Actual average rates?
Thread poster: Alex Farrell
Recently I've been wondering how accurately the "aggregate rate information" at ProZ represents real rates. (If you don't know how to access this info, click "Rates" under the "Jobs" heading.) These are target word rates, but I wonder how much lower actual rates are? I know that I sometimes charge less than my target rate (up to 20% or so) if other conditions of a given assignment make it a good deal overall.
What do you all think?
| | Russell Jones
Local time: 23:58
Italian to English
Surely, individual users can only say if their own particular rates match the figures shown; anything else will be pure speculation.
You could look at a sample number of profiles, e.g. all Japanese to English translators in Japan with surnames starting with F (and G, H, I if necessary to give an adequate number) and see what percentage display their rates in public.
I guess the hidden ones were entered on registration and have not been updated since, which will tend to depress the average (unless I have misinterpreted the effect of current economic issues on rates generally).
At the same time you could look at how long these users have been registered on the site; I guess the average will be about 3 years, so if the rates entered initially were at all accurate, actual changes in that period are unlikely to be significant.
There could be wide variations between different language pairs of course.
If I find time I might try the exercise in my languages and report back.
| Suggestion to ProZ.com || Sep 6, 2009 |
I'd suggest Proz gave some barely nominal number of Kudoz, Browniz, whatever internal currency, to translators who manually updated the rates on their profiles - even if hidden from the public - say, every 6 months or so.
I'd suggest requiring Prozians to manually retype all rates to earn that "money". This would increase the value of the averages shown there.
[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-09-06 14:20 GMT]
| Good suggestion, José! || Sep 6, 2009 |
I agree that it would be a good idea to encourage people in some way to enter or update their rates in the system at certain intervals to get a more accurate picture of the rate scales. Maybe just once a year or once every two years.
This information is really helpful for newcomers in the industry like myself and can help you get an idea about how to price your services. - Of course, it can be interesting data for others as well.
Even so, it would still just be a rough indicator.
| | Cathy Flick
Local time: 18:58
Russian to English
| figure out what you need, work backwards for your rates || Nov 2, 2009 |
Alex Farrell wrote:
Recently I've been wondering how accurately the "aggregate rate information" at ProZ represents real rates. (If you don't know how to access this info, click "Rates" under the "Jobs" heading.) These are target word rates, but I wonder how much lower actual rates are?
My feeling is that the rates graphs are shifted to the low side because they represent so many different subject areas and countries. The averages are certainly too low for the United States in highly technical areas. So without some indication of country and specializations - they aren't too useful.
To make sure your rates are reasonable - just keep track of time for projects and figure out how much you really are making per hour. Compare that with reasonable expectations for disposable income while working a reasonable number of hours each week on the average, after you have deducted the percentage going for taxes and business expenses. Basically, figure out how much you need to make each week, month, or year in disposable income in order to pay all your personal bills, have a good emergency fund and money saved for retirement, and have some fun ...
Peace, Cathy Flick
Ph.D. Chemical Physics/M.A. Physics/B.S. Chemistry
Scientific Translator since 1978
Russian/French/German/Spanish/Italian into US English
| Rates depend on the sort of job you accept || Nov 2, 2009 |
Some months ago I was wondering why I was suddenly not getting any translation jobs anymore and so I asked my agency I am working for to get some quotes on rates of other translators. So they took one of my past projects and andvertised it on several websites.
I fell flat on my back (sorry for my French) when we got the result: We were offered the translation for 1 Eurocent per word.......
I got 12 Eurocent per word on this job...... Do I have to say anyhting more?
These lists are nice but especially in Law and Finance the jobs differ a lot from each other for reasons of terminology and research requirements, so rates are difficult to be set up and I decided not to put any in my profile.
| | David Russi
Local time: 16:58
English to Spanish
| Rates for some language combinations are essentially flat or are dropping || Nov 3, 2009 |
Because I do not even attempt to get work through ProZ, I had not updated the rates on my profile for several years. When I checked them a few months ago, I noticed that I'm still charging the same rate I entered 4-5 years ago.
In the EN>SP combination, the downward pressure is still strong, and I have found it effectively impossible to raise rates without fear of client loss. Over time this is equivalent to lowering your rates, of course.
Points for updating rates in your profile? Many people don't care about the point system, so it may not be too meaningful, some rates would continue not to be updated. In any case, such a scheme would need to include the possibility of acknowledging that the rate remained flat
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