though. The job opportunities for translators might increase to 20% even before 2028 with no looking back.

Bottom line:

An individual who is proficient in two or more two languages has a bright future in translation services. The translation is inevitable for professional localization services. Someone who is fluent in Spanish, French, German, and Chinese can have a better future in the translation industry. Chinese translation companies are always looking for translators with great proficiency in Chinese.