How much to pay financial or legal (professional) translators?

Published on 27 Mar 04:35 by Sam Yip
Tags: translation   finance   localization   legal   industry   management  

TranslateFX How much to pay financial or legal (professional) translators?

Are you an aspiring translator hoping to find the profitable niche for your translation career? Or is your company setting up a new foreign office and looking for translation solutions? In this post, we will describe the typical salary expectations for financial and legal translators and the main factors determining their salaries.

According to our survey of over a hundred translators, an entry level financial or legal translator with 1-3 years of experience earns an average monthly salary of USD2,000. Senior level translators with 8+ years of experience tend to do much better and earn an average monthly salary of USD6,500. At the highest end, translation managers and editors earn up to USD7,500 per month.

In general, the salaries of financial or legal translators are typically 25% higher than that of general translators (e.g business, marketing, copywriting, and creative translation.) This increase in price is also reflected in the cost to translate as well. Here are a few reasons:


Financial and legal translations are professional types of translation requiring additional years experience and specific expertise. Often times, this requires in-depth knowledge of specific financial or legal industry concepts in addition to the usage of particular terminology, syntax, and named-entities employed in the texts. This type of expertise can be broad per industry such as finance or law, but there are cases where the expertise is specific to niches (e.g mining industry focused or commercial real-estate agreements).

Research skills

Rules and regulations differ from country to country; financial/legal terms, concepts and standards in one country are not necessarily used in another. The nuances in a country's rules and regulations would require research that is beyond merely translating the words and sentences in their literal sense. Often times, translators spend a lot of time researching regulations and concepts to better prepare and update themselves with the new terminology to complete a quality translation.


Consistency is one of the most important aspects for financial or legal translation. This requires skills and experience -- e.g. the translator would need to dig up previous corporate announcements, press releases or director statements of a particular client, in order to determine how certain financial or legal terms have been translated in the past. It is not unheard of for clients to demand a particular house or writing style they have used in the past even though it may not be the most accurate or correct translation.

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TranslateFX develops AI translation technology specifically for financial and legal institutions. The company develops AI models and workflow tools for clients of all sizes. We believe humans always play and important part of the process and our tools reduce the time and costs of translation by 60% or more.

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