I signed up for Payscale.com to get a free profile of the salaries and conditions of a translator employed inhouse in the UK. Thought it might be interesting to see if I’d made the right choice in going freelance 🙂
Payscale.com works by asking a couple of basic questions, then drawing conclusions based on what it claims is the largest database of online employee salary data in the world. Despite being an American site, I was initially impressed that included UK data too.
I was pretty disappointed with the results at first glance however, especially when I discovered that they were based on a tiny sample of only 3 people. After thinking about it a bit though, I realised that the site still had plenty going for it.
The three translators sampled earn £18,609, £22,375 and £27,560 respectively. All work in London. Based on this, a translator with an MA and 4 years of experience was quoted an average salary of £23,600. (So I won’t be quitting the freelance work anytime soon then…)
This is obviously a massive generalisation given there was no mention of working languages, etc. etc. but it would be hasty to dismiss it entirely. A quick job search shows that this is about average, if not a little optimistic, at least for inhouse translators based in the UK and working into English (out of English are more in demand and have higher earning potential as a result; the same way a native English speaker would earn more working inhouse in their soure language country).
Best of all, you can see the sanitised profiles of the three professionals, which gives an interesting if rather brief glimpse into the kinds of companies these professionals work for. The translator on the highest salary actually works for a media monitoring company and gets paid an hourly rate for overtime on top of their basic pay, so this may explain the higher salary.
I’ll definitely check back in a few months to see if this sample has increased.