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Unread 06-06-2007, 01:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Interpreter's salary

My friend wants to know how much does interpreter earns in an hour or per event?
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Unread 06-06-2007, 02:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Depends on what kind of terp job, the rate really varies greatly from church interpreting service to court level interpeter, I found out those who do military terp earns the highest pay. Those must pass clearance first, not many people can pass that.
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Unread 06-07-2007, 08:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This question doesn't really have an answer. The reason is that salary depends on where you are located in the country, what type of job it is (medical or school, etc), what level of education and certification you have, whether you are working freelance or for an agency, whether it is platform interpreting or VRS interpreting or 1-on-1 interpreting, etc. There are just too many variables to say exactly what the salary would be.

For example, an interpreter in a court in Washington DC who has full certification (including legal specialist certification) might make $100+ per hour. An elementary school interpreter in Arkansas with no certification might make $15 per hour. And there are all kinds of ranges in between.

It's impossible to provide an accurate answer because it varies so much.
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Unread 06-07-2007, 05:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree with the rest of you; there are too many variables involved to give a meaningful answer.

Some of the public school terps here in South Carolina get $12/hr, 40-hr week, 180 days per year.

Basic community interpreting pays more per hour but there's no guarantee to a certain number of hours per week.

Other variables:

mileage reimbursement
drive time
two-hour minimum
certified/non-certified
evening/weekend rates
emergency rates
team rates
per diem
benefits package
annual salary v. hourly wage
staff terp v. independent contractor v. agency hire v. government agency
specialty qualifications (legal, mental health, Spanish fluency, etc.)
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Unread 06-07-2007, 05:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Depends on what kind of terp job, the rate really varies greatly from church interpreting service to court level interpeter, I found out those who do military terp earns the highest pay. Those must pass clearance first, not many people can pass that.
At my church I interpret for free.

I had a Top Secret clearance when I was in the Navy and Naval Reserve (NIS/FBI background check); I also had to get a different background check by SLED for my concealed carry permit. I'll interpret for you and keep you covered, heh, heh.
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Unread 06-08-2007, 12:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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RID certified public school interpreters in my area (Albany, NY) make $25,000-$28,000/year depending on total years experience. Non-RID certified interpreters (and yes, school districts do hire them here) make about $3,000 less per year.
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Unread 06-08-2007, 12:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I didn't realize terp salaries elsewhere in the country were that low. The Washington DC area pays a LOT higher than elsewhere, I guess.
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Unread 06-08-2007, 12:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Those figures are about 5 years old now. So, they've probably gone up some.

I guess "Freelancers" and terps working for non-government agencies make more, but I don't know how much more.

If I did (and it was the same or more than what I make now), I'd serious consider a career change. But getting local relevant info on this seems to be hard.

Hmmm... I wonder if the NYS Unemployment Agency has any stats? They must have salary listings since they have to match people and employers.
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Unread 06-08-2007, 12:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I just wanted to add that I did a google for "sign language interpreter salary" and there seems to be fair amount of timely info on the topic (finally). Most of it comes from Universities that offer interpreting programs, but if you're going to work near the place you're taking classes this could be quite accurate.

Also from the googled info, it seems like the salary amounts I mentioned for upstate NY are still pretty correct.
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Unread 06-09-2007, 03:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Etoile View Post
This question doesn't really have an answer. The reason is that salary depends on where you are located in the country, what type of job it is (medical or school, etc), what level of education and certification you have, whether you are working freelance or for an agency, whether it is platform interpreting or VRS interpreting or 1-on-1 interpreting, etc. There are just too many variables to say exactly what the salary would be.

For example, an interpreter in a court in Washington DC who has full certification (including legal specialist certification) might make $100+ per hour. An elementary school interpreter in Arkansas with no certification might make $15 per hour. And there are all kinds of ranges in between.

