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Working as a Bilingual Interpreter

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a bilingual interpreter. For example, did you know that they make an average of $21.44 an hour? That's $44,587 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 19% and produce 14,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Bilingual Interpreter Do

There are certain skills that many bilingual interpreters have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed business skills, cultural sensitivity and dexterity.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a bilingual interpreter, we found that a lot of resumes listed 30.2% of bilingual interpreters included translation services, while 22.7% of resumes included interpretation services, and 12.4% of resumes included target language. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the bilingual interpreter job title. But what industry to start with? Most bilingual interpreters actually find jobs in the health care and non profits industries.

How To Become a Bilingual Interpreter

If you're interested in becoming a bilingual interpreter, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 31.3% of bilingual interpreters have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 18.7% of bilingual interpreters have master's degrees. Even though most bilingual interpreters have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a bilingual interpreter. When we researched the most common majors for a bilingual interpreter, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on bilingual interpreter resumes include high school diploma degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a bilingual interpreter. In fact, many bilingual interpreter jobs require experience in a role such as customer service representative. Meanwhile, many bilingual interpreters also have previous career experience in roles such as cashier or internship.

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Average Salary$44,587
Job Growth Rate19%

Bilingual Interpreter Career Paths

Top Careers Before Bilingual Interpreter

Cashier
8.2 %

Top Careers After Bilingual Interpreter

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Bilingual Interpreter

Bilingual Interpreters in America make an average salary of $44,587 per year or $21 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $66,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $30,000 per year.
Average Salary
$44,587

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Napa, CA
Salary Range48k - 82k$64k$63,749
Fort Lee, NJ
Salary Range41k - 77k$57k$56,534
Houston, TX
Salary Range36k - 72k$52k$51,784
Las Cruces, NM
Salary Range39k - 65k$51k$50,606
Richmond, VA
Salary Range35k - 65k$49k$48,582
Asheboro, NC
Salary Range24k - 45k$34k$33,818
$21k
$82k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Substitute: Bilingual Translator/Interpreter (Spanish/English)
Substitute: Bilingual Translator/Interpreter (Spanish/English)
Paso Robles Joint Unified School District
Paso Robles Joint Unified School District
01/23/2021
01/23/2021
$37,21101/23/2021
$37,211
Substitute Bilingual Interpreter/Translator)
Substitute Bilingual Interpreter/Translator)
Turlock Unified School District
Turlock Unified School District
01/20/2021
01/20/2021
$34,68601/20/2021
$34,686
Spanish Bilingual Interpreter-No EXP + Bonus
Spanish Bilingual Interpreter-No EXP + Bonus
Cyracom International
Cyracom International
01/20/2021
01/20/2021
$30,26201/20/2021
$30,262
Spanish Bilingual Interpreter & Benefits
Spanish Bilingual Interpreter & Benefits
Cyracom
Cyracom
01/05/2021
01/05/2021
$26,08801/05/2021
$26,088
Bilingual Interpreter-Economic Support and Independence Division
Bilingual Interpreter-Economic Support and Independence Division
City of Richmond
City of Richmond
12/20/2020
12/20/2020
$40,00012/20/2020
$40,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Bilingual Interpreter Demographics

Gender

female

56.6 %

male

34.9 %

unknown

8.5 %

Ethnicity

Hispanic or Latino

47.0 %

White

34.1 %

Asian

12.2 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.1 %

Chinese

4.3 %

French

3.4 %
See More Demographics

Bilingual Interpreter Education

Majors

Business
19.2 %
English
6.7 %

Degrees

Bachelors

31.3 %

Masters

18.7 %

High School Diploma

15.9 %

Top Colleges for Bilingual Interpreters

1. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

2. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

3. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

5. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

6. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

7. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

8. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

9. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

10. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Bilingual Interpreter

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 30.2% of bilingual interpreters listed translation services on their resume, but soft skills such as business skills and cultural sensitivity are important as well.

Best States For a Bilingual Interpreter

1. District of Columbia

Total Bilingual Interpreter Jobs:
20
Highest 10% Earn:
$133,000
Location Quotient:
1.81
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New York

Total Bilingual Interpreter Jobs:
71
Highest 10% Earn:
$105,000
Location Quotient:
0.96
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. California

Total Bilingual Interpreter Jobs:
233
Highest 10% Earn:
$91,000
Location Quotient:
1.28
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Bilingual Interpreter Employers

1. CyraCom
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$84,920
Bilingual Interpreters Hired: 
38+
2. Randolph Hospital
3.0
Avg. Salary: 
$82,746
Bilingual Interpreters Hired: 
4+
3. Lionbridge
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$82,586
Bilingual Interpreters Hired: 
3+
4. Lincoln Public Schools
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$44,034
Bilingual Interpreters Hired: 
3+
5. Intransol
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$72,606
Bilingual Interpreters Hired: 
3+
6. The Home Depot
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$68,935
Bilingual Interpreters Hired: 
2+
Updated October 2, 2020