Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Entry level salaries
Thread poster: Eleftherios Kritikakis

Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:29
Member (2003)
Greek to English
+ ...
Oct 12, 2009

U.S.A.
(Entry level secretarial job):

$12 per hour gross = $9 per hour net = $72 per day = $1440 per month x 12 months = $17,280
(vacation is 2 weeks per year on average)

Greece
(same job, on average)

€700 per month x 14 (Greek employees receive 14 monthly salaries per year) = €9,800 x 1.47 = $14,406
(this salary includes public healthcare coverage and one month paid vacation.

This does not refer to all positions. I'm talking about private sector entry level secretarial jobs. People with experience in the market will agree with me that there's not much, if any, difference between salaries in the U.S. and Europe (in some countries in Europe salaries exceed by far the U.S. salaries). Also, I'm talking about he majority of employees, not the few exceptions here and there. Please don't come up with examples such as "my cousin makes such and such money in that company".


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Laurie Price  Identity Verified
Mexico
Spanish to English
+ ...
the difference is physical Oct 12, 2009

There's a palpable difference in quality of life between the two, wouldn't you agree?

The next question would then have to be, "which one is which in your opinion?"


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:29
Member (2003)
Greek to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not an issue Oct 13, 2009

Quality of life is subjective to a certain degree.
For example, many say that Sweden is a "model country" in many aspects, but I still consider life to be much more pleasant in the island of Crete (colors, weather, beaches, food, people, and I'll say "weather" again) regardless of per capita income or public services. That's my personal view, since I believe that when your senses suffer (due to bad weather, not enough colors, bad food etc), then your quality of life is low. If you are a billionaire living in north Siberia then your quality of life is not that great. If you are a healthy middle class person living in Rhodes then most likely your quality of life is higher.

My point though is not "quality of life". Personally I live better in the U.S. but this has to do with personal choices, not with the local structures and lifestyles (my fiancee and I have our very own lifestyle). As far as the "majority" of population I've seen in major cities in the U.S., they do not live better than the people of Crete and Rhodes. Not at all.

The point I'm trying to make is that the myth "U.S. translators are more expensive than European translators" has to stop. Salaries are basically the same, professionals have comparable earnings, well, the U.S. is actually much cheaper in food/clothes/cars than Europe (therefore U.S. translators could actually be cheaper than the Europeans).
Maybe U.S. professionals are earning a little more than European professionals due to a much friendlier tax system in the U.S. and more work hours, still, this is more of a personal factor (a U.K. translator has a friendly tax system as well, not to mention paid public healthcare and more public services).

The issue now is whether the countries of the "other world" (Asia and Latin America) are following this trend.

Can translators be some sort of a "barometer" of a local culture when it comes to income of professionals? Is "passive attitude" the key factor?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:29
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
How many hours in Greece? Oct 13, 2009

Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:
Greece
(same job, on average)
€700 per month x 14 (Greek employees receive 14 monthly salaries per year) = €9,800 x 1.47 = $14,406
(this salary includes public healthcare coverage and one month paid vacation.


How many hours a week does the secretary work in Greece? 40? 35? 27? In some countries the hours per week mentioned in a contract are less, and you have the option to work more hours (at a non-overtime wage) up to 35 or 40 hours a week, at which point the overtime pay kicks in. Are you sure you're comparing apples with apples here? Because you have "per month" for Greece but "per hour" for the USA.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Opportunity may be the main difference Oct 13, 2009

I don't know the States, I've only visited as a tourist but it seems like a pretty cool place. And I can say the same about Greece. But my guess would be that in the States there is a lot more opportunity than in Greece. Although a secretary's starting wage may be what it is in the States, if she wanted, with a few years experience under her belt, she could find a higher paying position whereas in Greece she would probably be locked into that wage forever. Low salary mobility. In Greece it is probably more a question of who you know rather than what you know - a constraint on freedom.

