Interpreters and Translators: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Interpreters and Translators interpret oral or sign language, or translate written text from one language into another.

  • Follow ethical codes that protect the confidentiality of information.
  • Translate messages simultaneously or consecutively into specified languages, orally or by using hand signs, maintaining message content, context, and style as much as possible.
  • Listen to speakers’ statements to determine meanings and to prepare translations, using electronic listening systems as necessary.
  • Compile terminology and information to be used in translations, including technical terms such as those for legal or medical material.
Read more about what does an Interpreter and Translator really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.



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Salary

Average salary
$55230 per year

Average hourly wage
$27 per hour


Interpreters and Translators with little to no experience tend to make between $27230 and $36470 while the more experienced ones can earn over $67660 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
DC$45$93,730
NJ$36$74,750
VA$34$70,770
MD$34$70,530
CO$34$70,050

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as an Interpreter and Translator is to move to a higher paying state like DC. Right now, the highest paying states for Interpreters and Translators are DC, NJ, VA, MD and CO.

However, a higher pay at DC doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at DC might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as an Interpreter and Translator is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s Degree

We asked other Interpreters and Translators what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a Master’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Deaf Studies
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Hearing Impairments Including Deafness
Foreign Languages and Literatures, General
Linguistics
Language Interpretation and Translation
Read more about how to become an Interpreter and Translator and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being an Interpreter and Translator.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes to work with designs
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
One of the fastest growing careers
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Salary is below average
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

What is the job like

Job satisfaction
72%

Is this job meaningful
76%


72% of Interpreters and Translators said they were satisfied with their job and 76% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Artists and The Helpers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules..

They also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.




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