Rates/day for consecutive interpreting in the US
Thread poster: Dan Marasescu

Dan Marasescu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 11:01
Member (2003)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Nov 5, 2004

Hi,

Could anyone please tell me how much you charge on the average for a full day of consecutive interpreting to a US end client?

Thank you,
Dan


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davidgreen
German to English
standard US rates Nov 5, 2004

In California I was paid by agencies what was considered standard rates for (consecutive) interpreting: $119/half day (3 hours or less, often it was only 20 minutes!) and $240 for a full day (3-6 hours). Any time over 6 hours I charged by the hour varying from $20-$40 per hour. This was about 5 years ago so I imagine (and hope) the rates have gone up. In general, for very low-key situations such as escort interpreting, I might have accepted as little as $20/hour (eg picking someone up from the airport and checking them into a hotel). Feel free to write me directly if you have any more questions about this.

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teju  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
It depends... Nov 5, 2004

Dan, the rate you may charge depends on many things. First of all, where is your client located? Different states have very different rates for interpreting, it's whatever the market will bear. California, as a rule, pays very well for all professions. But if your client is in another state where there is need for interpreters, it's going to be very different. California has many interpreters because their large inmigrant population.
Another factor to consider is what is this assignment about, just like David Green told you. If it's something easy, your rate may be lower than if you are interpreting a hearing or legal procedure.
Your credentials also come into play. There are state and federal certifications for interpreters (court interpreters) that will allow you to charge more. Federal court interpreters all earn the same, $178 for half day, or $329 for a full day.
You should establish a minimum fee. When I used to do consecutive interpreting at depositions, I always had a two hour minimum. If I had to book a morning or afternoon for a depo, then I needed to be guaranteed the work.
I live in Texas, in a town close to New Mexico. In both these states, state interpreters are paid by the court $30 an hour with a two hour guarantee, plus travel time and mileage (if needed). When freelance interpreters get private assignments, we pretty much set our own rates and conditions, which reflect what everyone else is charging. Around here, when you do "private hire" work, most interpreters charge between $65 to $90 per hour, for legal work and conferences. There are student interpreters at the universtity who are always willing to do an assignment to gain experience for only $20 to $30 an hour. There are also "qualified interpreters", interpreters who do no have credentials, or certifications and need the experience, who will charge around $40 to $50.
Were you referring to telephonic interpreting by any chance?
I hope I was able to give you some guidelines. Write again if you still have doubts and good luck to you.


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teju  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
Whoa!!! Nov 5, 2004

Dan, I just checked your page. Impresive!!! Hats off to you. I've always had great admiration for people who speak so many languages. I can only dream.....
I'm now thinking that you were referring to telephonic, since you do not live in the US, correct?


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Dan Marasescu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 11:01
Member (2003)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
American client abroad Nov 6, 2004

Thank you both for the useful information.

The truth is that I will be working for an American client here in Romania. So the prices you mentioned may not apply here, but it was important for me to know what my client is used to. Unfortunately, there is a huge gap between the rates you mentioned and the rates usualy offered in Romania, but I refuse to accept that. The trouble is that foreign clients get used to the local rates extremely fast

Thanks again,
Dan


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Dan Marasescu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 11:01
Member (2003)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Teju! Nov 6, 2004

I am very glad you like my new website.

Dan


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
As Reinforcement... Nov 6, 2004

I live in the same city where Teju is. For conference interpreting or any kind for that matter, I would charge at least $450 per day or $75 per hour for hourly assignments. Travel time, per diem, lodging, transportation and travel expenses would be extra. It matters not what kind of work it is, my time is worth the same because I am always doing something worthwhile with it.

If you are well qualified you should be able to charge good rates, people for whom I have worked for at $350 a day (some years ago) have told me that they had to pay up to $1,000 a day in Slovenia, for example. They said there were only six in the country; or at least only six that were well enough qualified for their purposes, and they were quite demanding.

All of that depends on what kind of competition there is locally, but if you can stand above them, you can make more!

Also, and I do not know for sure, but I suspect that in California (where I am now and where everything is much more expensive), interpterers get paid less than where Teju and I reside, where living costs are much lower!

All I am doing here is translation, so I can't say. But if you are worth your salt, then I say you can charge very good rates, wherever you are! Go for it...


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:01
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Whew Nov 6, 2004

Henry Hinds wrote:

I live in the same city where Teju is. For conference interpreting or any kind for that matter, I would charge at least $450 per day or $75 per hour for hourly assignments. Travel time, per diem, lodging, transportation and travel expenses would be extra. It matters not what kind of work it is, my time is worth the same because I am always doing something worthwhile with it.


What a relief! Thanks, Henry. This was closer to what I'm used to.


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Rates/day for consecutive interpreting in the US

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