The Ultimate Guide on Where to Find Translation Jobs Online
You guessed it by now: we refuse to open this article with anything not preceded by the word “online.”
Because if you are going to get a translation job, you are going to do it right. By working online. Ideally, in the vicinity of a beach or, at least, a pool.
Hence, here’s our comprehensive guide on where to find translation jobs online.
We'll explore the top online platforms that provide the best opportunities for freelance translators.
You'll learn how to find gigs with language service providers, agencies, and freelance translator sites.
Pro tip: Read the Centus blog to stay abreast of the translation industry and get ahead in your career.
Here’s what we’ll look at:
If you're looking for more than just translating content and want to be part of the process that helps businesses reach global audiences, Language Service Providers (LSPs) are worth considering.
LSPs do more than just translate – they localize content. This means adapting a product or service to a specific market, including modifying design, formatting, and using local idioms. Jobs at LSPs often offer stability and benefits, making them a good option for many translators.
Let's look at some of the top LSPs where you could find promising translation jobs.
OneSky’s focus on software, apps, websites, and game localization, makes it a unique employer in the language service providers industry. If you have a keen interest in technology and gaming coupled with a knack for languages, OneSky offers an opportunity to blend these passions into your career.
OneSky works closely with businesses to adapt their digital products for global markets, providing an exciting platform for linguists who also love tech. Its translators need to have a comprehensive understanding of cultural nuances, in addition to strong translation skills.
What people say about OneSky
The team culture and growth opportunities at OneSky have earned it a 4.6 out of 5 on Glassdoor. A reviewer has shared, "I always get everything I need to do my translations [...] And if I still have questions, they get back to me real quick."
The application and interview stages are rated average on the difficulty scale. However, if you require supervision or a well-defined structure in your workplace, you might not find this at OneSky.
Estimated salary range for translators: $50,000 - $83,000 a year.
RWS is a global company delivering language and content management solutions for business patents and intellectual property. Its clientele spans the healthcare, finance, and technology sectors, providing an interesting mix of projects for its translators.
If you're a linguist with a thirst for diversity in your work, RWS could be an ideal fit. Strong translation skills are a must, and a readiness to immerse yourself in a wide array of topics is also important.
What people say about RWS
RWS earns a score of 3.7 out of 5 on Glassdoor, with work-life balance and paid vacation perks receiving frequent praise among employees. Cons include a long interview process, unclear objectives, and unstable workloads.
Estimated salary range for translators: $55,000 - $87,000 a year.
With a reputation for delivering fast and accurate translations across diverse industries, Tomedes is an ideal choice for translators who value efficiency without compromising on quality. Working at Tomedes involves a fast-paced environment and a diverse selection of translation projects.
Here, speed is just as important as quality, and translators are expected to consistently meet these high standards.
What people say about Tomedes
Tomedes has a Glassdoor rating of 3.8. Employees commend the company’s structure and its effective approach to communication. Freelancers also agree that Tomedes helps them develop new skills. However, the workload is intense and fast-paced.
Estimated salary range for translators: $42,000 - $70,000 a year.
When it comes to focused language services like translation, transcription, and editing, translation agencies are the go-to platforms. These firms offer professionals the opportunity to work in an environment dedicated to the nuances of language, enhancing their skills, and contributing to various industries.
Let's explore a few notable agencies that offer exciting opportunities for language professionals.
Rev is a reputable online platform for translators that focuses on offering translation, transcription, and editing services. It provides an avenue for language experts to earn income from home at their convenience. The company's extensive range of translation services allows freelancers to select the type of work that fits their expertise and schedule, making it an appealing option for many language professionals.
What people say about Rev
Rev is commended for its flexible work environment, as highlighted in many reviews on Glassdoor. Freelancers have praised the convenience of working from home and the flexible hours offered. Others have complimented the good software that makes work easier. The interview process is also easy and straightforward.
However, with an overall 3.7 score, there are still many cons. Some reviewers have raised concerns about the pay rate, indicating that it may not be commensurate with the complexity of certain projects. Others have mentioned that the amount of work available can be inconsistent.
Estimated salary range for translators/editors: Around $0.30 to $1.10 per audio/video minute. Glassdoor salaries range from $35,000 - $65,000 a year.
Gengo is a web-based, human translation platform headquartered in Tokyo. The platform is designed to serve businesses and translators alike. Companies can use the platform to have their materials translated into multiple languages by professional translators, while translators can use Gengo to find work in their language pair.
