Interpreter and Translator Pay Statistics

January 9, 2015

How much do interpreters and translators make in the United States?


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average is about $45,000 (2012) and $42,420 (2013), a downward trend.


The statistics are based on roughly 49,000 individuals that state “interpreter” or “translator” on their tax returns. The data may not represent all professional interpreters or translators however it is an indication of what the average annual earning are for linguists across the country. In 2013, the study indicates that the top 10% working in the industry make approximately $77,000.


The US States that have the highest employment level in the interpreting and translation occupation are:


  • California
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Virginia


What one can deem from the data is that interpreting and translating is a still a viable profession offering a good living wage as well allowing linguists to work in their craft on a daily basis and use their language skills.


What’s the difference between an interpreter and a translator?

Interpreters work with the spoken word – it’s an oral craft. They listen to spoken messages and relay them orally in a different language.

Translators work with the written word. They work in texts written in one language and recreate their meaning in another language.