Moreover, at a guess, public services in general, facilities, education, housing etc. would be better in the States. (The thing that bugs me about a living in the Spanish capital is that if you want to live in a house you have to live way out, which would seem a little boring to me. Houses in the States look great.) Having said that I do think that the Greek person would lead a fuller life in Greece. Greeks surround themselves with family and friends, never stop talking and the food is great. Personally, I like living in a place that is modern and forward thinking where I feel that anything is possible. I guess it boils down to freedom.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:29
French to German
+ ...
Myth or not myth.... Oct 13, 2009

Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:

The point I'm trying to make is that the myth "U.S. translators are more expensive than European translators" has to stop. Salaries are basically the same, professionals have comparable earnings, well, the U.S. is actually much cheaper in food/clothes/cars than Europe (therefore U.S. translators could actually be cheaper than the Europeans).

Myth or not myth, I would really like to get an explanation why US outsourcers contact European translators at rates somewhere between USD 0.05 and USD 0.08/sw for rather technical jobs when average translators (e.g. in France) have to ask for at least EUR 0.08/sw to be able to live from their activity?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Specialists Oct 13, 2009

Well, at least here in Spain, there are a lot of people who graduate with a technical degree, having studied technical English at Uni and general English at an academy and when they can't find a job they turn to translation. The same can be said for law and even medicine. They are highly specialised translators and with the help of CAT tools highly productive too, so they don't push the boundaries in terms of rates.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:29
English to German
+ ...
Factually not correct to generalize Oct 13, 2009

Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:

The point I'm trying to make is that the myth "U.S. translators are more expensive than European translators" has to stop. Salaries are basically the same, professionals have comparable earnings, well, the U.S. is actually much cheaper in food/clothes/cars than Europe (therefore U.S. translators could actually be cheaper than the Europeans).



I couldn't disagree more.
Why?

Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering about 10,180,000 square kilometres (3,930,000 sq mi) or 2% of the Earth's surface and about 6.8% of its land area. Of Europe's approximately 50 states, Russia is the largest by both area and population, while the Vatican City is the smallest. Europe is the third most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of 731 million or about 11% of the world's population; however, according to the United Nations (medium estimate), Europe's share may fall to about 7% in 2050.[2] In 1900, Europe's share of the world's population was 25%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europe


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:29
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Quality of life... Oct 13, 2009

Laurie Price wrote:

There's a palpable difference in quality of life between the two, wouldn't you agree?

The next question would then have to be, "which one is which in your opinion?"



I would argue that the quality of life is much better in Greece... or are you talking about standard of life?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:29
French to German
+ ...
OT: we can have both... Oct 13, 2009

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:
I would argue that the quality of life is much better in Greece... or are you talking about standard of life?

but it needs some adaptation. One will never have any quality/standard of life if they don't have the right state of mind.


[Edited at 2009-10-13 12:05 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jocelyne S  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:29
Member
French to English
+ ...
Language dependant? Oct 13, 2009

Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:

The point I'm trying to make is that the myth "U.S. translators are more expensive than European translators" has to stop.



It may be a language pair issue, but I've never heard anyone complain that US translators are more expensive than European-based translators in my language pair (FR-EN). At least here in France, we are far more heavily taxed than colleagues in the US, which I imagine is reflected in our rates.

Of course there are bargain-bin translators in both the US and Europe, but I would like to see some statistical evidence regarding freelancer rates before making generalisations.

The SFT, the French translators' association, publishes statistics based on rates in different language pairs; I'm not sure if ATA does the same, but IMO it is such data (rather than secretaries’ salaries) that need to be compared.

Best,
Jocelyne


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:29
French to German
+ ...
About statistics (and their dictatorship) Oct 13, 2009

Jocelyne S wrote:
The SFT, the French translators' association, publishes statistics based on rates in different language pairs; I'm not sure if ATA does the same, but IMO it is such data (rather than secretaries’ salaries) that need to be compared.

Best,
Jocelyne


http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/147026-why_are_rates_so_low-page4.html#1231027

et seq., of course. :-S


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxAguas de Mar
What myth? Who created it? Who believes it? Oct 13, 2009

Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:
The point I'm trying to make is that the myth "U.S. translators are more expensive than European translators" has to stop. Salaries are basically the same, professionals have comparable earnings, well, the U.S. is actually much cheaper in food/clothes/cars than Europe (therefore U.S. translators could actually be cheaper than the Europeans).
Maybe U.S. professionals are earning a little more than European professionals due to a much friendlier tax system in the U.S. and more work hours, still, this is more of a personal factor (a U.K. translator has a friendly tax system as well, not to mention paid public healthcare and more public services).

