Work From Home as a Translator

Oct 31, 2023

Work From Home as a Translator

According to “Freelancing in America,” freelancers made up 35% of the U.S. workforce in 2019. That is roughly 57 million people, including thousands of remote translators who value independence and self-management.

Language services are highly valued in today’s job market. Translators and interpreters provide employers with the means to communicate in different languages—without losing the desired meaning or effect of the original message.

The job of an interpreter is to translate oral and/or sign languages. Meanwhile, translators act as transcribers, converting information written in one language into another. 

Since their work is text-based, translation is the perfect job for bilinguals looking to work at home. 

In this article, we’ll be going over some pros and cons of working from home, and how to get started as a remote translator. 



What Does a Translator Do?

Translation services are utilized by businesses and organizations all around the world. From publishing to healthcare, a translator’s job is to translate information accurately and effectively. To do so, translators need to be fluent in the languages they’re working with, proficient in reading and writing, and understand the cultural differences of native and foreign readers.

Some translation jobs prefer (and sometimes require) a bachelor’s degree in translation or linguists, but most positions will also accept a combination of experience, proof of certifications, and expertise.

As translators fulfill several functions, your assignments and daily tasks differ depending on the industry you work in. Here’s what you can expect: 


As a translator, your assignments and schedule will vary. You may have a heavy workload one week, and a lighter one next week. As you will primarily work with text sources, expect to communicate electronically with employers and clients. 

Some typical translation assignments include but are not limited to:

  • Document or webpage translation
  • Audio and video transcription
  • Proofreading and editing
  • Validation of other translations

As a translator, you may also do specialized work. This usually requires foreknowledge in a specific or relevant field. For example, to work as a hospital translator, you will need training and certification to handle and communicate complex medical information. 

Fortunately, this doesn’t require a university degree. 

If you’re interested in helping others and giving back to your community, we offer the exclusive opportunity to do just that through our diploma program! By studying remotely, you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to work from home as a translator while building your resume. 

Not only will you gain relevant experience, but upon completion of our course, you’ll also have the chance to land your first home job through our network of clients!

Industries That Need Translators

As a professional translator, you may work for or be commissioned by private companies, non-profits, and government organizations, depending on your specialization and experience. 

Some translation jobs include:

  • Language localization - Localization adapts a foreign business’s products to appeal to local consumers. For example, if a Chinese company wants to market to Korean consumers, they may hire translators to understand and appeal to Korean sensibilities. 
  • Literary translation - This is the adaptation of novels, short stories, and other works of literature into another language. The job of a literary translator is to capture and translate the tone and meaning of the source material for foreign audiences to read and enjoy.
  • Government-issued translation - Federal and state institutions hire translators to translate important information into foreign languages.
  • Legal translation - Legal documents are often long and complicated, making them difficult for non-native speakers to read. The job of a legal translator is to ensure the translated content is both accurate and comprehensible.
  • Medical translation - Health literacy is an even bigger issue when a patient doesn’t understand what is being said or written. It’s the duty of medical translators to translate vital information, such as complex medical terminology, for both doctors and patients to read.

Common translator Tasks

Your day-to-day tasks as a full-time or part-time remote translator are dependent on your client or employer’s expectations as well as your larger assignments. As a translator, you may:

  • Translate simple or complex information
  • Provide, proofread, or validate professional translations for clientele
  • Work on-demand with clients from all over the world
  • Communicate via email or web video
  • Transcribe audio or video into text
  • Work with various forms of media such as new articles, novels, web pages, and essays



Pros and Cons of Translator Jobs from Home

In 2019, 21% of interpreters and translators worked independently. As a text-based service, freelance translators have control over their availability. Some work full-time hours, while others work part-time. For many, this is a promising option. However, as with any remote job, there are downsides too. Here’s a list of pros and cons of working from home as a translator:


  • Pro - Flexible Work Schedule 

The main attraction of working at home is the freedom to manage your own schedule. This is great if you have children, study part-time, or have health problems that otherwise limit your employment options. Along as you stay on task, communicate with clients, and meet deadlines, you’re free to do as you wish with your time.

  • Pro - Strong Job Outlook/Expansion Opportunities

Translation and interpretation services are part of a fast-growing market. Over the coming decade, we’ll see an estimated 20% employment growth in translation and interpretation services. Thanks to increasing globalization and improvements in technology, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to advance your career.

  • Pro - Power to Choose Jobs and Clients

By working remotely, you have the power to choose what kind of assignments you take on. A majority of translations are paid per-word. This means, if you work remotely, you can set a standard based on your availability, expertise, and work experience. You can also select jobs and clients that will benefit your resume and develop your translation skills. 


  • Con - Income Can Fluctuate 

One drawback of remote work is the inconsistency. Unless you are employed full-time by a translation company, there is no assurance of steady income. To add, it takes time and hard work to build a translation portfolio that brings clients to you. During the beginning months (and possibly years), you’ll spend a lot of time browsing job boards. 

  • Con - Competitive Market

Another factor to consider is language combinations. Translations for more broadly spoken languages such as English, French, Spanish, Japanese, or Arabic will be in higher demand than less-spoken languages. Plus, those jobs will be picked up quickly. On the flip side, unique language combinations will give you an edge. Though opportunity will be limited, you’ll have less competition to contend with. 

  • Con - Stressful Deadlines

In addition to the possibly never-ending job search, translations are often needed at short notice. Though you choose when to apply for work, be mindful of due dates. Deadlines can be tight and stressful.


Find Translator Jobs 

With more and more people freelancing, you can easily find and advertise your translation services on dedicated job boards. Here are some options to consider before starting your career as a remote translator:

  • Acclaro - A translation agency seeking translators and editors with three or more years of experience. Their selection of jobs is focused on both broad and technical fields. They also ask for additional skills and expertise.
  • Certified Languages International - To qualify for this agency, you must live in the U.S., speak English fluently, and have a dedicated landline. They also prioritize certified translators and interpreters.
  • Gengo - Gengo offers a variety of small-scale translation jobs. They assign three different standards of pricing based on your (tested) translation skills. Payouts are done bi-monthly via PayPal. 
  • LanguageLine - Translators and interpreters based in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Columbia, Puerto Rico, or the United Kingdom can apply here. LanguageLine offers general, specialized, full-time, and part-time opportunities. 
  • Language Services Associates - This company hires remote translators and interpreters across various fields. Their services include sign language interpretation, telephone interpretation, and localization. 

Prepare for a Translator Job with MiTio

For talented linguists, a career in translation is a unique opportunity. With the right qualifications and training, you can thrive and work from home. But as with any major life choice, be sure to weigh your options first. 

Working remotely as a translator means you’ll have control over your schedule and choice of clientele, but you’ll likely juggle tight deadlines and fluctuating income. 

Thankfully, you can plan ahead. With MiTio, you can learn everything you need to know about working remotely as a specialized medical translator.

Whether you’re a beginner or already familiar with healthcare, it’s time to take the next step and get accredited through our diploma program

We offer versatile prices to best suit your needs and level of experience, as well as the chance to start working remotely after completing our course and getting certified! For our budding interpreters, we also offer interpretation training and certification

Learn how to get started as a medical interpreter HERE

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