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How Much Do Translators Make? A Detailed Overview

Are you an aspiring translator eager to make your fortune with your translator salary? Or a potential student preparing to start a career as a translator wondering, How much do translators make? Thus, the myths about the highest paying translation job can scare potential clients away and lure many linguists into this career.


Check out this post to find out more about key factors and languages that will help you to find the most profitable translation jobs with high earning potentials.

How Much do Translators Make? Critical Issues Affecting Translators Earnings:

How much do translators make? It’s not an easy question to answer in a few words. Many factors determine the earning of a translator. Here we’ve discussed the most critical issues that affect the earning of translators in the following points.

1. How Much Do Translators Make?

How much does a translator make? This is a crucial question to ask before you jump into a translator’s career for making your living. However, it is not an easy question to answer, and the answer to this question depends on the circumstances. Likewise, the average wage in the United States in 2008 was around $39,000 per year.

Besides this, the middle half of the salaries made anywhere between $29,000 to $52,000. However, this salary range depends on several factors, including the language pair, subject matter, skill level, experience, Certification, Education, and employer. Moreover, those who work for an employer usually make a set of salary per year.

In contrast, freelancers usually charge either per word or per hour for their translation service. Additionally, several other things determine the final amount as wages or salary a translator makes.

2. Language Pair to Determine earning of Translators:

Language pair plays a big part in determining how much translators can make as their salary. Let’s say many people in the United States can speak both English and Spanish. This means there are numerous translators out there for English to Spanish and Spanish to English translation jobs.

As a result, the salary prospects are lower for those translators because of the high supply and competition level. In contrast, the number of people who can translate English to Mandarin Chinese is smaller than the number of English translations to Spanish.

Consequently, the English Chinese translators will get a higher salary than the English-Spanish translators due to the scarcity of their skills. Thus high demand and low supply drive higher wages. Check out another interesting blog post on Is Learning Japanese Worth It? 10 Undeniable Benefits.

3. Specialized Knowledge Affecting Translator’s Earnings?

Moreover, specializes knowledge or subject expertise also plays a significant role in determining how much translators charge for their service. Translators often work with technical translation in the legal, medical, science, and engineering field. Similarly, this requires an intensive knowledge of both the language and the technical expertise on the subject.

So, for those who have the language and technical skills as specialists, translators’ salary prospects go up significantly. Thus, many translators specialize in specialized fields and find their desired job that is more than enough to make a handsome salary. Therefore, the need for specialist translators is growing as the world economy is becoming tighter.

4. Experience to Determine Translator’s Salary:

Experience also makes a big difference in how much translators make from their services. Moreover, someone with several years of experience can charge more than a novice into the translation world. Similarly, Education plays a crucial role in finding a high salaried job.

Hence, most translation agencies or companies want their employees and freelance contractors to have a bachelor’s degree. However, it is not mandatory to have a bachelor’s degree in language to find a translator job.

5. Training and Certification Affecting Translator’s Fee:

Additionally, most employers also want some formal training in translation through workshops or conferences. However, Certification is not compulsory except in some specific industries or government agencies. Likewise, employers also change salary options based on their specified criteria.

Private employers usually pay higher than the government service agents. Finally, all of these factors mentioned earlier in this post help determine a translator’s final salary or wages.

6. What is the average incomes of translators?

Making money by translating language depends on many variables that may increase or decrease your worth in the job market. For instance, your location and field of expertise or industry knowledge can weigh heavier on one side of the beam balance in making differences. Moreover, it is also essential to keep in mind that not all sectors are equally profitable for translation jobs.

What are the average incomes of translators?

Suppose, Medical translation can land you a good translator job and salary as well. Similarly, Legal translation jobs can also provide you financial security than other fields. However, how much do translators make depending on their service location? If you live in the United States of America, the highest paying translation languages pair will probably differ from state to state and country to country.

For example, the Arabic language is naturally more paying in the USA than in the United Araba Emirates. In other words, you will have more competition in speaking Arabic-English pair in the UAE than speaking Arabic-English pair in the USA. This is common as Arabic is not commonly learned in the USA as a foreign language. Therefore, your location plays a pivotal role in determining your translator job opportunity and salary.

7. How can a Translator Make Money online?

Let’s first ask, have you ever thought about using your language talent? So, how about translating online and earning money location independently from behind your laptop. Then, it might pop up in your mind that how much do translators make? We’ve discussed all these questions in the following sections. So, keep reading this post.

How can a Translator Make Money online?

This is an ideal source of income if you like to travel the world or work remotely. Many people have already experienced it several times that they can make money with online translation services. Similarly, many freelancers or digital nomads have already approached translators several times to translate web texts or other clients’ content.

In this age of globalization, a multilingual website can be more useful to attract more website visitors and enter new markets. Similarly, just like translating a book in several languages can lead to a larger scale in new markets. Therefore, there is no doubt that translation service makes good money.

