How Much Do Interpreters Make? – A Detailed Guide

How much do interpreters make? This is the first question one should ask if the individual plans to build his/her career as an interpreter. Right? Moreover, you will find that there are various myths concerning the earning of interpreters. While we face the question “how much money do interpreters make?” often seems easy and straightforward.

Furthermore, before going for a language service contract it is better to know the average earning of a translator or an interpreter. So, you can hire a language expert according to your budgets and requirements.


However,  the answer is rather complicated and requires a lengthy discussion. Thus, there are many factors like proficiency level, language demand, frequency and workload, employer, and many more. So, these are the factors that determine the salary of an interpreter.

How Much Do Interpreters Make? A Professional Overview:

An Interpreter converts conversation from one language to another language orally or verbally. Hence, the average salary of an interpreter is 21$ per hour. Likewise, an interpreter must have good listening skills and good speaking skills.

Job opportunity of an interpreter is very high; almost it has a growth of 19%. Here we’ve discussed the interpreters’ earnings in general and based on the Specializations or types of interpretation below to address how interpreters make?

1. How Much Do Interpreters Make in 2021?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, lumps the interpreters and translators salary together. So, interpreters make a roughly comparable salary to translators with an average earning of around $50,000/year. However, interpreters make a slightly different floor and ceiling of $35k to $65k a year compared to the translators.

How Much Do Interpreters Make in 2021-know before you start you career.
How Much Do Interpreters Make in 2021?

Moreover, Interpreters can have radically different pay rates based on location and specialization. Likewise, either profession’s general entry-level position will net you roughly the same earnings on average. After the COVID 19 pandemic interpretation, service demand is very high with a higher pay rate.

2. How much do interpreters make Annually or Hourly?

According to PayScale report, an interpreter annually earns an average of $50000. For making that amount of money, one must have a clear understanding of the specific language. The average Interpreter makes about $41,828 per year.

How much do interpreters make Annually or Hourly-it can be highly motivating
How much do interpreters make Annually or Hourly?

On the other hand, interpreters can also make $20.11 per hour. Thus, interpreters make the lower 10%, such as entry-level positions, only make about $28,000 a year. However,  the top 10% are sitting pretty high pay rate with an average salary of $60,000.

Many interpreters work for non-profits and health care companies with average pay. Moreover, interpreters who care more about money tend to work at finance, insurance, and telecommunication companies with higher pay rates.

3. How much do Certified interpreters make?

Certified Interpreter means those who have specialist knowledge in a specific field and have certifications from the recognized organization after passing oral and written tests. The certified Interpreters gets more salary than a standard interpreter. An accredited interpreter can make $92000 annually.

How much do Certified interpreters make-they paid higher than others
How much do Certified interpreters make?

There are some specific situations where only the certified interpreters can work after showing their credentials. So, certified interpreters are high in demand, and as a result, they make more money than the general interpreters.

4. How much do Medical Interpreters Make?

Medical interpreters are work in various healthcare settings. Medical Interpreters need training about patient safety and proper knowledge in different languages. Moreover, earning medical interpreters’ certification is often a way for professionals such as registered nurses to boost up their income than others. Likewise, certified interpreters have the opportunity to work as freelance interpreters to make a higher income.

How much do Medical Interpreters Make-they make decent earnings
How much do Medical Interpreters Make?

Furthermore, there are laws such as the medical interpreter law, California ensures the language access right for the patients. So, there is a huge demand for medical interpreters. Besides, these salaries are highly dependent on the working area of an interpreter. So, a hospital interpreter earns an annual salary of $85,000, which is greater than the national average wage of $80,000.

5. How much do Courtroom Interpreters make?

In the United States courtrooms, interpreters can work either as federal court interpreters or state court interpreters. Generally, the pay rate of federal court interpreters is predetermined or fixed. They can also earn in various ways from day to day depending on the number of working hours.

How much do Courtroom Interpreters make-they get higher pay
How much do Courtroom Interpreters make?

The income of state court interpreters varies in different states, and their earning level also depends on the regional differences. The statistic shows that the average annual income of legal interpreters is about US$ 67,258. For instance, in New Jersey, it is approximately US$ 59,589, while in Florida, it is US$ 43,331.

6. Conference Interpreter Pay Rate:

In their research, American Translators Association (ATA) explores that most interpreters serve as individual contractors. Moreover, one of the main benefits of being a self-employed conference interpreter is flexibility. Likewise, they get the opportunity to determine their hourly rate based on the available offers in the market considering a particular segment.

Conference Interpreter Pay Rate-also make decent money annually
Conference Interpreter Pay Rate.

Furthermore, the average salary of conference interpreters revealed as high as US$ 98,402 annually. Besides, the majority of interpreters in this position annually earn over US$ 70,000. Wages can also differ significantly in different cities.

For example, in Washington D.C., conference interpreters can expect a salary of 30% higher than the average, while in Los Angeles, they earn only about 3% more than the average.

7. United Nations Interpreter Salaries:

Being an interpreter to serve the United Nations is often treated as a very prestigious position. To become a U.N. interpreter, one needs a high proficiency level in the target language and specific field knowledge. The U.N. website shows that the interpretation subjects requirement starts from politics to human rights, social,  legal issues, economic affairs, finance issues, and many more. 3

United Nations Interpreter Salaries-it is also a prestigious job
United Nations Interpreter Salaries.

