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Working as a Language Translator

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a language translator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $21.89 an hour? That's $45,539 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 Language Translator Do

There are certain skills that many language translators 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 language translator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 21.8% of language translators included foreign language, while 18.0% of resumes included target language, and 15.5% of resumes included haitian creole. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

How To Become a Language Translator

If you're interested in becoming a language translator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 42.7% of language translators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 23.2% of language translators have master's degrees. Even though most language translators 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 language translator. When we researched the most common majors for a language translator, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on language translator resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a language translator. In fact, many language translator jobs require experience in a role such as interpreter and translator. Meanwhile, many language translators also have previous career experience in roles such as teacher or translator.

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Average Salary$45,539
Job Growth Rate19%

Language Translator Career Paths

Top Careers Before Language Translator

Teacher
8.9 %

Top Careers After Language Translator

Teacher
9.2 %

What is the right job for my career path?

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

Average Salary for a Language Translator

Language Translators in America make an average salary of $45,539 per year or $22 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $64,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $31,000 per year.
Average Salary
$45,539

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Washington, DC
Salary Range60k - 104k$79k$79,169
New York, NY
Salary Range49k - 88k$66k$66,184
Campbell, CA
Salary Range44k - 74k$57k$57,291
Rockville, MD
Salary Range41k - 71k$54k$54,111
Westminster, CO
Salary Range38k - 60k$48k$48,258
Jackson, MS
Salary Range29k - 51k$39k$39,093
$26k
$104k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Language Translator and Interpreter 2020
Language Translator and Interpreter 2020
Adams County School District 50
Adams County School District 50
01/21/2021
01/21/2021
$50,29701/21/2021
$50,297
Language Acquisition Translator II-Language Acquisition
Language Acquisition Translator II-Language Acquisition
Paradise Valley Unified School District
Paradise Valley Unified School District
05/30/2020
05/30/2020
$40,02905/30/2020
$40,029
Translator/Interpreter Bilingual Japanese/English Languages
Translator/Interpreter Bilingual Japanese/English Languages
DSA International
DSA International
02/10/2020
02/10/2020
$48,00002/10/2020
$48,000
Language Translator
Language Translator
San Bernardino City Unified
San Bernardino City Unified
01/23/2020
01/23/2020
$47,98001/23/2020
$47,980
Language Translator
Language Translator
Campbell Union School District
Campbell Union School District
01/07/2020
01/07/2020
$37,56601/07/2020
$37,566
See More Recent Salaries

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Language Translator Demographics

Gender

female

52.6 %

male

36.3 %

unknown

11.1 %

Ethnicity

White

40.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

31.3 %

Asian

19.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

33.1 %

French

13.5 %

Portuguese

6.1 %
See More Demographics

Language Translator Education

Majors

Business
14.0 %
English
9.9 %

Degrees

Bachelors

42.7 %

Masters

23.2 %

Certificate

9.0 %

Top Colleges for Language Translators

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 Language Translator

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, 21.8% of language translators listed foreign language on their resume, but soft skills such as business skills and cultural sensitivity are important as well.

Best States For a Language Translator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a language translator. The best states for people in this position are New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Rhode Island. Language translators make the most in New York with an average salary of $65,224. Whereas in New Jersey and Delaware, they would average $60,619 and $58,822, respectively. While language translators would only make an average of $56,013 in Rhode Island, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Delaware

Total Language Translator Jobs:
25
Highest 10% Earn:
$99,000
Location Quotient:
1.79
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 Mexico

Total Language Translator Jobs:
69
Highest 10% Earn:
$83,000
Location Quotient:
2.7
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. Rhode Island

Total Language Translator Jobs:
21
Highest 10% Earn:
$93,000
Location Quotient:
1.38
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 Language Translator Employers

1. United States Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$58,845
Language Translators Hired: 
8+
2. National Services Group
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$61,770
Language Translators Hired: 
5+
3. Mission Essential
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$65,485
Language Translators Hired: 
5+
4. Bloomberg
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$99,958
Language Translators Hired: 
4+
5. National Security Group
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$62,605
Language Translators Hired: 
3+
6. Leigh High School
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$36,294
Language Translators Hired: 
3+
Updated October 2, 2020