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Earnings of interpreters and translators

July 19, 2002

Interpreters and translators convert one language into another. Interpreters convert one spoken language into another—or in the case of sign language interpreters, convert between spoken communication and signed language. Translators convert written materials from one language to another.

Hourly wages of interpreters and translators, 2000
[Chart data—TXT]

Median hourly earnings of interpreters and translators were about $15 in 2000. However, those with additional education and experience can potentially earn significantly more. The highest paid 10 percent of interpreters and translators earned more than $25 an hour in 2000. Limited information suggests that high-level conference interpreters and high-quality interpreters and translators can earn much more than that.

These data are a product of the Occupational Employment Statistics program. For further information see " Interpreters and Translators," by Elka Jones, Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Summer 2002. Note about the chart: deciles divide the dataset into 10 equal-size groups and quartiles divide the dataset into 4 equal-size groups. Note also that the above hourly earnings information applies to interpreters and translators who are paid a wage or salary; self-employed workers are not included.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Earnings of interpreters and translators on the Internet at (visited September 18, 2014).


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