Gengo operates as a kind of translation agency, maintaining a network of pretested and approved online translators in various translation pairs. When a client submits a translation job, Gengo's system automatically assigns it to one or more of its networked translators based on the job's language pair and other factors.
Gengo prides itself on high-quality work and a pool of professional translators. The agency maintains high translation quality by having translators pass several tests to showcase their proficiency in specific pairs and their understanding of translation best practices.
What people say about Gengo
Gengo has a 3.8 rating on Glassdoor. Although individual experiences may vary, many Gengo translators appreciate the platform's flexible work model. They value the multitude of freelance positions and the opportunity to improve their translation skills. However, some mention inconsistent workflow and uncompetitive pay rates.
Estimated salary range for translators: Gengo's pay rates vary based on the complexity of the project and target language. On average, translators can expect to earn around $40,000 to $69,000 annually.
TextMaster is a dynamic online translation platform that offers not just translation but also web content writing and proofreading services. It stands out for its unique approach to translations, emphasizing quality and efficiency.
What people say about TextMaster
TextMaster is rated 4.6 on Glassdoor. Reviews suggest a generally positive work environment, with team spirit and openness as key positives. Employees appreciate the option to work from home too.
However, the remuneration appears to be a bone of contention, with some reviewers reporting that the salary is non-negotiable and low considering the amount of work. Reviewers also mentioned that some team managers lack the necessary management experience.
Estimated salary range for translators: Specific salary information is not available. However, Salary.com puts the compensation range for a Translator at Textmaster between $47,902 and $62,639, with an average salary of $54,806.
Scribendi stands tall as an internet-based language company that has carved a niche for itself in document revision services. For over 20 years, it has been a beacon of quality in the editing and proofreading industry. Catering to diverse sectors such as business, academia, and publishing, Scribendi offers translators and editors an opportunity to translate documents on a wide range of topics.
To thrive at Scribendi, you'll need a keen eye for details and an aptitude for editing and proofreading translated documents that have strong translation issues.
What people say about Scribendi
Scribendi maintains a 3.2 rating on Glassdoor. A major plus is the flexibility to decide when and where to work.
However, several reviewers mentioned that the work can be challenging, especially when dealing with documents written by non-native English speakers. This implies a need for patience, skill, and a good understanding of English grammar and usage. One reviewer also mentioned the expectation of editing 1000 words per hour, which might be tough when dealing with documents written by non-native English speakers.
Estimated salary range for translators/editors: Around $15 per hour, but it varies based on the task complexity.
Estimated salary range for full-time translators: $42,000 - $65,000 per year depending on the amount of work.
In contrast to Language Service Providers and Translation Agencies, freelance translation sites offer a more flexible job environment. These platforms are vibrant communities where a professional translator can find projects that match their skill set and schedule.
Freelancers can choose from a wide array of jobs posted by clients worldwide, making these platforms a fantastic choice for those seeking variety and flexibility. Here, we will take a closer look at six of the most popular freelance translator sites.
ProZ.com is one of the largest online communities dedicated exclusively to the translation industry. With over 1 million registered users, the platform provides access to a vast array of job postings. Freelancers can browse job offers from worldwide clients who post projects directly to the site. Additionally, ProZ.com offers resources for translators, such as forums, articles, and professional development courses.
Freelancers have to bid on open projects; they are not automatically assigned.
Pro: With a 91% recommendation rating on Glassdoor, users appreciate ProZ.com for its large network of clients and professionals.
Cons: Some users point out that competition can be high due to the platform's popularity. There’s also no automation or minimum quote price.
Estimated pay: It varies by job and language pair, but the platform allows you to negotiate rates directly with the client.
Service fee: ProZ.com operates on a subscription model. Free members can bid on jobs but face more restrictions than paying members, who pay $110 annually for standard access, and $170 for Plus.
Smartcat is a versatile platform offering both a translation environment and a marketplace where freelancers can find work. It caters to a variety of language professionals, including translators, editors, and proofreaders. Freelancers can leverage the platform's cutting-edge translation tools and engage with a supportive community.
Once your profile is approved, you can start bidding on projects. Smartcat allows freelancers to either pitch for open projects or wait for clients to contact them.
Pro: Smartcat offers useful translation tools and a supportive community.
Cons: Job availability can be inconsistent. Some orders are scams.
Estimated pay: Rates are negotiated directly with the client.
Fee: None. Smartcat makes its earnings from the client's payment.
TranslatorsCafe is an online community of language professionals that offers a meeting ground for translators, interpreters, and agencies. In addition to job postings, the site also provides useful resources like forums, online tools, and articles for those in the translation services industry.
