How Much Do Freelance Translators Earn?
The demand for freelance translators is growing as businesses increasingly need to communicate with clients worldwide. They need someone professional to translate their content, and finding freelance translators online is a straightforward solution. Freelance translators have a wide variety of options according to their expertise, and there is always someone with the experience needed.
Due to this surge in demand, the number of professional translators online is expected to grow by 20% in the United States. Therefore, it is almost guaranteed that you will get good work when working as a freelance translator. Freelancing also carries many other benefits, including schedule flexibility and control over the type of work you take on.
The average salary for a freelance translator in the United Kingdom is around £33,000 per year or about £13.84 per hour. However, the amount of money you receive for your translations depends on your skills. Here we look at how much translators online earn, tips for making more money in the translation industry, and why working for a translation agency is an excellent option for freelancers.
Full-time vs Part-time Freelance Translators
Freelance translators online have two basic options: quit their current job and work as a translator full time, or combine their current employment with a freelancing “side hustle”. If choosing the former, you work exclusively for a translation network or a freelance platform. You find clients and work eight hours per day to make a suitable amount of money.
The second option is to combine your regular full-time job and translate content to professional quality as a side hustle. Freelance translators need to work online in the evenings and weekends but can end up working an extra 18 hours per week. In terms of earnings, this second option is more lucrative. You’re working more hours to see more significant financial rewards.
However, the first option seems good for people who like flexibility as you can work any time at your place. You are not restricted to the conventional Monday to Friday routine with office timings from 9 am to 5 pm. Sometimes, freelance translators can also get clients paying much more beyond your expectations. However, it all depends on your skill level and translation expertise.
Types of Translation Tasks to Earn Money
The type of translations you do will influence the amount of money you make when working as a freelance translator online. Basic document translations are the lowest paid, with many online freelance translators able to offer these services. This means you’re competing with low prices, and it can be challenging to source high-paying clients.
However, more technical translations and niche content types come at a higher price. It is harder for businesses to find someone with the right skill set to handle these projects, and they’ll pay a premium if you can translate to a professional standard. Examples of specialised translations include:
- Speech translation, such as lectures and telephonic conversations
- Technical translation, such as engineering translations
- Localisation, such as localising mobile applications, video games, or websites
- Movile subtitling or providing professional voiceover services
How to Charge Freelance Translation Clients
As mentioned, a freelance translator typically earns around £33,000 per year. This assumes the online translators are working freelance as their full-time employment. However, salaries increase to between £50,000 and £150,000 per year for people offering more specialised services.
When it comes to translation rates, professional freelance translators usually translate 500 words within an hour. This means your daily output is about 2,000-3,000 words a day. You can use this approximation to work out your base rate. Some freelancers charge per word, whereas others charge per hour. For example, a rate of £0.10 per word works out to approximately £50,000 annually.
If you can’t make that money initially, don’t worry. You can always increase your translation rates by getting more certificates and proving your worth. With the right attitude and dedication, you can make good earnings from freelance translation jobs with the right attitude and commitment. Start low and build a good reputation in the industry before transferring to higher rates.
Tips for Freelance Translators to Maximise Their Earnings
If you work as a freelance translator, you must be accurate and consistent with your work. This helps you build an excellent reputation that puts you above other online freelance translators. Here are some tips that you can improve to win more translation projects:
- Always provide an accurate translation that renders the exact meaning of the source
- Ensure your deliverables have no grammatical errors, formatting issues, or typos
- Maintain consistent and professional quality for all content you translate
- Accept jobs in your domain only. For example, if you are specialised in legal translation, you should not accept a job in marketing translation
- Meet your deadlines in every possible way, as late delivery will affect your profile on the database of the translation agency
A Network of the Most Professional Experts
Freelance translators can earn handsome money. All you have to do is work with dedication to fulfil your client’s demands to get maximum earnings. You can choose to translate on flexible timings or become a full-time professional translator, but keep in mind that the more you work, the more payments you will receive.
Although you can source projects and clients yourself, it is advisable to join a translation agency. These translation agencies hire freelance translators and match their skill sets to projects that come in from global clients. At Renaissance Translations, we are always looking for new freelance translators to work with! If you would like to join our team of experts, please see below our requirements:
- Have at least five years of translation experience
- Hold a degree in translation from a reputable institution
- Complete our online translators’ test to confirm translation proficiency
- Membership with a professional translation institution such as ITI, CIOL or ATA
- Apply to work with us using the recruitment page
We look forward to hearing from you and hope to receive your application shortly! In the meantime, discover more about our translation services or contact our team if you have any questions.