What does a Translator do?

Translators convert information and language information and words from one language to another. They convert concepts from source languages to equivalent concepts in a target language and compile information and technical terms into glossary and terminology databases. They speak, read, and write fluently in at least two languages, one of which is typically English. They relay the original language’s style and tone and render spoken messages accurately, quickly, and clearly.

Translators apply cultural knowledge to assist with meaningful interpretations or translations of an original message. They aim to have people understand a translation as though it's the original written or spoken material. They do their job intending to duplicate the original text or message’s integrity, intention, structure, and style. They must properly transmit cultural references which includes slang and other expressions that do not have a literal translation. Translators need a bachelor's degree and proficiency in at least two languages, one of which is typically English.

EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.7 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.4 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

Translator Salaries

Average Base Pay

$58,795 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Median: $59K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Translator Career Path

Learn how to become a Translator, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Translator I
Translator Ii
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Translator Insights

Read what Translator professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
iD Tech CampsiD Tech Camps
Translator (Japanese to English)
Jan. 19, 2021

“The lunch was always really good and I felt very happy to work with my coworkers and the students.”

International Consulting TechnologyInternational Consulting Technology
Jun. 2, 2020

“ICT gives me great job opportunities since 2016 and I am very satisfying for my jobs.”

Language Matters Recruitment ConsultantsLanguage Matters Recruitment Consultants
Aug. 28, 2021

“I rejoined after many years and get regular assignments that fit my interests and decent pay.”

WiseTech GlobalWiseTech Global
Software Translator
Jan. 11, 2020

“Not sure if the salary review policy is still the same as it was when I left in 2016.”

Freelance Translator
Jan. 9, 2021

“That's why I said this is a good place "to start your career."”

United NationsUnited Nations
May 19, 2021

“There are not many opportunities for career growth once you land in a job in these areas.”

Angel OneAngel One
Oct. 27, 2020

“Good and nice Ambience to work with”

Nov. 18, 2020

“Very political and impossible to progress your career unless you know the right people.”

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Translator Interviews

Related Careers

13% skills overlap
13% skills overlap
Content Writer
13% skills overlap
No skills overlap

Translator jobs

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a translator

When working as a translator, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are English Language, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish Interpretation, American Sign Language and Foreign Language.

The most similar professions to translator are:
  • Editor
  • Copywriter
  • Content Writer
  • Writer

The most common qualifications to become a translator is a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.