Once you finish the application process, you're free to browse and bid on many jobs. There's also the option to receive email notifications about new job postings that match your expertise.
Pro: Reviews point to the site as a reliable source for freelance work.
Cons: Competition can be high, and pay is usually low. It's often recommended for newbies looking to gain experience.
Estimated pay: Varies per project, negotiated directly with the client.
Fee: None. TranslatorsCafe earns money from advertisements.
Source: Translator Base
Translators Base is a comprehensive platform designed to help translators find work and grow their freelance businesses. It offers a large database of translation job postings, alongside tools to help translators manage their workflow and promote their translation services.
On Translators Base, freelancers can actively search for and bid on projects or have clients contact them directly.
Pros: You can easily find freelance translation jobs on Translators Base. Recommended rates are visible.
Con: Competitive nature of the site.
Estimated pay: Varies per project, negotiated directly with the client. However, the website shows the recommended rates for various language pairs here.
Fee: A membership fee is required to access job postings and submit quotes.
Source: Translation Directory
Translation Directory connects clients with freelance translators offering translation, transcription, voiceover, and interpretation services. Beyond listing freelance translation jobs, it provides industry updates, newsletters, and alerts on scam emails. One unique feature of this popular freelance translation website is that you can see the pay rate for each job right on the professional listing, so you know how much you'll earn before you even apply.
Clients can also browse through freelancers and pick the ones they think are the best fit for their projects.
Pro: Users appreciate that they can see payment rates upfront.
Cons: Freelancers report high competition for inconsistently available freelance translation jobs. Additionally, the platform’s UI is clunky and overwhelming.
Estimated pay: Each job listing shows the pay rate.
Fee: The website doesn't list its service fees for online translation jobs. It makes money from paid membership and advertisements.
While our focus has been on translation-specific platforms, general-purpose freelance websites can also be a rich source of online translation jobs. All you have to do is set up a professional profile highlighting your translation skills and experience. The following platforms are some of the best for finding a wide array of freelance jobs, including those in translation.
Upwork, one of the largest global freelancing platforms, is home to a multitude of professionals from diverse fields, with translation being one of them. Whether you specialize in technical, literary, legal, or medical translation, Upwork is a platform that welcomes all.
It allows freelancers to create a comprehensive profile detailing their skills, experience, portfolio, and more. Freelancers can actively bid on relevant job postings. Furthermore, clients can discover freelancers via the platform's search feature and directly invite them to their projects.
High volume of freelance translation jobs
Direct communication with clients
Payment protection through the platform
Service fees can be high for smaller online translation jobs
Estimated pay: Pay rates are determined by the freelancer but are often competitive due to the global nature of the platform.
Fee: As a freelancer on Upwork, you pay a flat 10% fee on all earnings. This applies to all contracts with clients, regardless of the contract type (hourly, fixed-price, or a Project Catalog project). For instance, if you earn $500 on translation projects, your fee would be $50, resulting in a net income of $450.
However, there are a few exceptions you can find here.
Fiverr gives freelancers, or 'sellers', the freedom to offer 'gigs', individual packages of their services, to prospective clients, or 'buyers'. For translators, this could mean offering packages based on word count, delivery time, and additional services like proofreading or localization.
Sellers can define the scope and cost of their services, allowing them to cater to a wide range of budgets and project requirements. Clients can browse through these gigs, and order the ones that suit their needs best.
Allows you to set up specific service offerings
Option to offer gig extras for additional costs
The platform can be saturated with low-cost gigs
Estimated pay: Freelancers set their prices for each gig. The minimum price for any gig is just five dollars.
Fee: Fiverr charges a 20% commission for each order.
Freelancer follows a bid-based system where freelancers compete to win projects, allowing you to pitch your services and pricing directly to potential clients. The platform also facilitates direct hiring, where clients can discover your profile and invite you to their projects. Freelancer also offers unique contest opportunities, allowing freelancers to showcase their abilities and compete for a prize.
Variety of project types, including fixed projects and contests
Global user base, which increases the chance of getting hired
Free members receive 6 bids per month, initially.
Fee on each project won
Estimated pay: Freelancers bid on projects with their proposed rate.
Service fee: Freelancer charges a fee of 10% or $5, whichever is greater, for fixed-price projects, and 10% for hourly projects.
Job boards are platforms where employers post job vacancies and potential candidates can apply directly. These sites can be a great place for translators looking for work opportunities, including freelance, part-time, or full-time positions.