After all, it is not that cheap for customers, and Google Translate is still not enough considering quality. So, there are tremendous opportunities here if you seriously want to make money with online translation.

8. What is the income potentials of translators online?

You can translate any documents from the online translation service provider at your convenience in this age of the internet. For example, you can solve such as a manuscript for a book, blogs post, web texts, articles, e-mails, or even a business plan online. It is no longer difficult to get a price tag to work as an online translator and serve clients globally.

What is the income potentials of translators online?

Moreover, most online translators charge a rate per word and additionally the start-up costs. However, translators often offer discounts for recurring assignments such as articles on a website or a blog post that are regularly updated. Additionally, you will have to translate with high quality; otherwise, you will not survive in the intense market competition.

As an online translator, you can earn between 8 cents and 12 cents (USD) per word. Perhaps, it does not seem like much, but it is totally up to the assignment requirements and market competition. Suppose you will earn 120 USD from a blog post of 1000 words. However, if you can translate a full book, you will make several thousands of dollars.

After all, the average novel has 55,000 words, and that’s a big job with a significant amount of money. An online translator can make about USD 50 per hour. Furthermore, you can certainly also ask for more money depending on the quality of your translation work and experience. Nonetheless, before that, you will have to find your desired assignments, which is sometimes a big challenge.

9. What is the future of the translation job?

With the rise of artificial intelligence, machine learning, software, apps, and their development in 2021, the future of translation is somewhat uncertain. Moreover, the correct translation of texts is becoming increasingly possible and easy for software or apps.

What is the future of the translation job?

Similarly, this process is progressing very fast, especially with the widely spoken languages. Hence, as an online translator, you will therefore have to deliver the highest quality work to make a difference with your translation than a software. Likewise, you will have to make that difference clear to your customers to get more translation work.

So, for those who do their job significantly well, it is one of the best ways to make location-independent money online.

What are the Highest Paying Translation Languages?

This article has highlighted and elaborated on the highest paying translation languages for future translators’ jobs and salaries in the USA. Check out this to get more insight into how languages affect translators’ earnings in the following sections.

1. Income from German Translation:

If you do a little research, you will see the sky-high demand for the German language, and there is a clear sign of increasing it. Likewise, it is understandable that it is one of the highest paying translation languages since Germany is continuing its economic superpower growth.

Thus, German translators are in massive demand, with some of the highest paying translation jobs and having endless job opportunities. However, German is tough to learn as a second language. As a result, positions are not fulfilled that easily. “How much do translators make?”

To answer this question, we can say a German translator salary in the USA can reach an average of $50,000. Similarly, it is one of the languages that have a highly paid Translator salary. So, we can say it is the highest paying translation language globally.

2. Earning from French Translation:

France is an important destination for foreign investment as it is one of the largest world economies. Moreover, French is one of the UN’s official languages (United Nations), the (EU) European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee. Likewise, the International Red Cross and international courts are situated in France.

Furthermore, it is also the three cities’ language where the EU institutions have their headquarters, such as Strasbourg, Brussels, and Luxembourg. So, it is no surprise French is one of the highest paying translation languages, with an average translator, can make up to $19.49 per hour. Hence, French is one of the highest paying translation languages all over the world.

3. Earning from Arabic Translation:

The demand for Arabic and English language pair translators has been steadily increasing over the past couple of years. Those who are fluent in language pair Arabic-English have the vast opportunity to compete for many job vacancies. Moreover, these jobs cannot be fulfilled based on the local supply of professional translators.

Additionally, data from the American Translators Association (ATA) showed that a few years back, the average Arabic translator charges hovered at approximately 19 cents per word. Hence, Arabic one of the highest paying translation languages, it can be a brilliant added value to your translator’s CV globally.

Therefore, Arabic is one of the highest paying translation languages which demand is growing gradually.

4. Earning from Chinese Translation:

China has been expanding their market share all over the world over the past couple of years. Moreover, many Chinese companies are investing or taking ownership of numerous companies globally. Therefore, Mandarin is considered as one of the highest paying translation languages in increasing demand.

It’s the reality because of the Chinese economic boom. Moreover, it grants business owners and investors direct access to the staggering Chinese market. The growing demand for Chinese translators results in a massive boost in their salary. Consequently, Mandarin holds the ranking at $74.92 per hour on average.

Thus, Chinese is one of the highest paying translation languages, and its demand is growing worldwide.


The most crucial point about knowing how much do translators make is to choose the fields of translation that best fit your background. Similarly, it is also better to see their salaries by language pair. Therefore, wise decision-making is the key to having a thriving career as a translator and making a good living regardless of what languages you speak.

To meet all your translation and interpretation need call The Language Doctors team today. Our language experts are waiting to help you with all the necessary information. Call now to 1 (202) 544-2942.

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