How Much Do German Translators Make?

Certified Translation

The world is becoming ever more connected, and as it does, the need for trained language experts is growing ever more critical. Those with superb language skills are quickly finding that their expertise is becoming increasingly in demand, and more are taking up a second (or third) language to augment their income. But which language is best for working translators?

 

Many are often surprised to learn that Germany's mother language is one of the top languages in terms of earning potential. But why is that? In this article, we will take a look at the German language, its role on the world stage, and how much German translators can expect to make these days.

 

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How Much Does a German Language Translator Make

 

First things first, let's get right to it and answer the question you came here for. The U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics put the median pay for 2019* at roughly $50,000 per year or $25 per hour. For specifically German, the exact numbers can be a bit hard to pin down.

 

A relatively new German-language translator in the United States is looking at around $22/hr, and you can expect $40+/hr for moderately experienced or specialist translators. A professional translator certified by the American Translators Association can make even more than that and may be able to get around $70/hr.

 

A yearly salary of $50,000 to $60,000 is very obtainable, putting German well in the upper brackets for a foreign language translator. With years of experience and the ability to offer certified translation services, these numbers can increase by quite a bit.

 

It's a Combination of Job Openings and Pay Potential

 

German translators are often ranked at the top of yearly earnings amongst their peers of other languages, but this isn't necessarily because a German translation is paid more per word or page. The reason that German translators rank so high is a combination of fair pay and a relatively large amount of job availability. You both get paid well for your work, and you can obtain larger amounts of work once you have established yourself.

 

Language combinations are also a big reason for this pay jump. While the ability to translate Spanish to German, or perhaps German to English, are a relatively common language pairings with a decent amount of competition, language combinations like German and Mandarin have much less competition, and skilled experts in these combinations are highly sought after.

 

Most start with German to English translation jobs online to get an idea of what the role requires, but many language combinations are viable when paired with German.

 

*Why we use 2019 data: the tumultuous events of 2020 have affected the world economy in a number of ways. As of right now, numbers from 2019 will offer us a more balanced look at translator earnings and perhaps give us a better idea of where German translation earnings will be in the near future as the world recovery continues and we return to a more typical state.

 

The German Language On The World Stage

 

So we know translating German can pay well, and is a skill set that is in demand, but why? If Germany is such a relatively small country, how can the language be so important? How can a German translator salary be so high?

 

The first thing to consider is that many people outside of Germany speak German. The German language has an estimated 95 million native speakers and over 130 million speakers worldwide. German is the official language of five European Union countries.  Austria, Belgium, Liechtenstein, and Luxembourg all also have German as their official language (Switzerland has multiple official languages, one of which is German). There is estimated to be another 8 million German speakers spread out around another 42 countries who have a German-speaking minority group.

Germany itself is actually also the largest country in terms of population in Europe (not counting Russia).

 

Adding on to these surprisingly large numbers, Germany is also an economic powerhouse in Europe.
Germany is the largest economy in Europe with a GDP of over 2.4 trillion Euros, the fifth richest country in the world, has an incredibly stable economy,  and is a principal trading partner of Great Britain. it is also located right in the heart of Europe. It is estimated that simply having the ability to speak German could come with an average wage increase of about 4% on the continent.

 

Germans are regular leaders in the fields of science, industry, and more and are one of the West’s biggest exporters of goods. German automobiles are considered some of the best in the world and German craftsmanship is appreciated worldwide for its reliability.

 

In the end, what all this means is that the German language is a significant player in both European and international business. This importance means that German translators are regularly in high demand.

 

German Buying Habits Also Make it Important

 

Something worth noting is the need for German translators when trying to enter the German market. Typically in many European countries, the widespread use of English means that English-only businesses can generally do pretty well. This is less true in Germany. German people have been shown to be much less willing to buy items from international brands that don't adopt their native tongue. In fact, Germans are amongst the most discriminatory in the world regarding non-German speaking brands. Under 60% of Germans said they would buy from a brand that didn't translate German messaging.

 

German Translators Have a Bright Future

 

From engineering to design and art, German is a significant business and cultural player on the world stage. Being able to bridge these people with the rest of the world can be a very profitable endeavor.

 

If you have excellent German skills, then translation work can make for a very bright future! More businesses than ever are coming to The Spanish Group saying “I need a German translator” and German speaking translator jobs are regularly being offered.

 

 

For those needing translation services, The Spanish Group is a highly recommended and internationally recognized and certified service specializing in getting you exactly what you need. From translation to notarization to apostilles. Start today!