Glassdoor is a job search and company review site. Aside from job listings, it also provides insights into company cultures, salaries, and interviews from employees themselves. This information can be especially useful for freelance translators who are looking to understand more about a company before they apply for a job.
Offers a vast number of job listings
Provides company reviews
Provides salary information
Provides interview experiences shared by employees
The advanced search function could be more intuitive
Not all posted jobs are current
Estimated pay: Varies greatly based on the job and company.
Service Fee: None.
Alt: Indeed US homepage
Indeed is one of the largest job boards worldwide. It aggregates job listings from thousands of websites, including company career pages and staffing firms. Translators can use the search function to find freelance, part-time, or full-time translation roles.
Comprehensive job search results
Can upload your resume for easy application
Frequent updates of job listings
A high volume of applicants
Some irrelevant job postings may still appear
Estimated pay: Varies greatly based on the job and company.
Service fee: None.
While not a traditional job board, Google Alerts can notify you when new content matching your set keywords (for instance, "freelance translator job") is posted on the internet. This could include job postings on various platforms and websites.
To set up a Google Alert:
Go to Google Alerts in your browser.
In the "Create an alert about" box, enter the words you want to get email notifications for. In this case, you might enter phrases like "freelance translator job" or "translation job opening".
Click "Show Options" to change settings like frequency of alerts, sources to monitor (like news, blogs, web, video, books, discussions, or finance), language, region, and email delivery options.
Click "Create Alert" to activate the alert.
Once your alert is set up, you'll start getting emails whenever new results for your keywords are found.
Remember that the success of Google Alerts depends on how specific your keywords are. Experiment with different keyword combinations to get the most relevant alerts.
Customizable to your job search needs
Notifies you of new listings via email
Not a dedicated job search platform
Some irrelevant and outdated results may appear
Estimated pay: Depends on the job.
Service fee: None.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site that also functions as a job board. Employers frequently post job opportunities on the platform, and translators can easily apply with their LinkedIn profiles. You can also set up LinkedIn to let recruiters know you're open to opportunities.
Wide range of job opportunities
Easy application with a LinkedIn profile
Seeing your profile views or the full list of applicants for the same job are paywalled features.
Too much competition
Estimated pay: Varies greatly based on the job and company.
Service fee: None, but some features require a Premium subscription.
Pro tip: For translators, staying updated on the latest trends in translation and localization services is essential to maintaining your edge in the industry. The Centus blog is an excellent resource for the most current information, helping you stay prepared and ahead of the competition.
To Sum up
There are a variety of platforms available for freelance translators, from translation-specific job boards and agencies to general-purpose freelance sites.
Understanding the differences between these platforms, how they work, and the potential benefits and drawbacks of each can help you make an informed decision about where to find work.
Remember that the best platform for you will depend on your individual needs and circumstances, so take the time to explore your options and find the one that fits you best. Happy job hunting!
1. How to get a translating job online?
Getting a translating job online involves several steps:
First, you need to have strong language skills in two or more languages. Many clients will want you to be a native speaker and have a bachelor’s degree in translation or a similar field, although this isn't always necessary.
Build a strong website or a profile on freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or ProZ.com showcasing your skills, experience, and any relevant qualifications.
Apply for freelance translation jobs on these platforms. Make sure your proposals are tailored to each job and showcase why you're the best candidate.
Stay consistent and patient. It may take time to land your first job but don't be discouraged. Keep applying and improving your skills.
2. Which website is best for translation jobs?
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as the best website will depend on your specific needs and skills. However, some popular translation companies include ProZ.com for professional translators, Smartcat for its supportive community and tools, and Upwork with Fiverr for their large variety of freelance translator jobs.
3. How do I find clients for translation?
Finding clients for translation can be done through a variety of methods, including:
Using a popular freelance translation website like ProZ.com, Smartcat, and Gengo where clients post jobs.
Building a profile on general-purpose freelance sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer where you can bid on translation jobs, especially if you are a native language speaker.
Networking online and offline. Joining linguistic communities and attending virtual/in-person industry events can be a great way to meet other certified translators and potential clients.
Creating your own website showcasing your skills, professional translation services, and testimonials from past clients can also help attract direct clients.
For more information, read our comprehensive guide on how to start a translation business.
4. What country pays translators the most?
The pay for translators can vary greatly depending on the country, the particular language you translate, and your level of experience. Generally, countries like the United States, Germany, and Canada are known for paying translators well.
However, many freelance translators work with clients from all over the world, so your location might not limit your earning potential. Remember that the cost of living also plays a significant role in how much you need to earn.