According to a recent BLS report, an experienced language translator could earn a median annual salary of around $44,000. The best-paid translators working in 2015 were earning more than $78,000 annually, though the amount that they could earn differed greatly on which area of the country they were working in. Washington D.C., Virginia Beach and Silver Spring were among the best areas for language translator crews to work in.
These metropolitan areas tended to offer the highest paying jobs. Translators working in San Jose and Trenton earned more than the national average, but they weren’t earning the same salaries that were paid in these markets. Education levels also had a great deal to do with how much someone could earn. Many organizations prefer to work with individuals who have some sort of professional certification in the language of their choosing.
Interpreters and translators could also earn more if they worked in certain segments of the industry. Those who were employed by engineering firms and architectural offices tended to earn the most. Federal authorities also offered high salaries for those who could translate between two or more languages. This might explain why so many high-paying jobs were offered in the area around Washington D.C.
Those who were just starting out in the industry usually earned less than $23,000 annually. Charts issued in connection with the report indicated that those who stayed with their new career for several years had a number of opportunities for promotion, however. Once again, those who worked in certain industry segments could enjoy a greater deal of upwards mobility compared to those who didn’t. Some individuals might get offered fluency tests and other examinations that can help them prove their level of language proficiency. These sorts of exams can help when it comes time to apply for a promotion.