According to reports, the average basic salary of the U.N. interpreters is range from US$ 69,000  to US$ 75,000. Nevertheless, interpreters’ actual earnings in the U.N. can be much higher than those who work as freelance or general conference interpreters.

While the average pay rate of interpreters is higher than the average pay across all professions in the U.S, however, only 46% of interpreters disclose that they are satisfied with their current earnings level.

8. Phone interpreter’s salary:

This unprecedented COVID 19 pandemic situation has created social distancing to avoid corona various. Right now, communication is going on digitally over the phone or using internet video conferencing apps. People are becoming habituated to communicate frequently with each other over phone calls or social media messengers.

Phone interpreter’s salary-they are in high demand
Phone interpreter’s salary.

As a result, our communication behavior has been changed to maintain social distancing, and we are in huge demand of phone interpreters to meet our various language services needs. Thus, there is a considerable demand for telephone interpreters, and this demand is growing day by day. So, an average salary of a phone interpreter is 16$ per hour.

How much do interpreters Make based on the highest Paying Languages:

Language demand is one of the most crucial factors to answer the question, How much do interpreters make? Or to determine the salary of interpreters. Over 3500 languages exist in this world. All the languages are not highly demandable. There are some highest paid languages for interpretation, and we’ve discussed the top five languages below.

1. Spanish:

Interpretation service in Spanish has the highest demand in many countries globally. This language is highly demandable in the United States. Europe, Africa, North America, and South America are used Spanish as their official language.

Spanish-the highest paying language

When businesses are operating internationally, then interpreters are needed. The per-hour salary of a Spanish interpreter is $27.

2. Mandarin:

The world’s most spoken language is Mandarin. Mandarin is the official language of China. Over 1.2 billion people speak the Mandarin language. Most of the countries in the world do business with China, That’s why they need interpreters.

Mandarin-the second highest pay language

Even Mark Zuckerberg has learned the Mandarin language. The per-hour salary of a mandarin interpreter is $25.

3. German:

The German language is the 3rd highest demandable language globally. Germany is one of the strongest economical countries in the world. Normally German citizens are not willing to use English.

German- the 3rd highest pay language

So it is a massive chance for an interpreter, and as a German interpreter, they can easily make $24 per hour.

4. Italian:

Italian language may be surprising to some extent concerning the earning of interpreters. However, when you look at the competition and rates for Italian interpretation services, it makes sense. At least Italian to English interpretation has a high demand globally. As a result, you can see stable average earnings of around $50,000 annually.

Italian-the 4th highest paying language

Moreover, much of that interpretation work can be done remotely. That means you can use Italian interpretation as a fantastic supplement to your typical day job.

5. Japanese:

The 4th most highly paid Interpreter is a Japanese interpreter. They get $23 per hour. Japan is the most business-friendly country. World’s some great companies exist in this city.

Japanese-the 5th highest paying language

So it is easy to say there is a huge demand for Japanese interpreters.

How much do interpreters make based on Highest Paying Cities:

There are many cities in the United States and worldwide which pay high salaries to interpreters. We have highlighted the cities and salary rates of interpretation service providers below.

1. Washington:

Washington is one of the wealthiest cities in the united states. Moreover, Washington is one of the highest paying cities in the US to hire Interpretation service providers.

Washington -one of the highest paying city where the interpreters make more money

So, they pay approximately $78,640 annually to an interpreter in Washington.

2. San Francisco:

San Francisco is paying 2nd highest salary to the Interpreters. Because this city is the commercial and financial center of northern California.

San Francisco- 2nd highest paying city in the US where the interpreters make more money
San Francisco.

So, in this city, an interpreter makes an average of $78,250 annually.

3. Austin, Texas:

One of the fastest-growing cities in the US is known as Austin, Texas. Austin is the center of technology and business. Do you have any idea about the income of an interpreter? Or How much they pay an interpreter annually?

Austin, Texas- another city that pay higher salary
Austin, Texas.

Thus, they pay $78,060 annually to an interpretation service provider.

4. New York:

In New York, you will find the highest number of billionaires in the USA. This city is the 8th largest economic area in the world. Most populous city in the united states. There is a massive demand for interpretation services providers in New York City.

New York- one of the highest pay cities in the US where the interpreters make more money
New York.

That’s why they are paying $77,800 annually to an interpreter.

5. Augusta, Georgia:

This city is situated on the central-eastern border of the U.S. state of Georgia. Moreover, Augusta employs over 25,000 people and has an economic impact of over $1.8 billion.

Augusta, Georgia- where the interpreters make more money
Augusta, Georgia.

Thus, they pay $73,840 annually to an interpretation service provider.


We’ve discussed various factors such as the types of interpretation, target language demand, and different US locations to answer the question, How much money do interpreters make? Moreover, the qualifications of interpreters also play a pivotal role in determining their earnings. Although interpreters and translators often need a bachelor’s degree, the essential requirement has native-level proficiency in English and at least one target language.” –U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So, an average interpreter earns 22$ per hour 50000$ annually. If you can improve your qualifications and gather more experiences, then this range can be much higher. However, you have the option to work as a freelancer or a full-time job. As a professional interpreter, you can have a handsome earning and job flexibility.

Contact The Language Doctors team today to get more information concerning the Translation and Interpretation Services. Our expert linguists are waiting for your call to fulfill all your language service demands.

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