Compensation and Certification Surveys

Court interpreting:

This website has been developed by Robert Joe Lee to create a point-in-time reference point for how the nation’s courts (in the Judicial Branch, not including administrative tribunals) compensate staff and contract interpreters who work in spoken languages. It is posted here with Robert Joe Lee’s permission.

When you click on this link, you will download a white paper on court interpreter certification in the United States.

Council 28 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) negotiated this union contract with the State of Washington for interpreting services rendered to Department of Social and Health Services clients and Medicaid enrollees.

Court interpreters represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA)  have negotiated these union contracts with the California Administrative Office of the Courts.


American Sign Language Interpreters represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) negotiated this union contract with Purple Communications, Inc.

Medical interpreting:

This link is the International Medical Interpreters Association Compensation Survey of 2010.

This link is the Massachussets Medical Interpreters Association Compensation Survey of 2006.

National Job Task Analysis Survey of Healthcare Interpreters, November 2016, by CCHI. Not a compensation survey, but a study of the state of the medical interpreting profession at that point in time.

A Mosaic of Interpreting in Oregon – survey by the Oregon Health Authority based on 2017 data

ATA surveys:

Results of the May 2015 survey of the ATA Interpreters Division. This survey gives an overall picture of the profession, not necessarily a financial snapshot.

Summary Results of the 2014 ATA Compensation Survey. Full results are available for members only. This survey shows a $10,000 difference in annual income between certified and non-certified interpreters and translators.

Other associations:

UK Translator Survey – May 2017

2015 American Medical Writers Association Compensation Survey report. I included this because translation includes writing and there could be some crossover in these fields.

Editorial Freelancers Association list of common rates – includes translation.

ALC Presentation Overview of compensation to language professionals based on public sources, compiled compiled by Winnie Heh, MA, T&I, Career and Academic Advisor, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Link posted with author’s permission.
Note from the author: The data points contained on these slides are ‘descriptive’ rather than ‘prescriptive’ in nature in response to the request made by my students at MIIS.  They asked me to help them gain some perspective on the relative earning potentials of various language-related positions.  The data points are what I see in the public domain in the first half of 2016 rather than what I think should be.  The information in no way represents my view.  If you have additional insights you would like to share with me, please contact me at [email protected]. Thank you.