It's impossible to provide an accurate answer because it varies so much.
Well hot diggity damn, thats almost twice what I am making now and I live in Arkansas! Maybe I should take the ASL course from UALR. Believe me for around here that is good money. The only downside is, there is not a large deaf population so work would be limited unless you live in Little Rock and the parents insist the child go to mainstream school with a terp, instead of an all deaf education at AR School for the Deaf. (Not that I know anyone, but I am sure it's happened).
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Unread 06-09-2007, 03:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Well hot diggity damn, thats almost twice what I am making now and I live in Arkansas! Maybe I should take the ASL course from UALR. Believe me for around here that is good money. The only downside is, there is not a large deaf population so work would be limited unless you live in Little Rock and the parents insist the child go to mainstream school with a terp, instead of an all deaf education at AR School for the Deaf. (Not that I know anyone, but I am sure it's happened).
I should have known that mentioning a real place would get me in trouble! I was just guessing at how much interpreters get paid there. Hearing some salaries from around the country is making me SO happy to live in Washington DC, I am almost embarrassed to say how much interpreters make here.
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Unread 06-09-2007, 03:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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nah not in trouble just being sarcastic for the most part.
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Unread 06-09-2007, 05:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Gobae View Post
RID certified public school interpreters in my area (Albany, NY) make $25,000-$28,000/year depending on total years experience. Non-RID certified interpreters (and yes, school districts do hire them here) make about $3,000 less per year.
That's better than here. Certified public school terps average $20,000 - $24,000 per year.

When I used to do substitute terp work for the public schools as a district employee, I got $50 per day.

When I did substitute terp work thru an agency, the school paid the agency $50 per hour, and I got $22 from that.

Now, as an independent contractor, when I do substitute terp work at the very same school, I get $35 per hour, all for me.
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Unread 06-09-2007, 05:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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That's one thing that's always irritated me. I seem to remember hearing that the agency I started out with charged $75/hr to customers, and I was getting paid about a third of that, with zero benefits. I've never understood why the difference was so great.
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Unread 06-09-2007, 06:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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That's one thing that's always irritated me. I seem to remember hearing that the agency I started out with charged $75/hr to customers, and I was getting paid about a third of that, with zero benefits. I've never understood why the difference was so great.
I understand that the agency should get a profit but sometimes the ratio seems lopsided.
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Unread 06-10-2007, 10:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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ive heard through the grapvine that sorenson is paying 21 base level for VRS, in my area. RID cert not required, individual evaluation.

freelance in my area is 10-12/hr, depending on who you know


im curious what terps make in dc? dont have to tell us your personal salary etoile, just a range to satisify the curiousity you created heh.
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Unread 06-11-2007, 02:00 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Interesting thread here. I am surprised to see there're difference Interpret fees and pasted Reba's list.

We have an Interpret Agencies around Germany. They recieved money from
Government to support interpret fees. The interpreters here are self-employee.

Agencies and Public Health Insurances fix the agreement with self-employ interpreters.

EUR 35 ($47) per hour for certified Interpreters
EUR 15 ($20) per hour for non-certified Interpreters including emergencies, school, lawyers, etc. etc and plus the cost for those

mileage reimbursement
drive time
waiting time

More than EUR 35 and EUR 15 at insurance companies, court, etc. plus driving costs (see above).
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Unread 06-11-2007, 08:11 AM   #18 (permalink)
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im curious what terps make in dc? dont have to tell us your personal salary etoile, just a range to satisify the curiousity you created heh.
Well, I can tell you that when I first started interpreting, my very first job with no certifications or experience, I was making $20/hr, with no benefits. I would say that is the bare minimum I would expect interpreters to charge around here, and often it is much higher.
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Unread 06-13-2007, 09:49 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Well, I can tell you that when I first started interpreting, my very first job with no certifications or experience, I was making $20/hr, with no benefits. I would say that is the bare minimum I would expect interpreters to charge around here, and often it is much higher.
I'm in my first year and that is EXACTLY my situation. I'm in Denver and for non-certified, that's the norm. Where I went to school for my IPP (Colorado Springs, about 70 miles south), they pay $17/hour.

No benefits but travel is paid for. I just hate that it is summer (all the educational interpreters are out taking jobs in the community, leaving me with a job a week if I'm lucky).
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Unread 06-13-2007, 10:23 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I can understand why, most employer is required to provide insurance to protect their employees, and there is overhead costs involved, and employer has to pay higher taxes, etc, etc and that adds up the cost, that is why it always cost more.

Go down to auto shop, and find out their labor rate, pretty much same thing, they generallly bill 75 dollars an hour, and pay employees around 15 dollars an hour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etoile View Post
That's one thing that's always irritated me. I seem to remember hearing that the agency I started out with charged $75/hr to customers, and I was getting paid about a third of that, with zero benefits. I've never understood why the difference was so great.
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Unread 06-14-2007, 11:16 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I can understand why, most employer is required to provide insurance to protect their employees, and there is overhead costs involved, and employer has to pay higher taxes, etc, etc and that adds up the cost, that is why it always cost more.

