How much to charge for rush jobs, as a percentage of regular rates
Thread poster: Kathryn Sanderson

Kathryn Sanderson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:42
French to English
Aug 23, 2009

Hello, all,

Just turned in a rush job for my second direct client. I hate to admit it, but i was so excited to get the job, I agreed to have it done by 9:00 the next morning...and forgot that oh, yeah, this constitutes a rush job, which I should charge extra for. The ship has sailed on this particular job, since I've already invoiced the client. I'm thinking of it as an "audition;" I showed them how well I could do on short notice (and I did pretty well, the corrections from their proofreader were mostly typos).

But now that I've shown what I can do, I plan to charge more for rush jobs. I'm well aware that rates are highly variable by region, specialty, language pair, translator's experience, etc, etc. (I visit Proz forums, after all). But is there some rule of thumb for translators working in the US and Canada, to charge x% of regular per-word or minimum-per-job rate for rush jobs? I was considering upping my minimum-per-job rate by about 35%, and my per-word rate by 25-35%. Is this reasonable? Ridiculously low? Ridiculously high? Is there a way to calculate rush rates in other than by percentages? (Using astrology, maybe? Or numerology?)

FWIW, my pairs are French>English and English>French




Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:42
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
I guess it depends Aug 23, 2009

In my case it could be anything from 0% in case of a regular client (by regular I mean more than 1 assignment per week) to 50%. Probably even more if it meant that I would have to work on Sunday, however I try to avoid working on Sundays.
I am curious what others may sayicon_smile.gif


Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:42
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I never charge rush rates Aug 23, 2009

If the job comes from a frequent customer (or someone I want to become a frequent customer), a majority of their jobs are not/will not be rush, and if they need me to push a little harder a couple of times a year I am glad to do it at the regular rate.

On the other hand, if the job is NOT from a frequent customer or comes from someone who is not really an interesting account, I prefer to reject the job if I cannot do it within reasonable working hours.


Kathryn Sanderson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:42
French to English
Thanks, guys! Aug 23, 2009

...for your thoughtful and helpful answers. Keep 'em coming, people. All of your answers are very much appreciated.



Julie Dion (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:42
English to French
rush job Aug 24, 2009

One of the agencies I work with offers me 20% on rush jobs without me even asking for it! I once saw a survey about how much translators charged for rush jobs and the median seemed to be somewhere between 20 and 30%.


cilantro  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:42
Italian to English
+ ...
I keep using the same requirements as I received from a good client Aug 24, 2009

+20% for meeting a tight deadline

[Edited at 2009-08-24 08:04 GMT]


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How much to charge for rush jobs, as a percentage of regular rates

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