The issue now is whether the countries of the "other world" (Asia and Latin America) are following this trend.

Can translators be some sort of a "barometer" of a local culture when it comes to income of professionals? Is "passive attitude" the key factor?


Had never heard of such "myth" before, and I would not believe it for one second.
Sometimes, US translators are more expensive, and sometimes European translators are. Depends on the language pairs, the field, the urgency. Canadian translators are not cheap either.

I would dare to say that cost of living in Canada and the US is about the same, while it tends to be more expensive in most European countries (even in some former Eastern Europe ones). I base my assumption in the "cost of living allowance (COLA)" that US diplomats and executives of some companies stationed in most European countries receive to compensate for the lack of purchasing power of their salaries (which are generally based on Washington DC standards of living).

Mind you, these executives and diplomats also receive COLAs in Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil, among other Latin American countries, so one is not to assume that the cost of living in these countries is cheaper than in the US just because they are in Latin America (sorry to send another myth down the drain).

IMHO, the "other worlds" ceased to exist a while ago, when the "globalized world" took over. There are less and less countries that are left out of the general economic trends, and the belief that one can still move operations somewhere else where costs will be substantially lower will come to an end sooner than we expect. Already Mexico is no longer an interesting place to establish sweatshops, and China and India will soon cease to be considered options as well. So I guess yes, these countries are also following the trend.

And I do not believe that translators can be considered "barometers" of a local culture regarding the income of professionals. If anything, I would call them trend setters, trying hard to obtain recognition (both in intellectual and monetary terms) for their work, which in some countries is not valued for what it is worth.

As for "passive attitude", I fail to grasp what you mean.

[Edited at 2009-10-13 12:55 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Wassila BOUGUERRA  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:29
English to French
The Myth Oct 13, 2009

I think there is an american myth saying that life in Europe in 2009 is more or less the same as what it used to be in the 19th century. I don't know who invented. It's certainly related to the "american dream". Another invention? Or perhaps it was true in the 19th century and everyone is still believing it...

0.08€ is a minimum for a French translator. And the 700€/month you're mentionning refer to the minimum salary in Greece. An inhouse translator working in a French agency earns about 2,200€/month (about 1,800€ net/month, 2,675$), and that's considered a rather low salary in Paris compared to the 4 or 5 years of university studies a translator generally has... and the amazing real estate prices in Paris. Not to mention that the weekly working time here is 35 hours, plus 5 weeks of paid holidays, and an incredible social insurance system. I just checked the latest minimum salary in France, by the way: it's 1,337.70 euros (gross).

To get back to european freelancers rates, with the Euro/dollar exchange rates we've been knowing for some time, now, I don't understand how on earth an american translator could be more expensive than his or her european colleague, honestly. I even wondered lately if it still was interesting working with US-based agencies given the exchange rate. I just checked it on xe.com: 0.08€ make 0.118$ today. The "best" US-based job offers I've seen on Proz the past 2 months "offered" 0.06$/word...

End of the myth?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 02:29
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Please give me some of what you are smoking! Oct 13, 2009

Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:
The point I'm trying to make is that the myth "U.S. translators are more expensive than European translators" has to stop.


Actually, where I live in Europe, the US is viewed as a low wage country where one can find bargain basement translators for rates that we wouldn't get out of bed for. Even pretending for a moment that the USD and euro were still at parity, it is seldom that one encounters US outsourcers worth taking seriously unless you are near the bottom of the market. There are exceptions, but they are rare, and when I add to that the hassles of W-8s and the primitive habit of sending checks that still persists with many, the only contacts really worth having with the US are largely social. I don't dare mention this, of course, because my countrymen will think I'm promoting socialism and reach for a gun....


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Entry level salaries

Advanced search







Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search