Go down to auto shop, and find out their labor rate, pretty much same thing, they generallly bill 75 dollars an hour, and pay employees around 15 dollars an hour.
Except the agencies I've worked for have very little overhead. The "office" is one or two small rooms with a computer, phone, fax, and vrs equipment, a few file cabinets, and a couple desks and chairs. All our business is transacted by email, text msg, phone calls, and fax. Payroll is outsourced. No insurance provided except some malpractice protection. No benefits, no employer contributions to retirement, etc.

The person sitting in the agency office (or at home) doing the "office" work gets paid at least $60,000 per year. My best year interpreting I got almost $16,000. That included working Monday-Saturday, evenings, late nights, on-call emergencies, and many hours on the road. (Some of my local colleagues also fly to their assignments.) The agency owners are literally millionaires, and don't even live in this region.

Like I said, I don't mind the owners getting a profit but I think the percentages are out of balance. I usually get less than half of what is charged, and get mileage only sometimes.
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Unread 06-14-2007, 11:23 AM   #22 (permalink)
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The person sitting in the agency office (or at home) doing the "office" work gets paid at least $60,000 per year. My best year interpreting I got almost $16,000. That included working Monday-Saturday, evenings, late nights, on-call emergencies, and many hours on the road. (Some of my local colleagues also fly to their assignments.) The agency owners are literally millionaires, and don't even live in this region.
Yikes...you really should move to the DC area Reba! It is becoming more and more clear to me how good we have it here...
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Unread 06-14-2007, 11:47 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Yikes...you really should move to the DC area Reba! It is becoming more and more clear to me how good we have it here...
Yes, you do have it good there. I know some terps who have moved from there to here. They told me what they made there.

Ah, but your cost of living is higher, too.

Besides, I'm not leaving Hubby and the grandkids for anything.
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Unread 06-14-2007, 03:10 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Wow, I'm going move to SC and want see Reba to interpreting at my new college.
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Unread 06-14-2007, 07:17 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Wow, I'm going move to SC and want see Reba to interpreting at my new college.
Sure, come on down.
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Unread 06-16-2007, 12:42 AM   #26 (permalink)
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My friend says thank for all info but he wants to know how long it takes for him to be legitmate interpreter? From what i have heard that hearing person dont have to undergo any training as long he is from deaf family OR know someone closely enough that he doesn't have to go training. Any truth to that ?
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Unread 06-16-2007, 02:18 AM   #27 (permalink)
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My friend says thank for all info but he wants to know how long it takes for him to be legitmate interpreter? From what i have heard that hearing person dont have to undergo any training as long he is from deaf family OR know someone closely enough that he doesn't have to go training. Any truth to that ?
No truth to that at all. An expert, native-like signer does NOT necessarily make for a good, ethical interpreter.
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Unread 06-16-2007, 09:55 AM   #28 (permalink)
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My friend says thank for all info but he wants to know how long it takes for him to be legitmate interpreter? From what i have heard that hearing person dont have to undergo any training as long he is from deaf family OR know someone closely enough that he doesn't have to go training. Any truth to that ?
Tousi's right. Fluency in ASL is not the only requirement for professional interpreters.

Your friend will need at least a two-year college degree in interpreting (a four-year degree is preferable, and will eventually be required for certification).

That's the starting point.
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Unread 06-16-2007, 10:12 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I do believe the UALR program is a 2 year program but I dont know much beyond that as far as getting the actual certification, and any possibilities of job placements upon graduation/certification.

But then again alot of Arkansas educators are walking around with basic 4 year degrees and very few carry a Masters. My dad has a 4 year degree plus 15 hours towards a Masters. Alot of the Kindergarten teachers in this area have gotten their certs through a 2 year degree.

So seeing that kind of educational field, I am sure here in this part of the country you probably could get by with a 2 year degree in ASL + certification.

But DC they probably expect much more since that part of the country teachers tend to carry higher educational degrees. Alot of the teachers out there carry a Masters plus 15 hours. So I would expect terps to have a 4 year degree plus certification.

And as with anything - the more education you have in your background, the higher your potential pay can be.
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Unread 06-17-2007, 01:41 AM   #30 (permalink)
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The SSA, they pay interpreters on average $90 an hour for 2 hours minimum paid compensation. So even if the interpreter only interpreted for 15 minutes they'd get $180.00 for the day.

VRS at my company pays around $30-45 (depending on experience and certifications).

I got lucky. My college has a great Deaf Studies program. I am getting a Bachelor's Degree in Deaf Studies Emphasis in Interpreting - I don't think 2 years is enough school to start interpreting. Mostly because I think their should be a TON of emphasis on the Deaf culture before going into ASL and interpreting.

I'd also like to learn other forms of Sign Language eventually.
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