You'd like to work from home translating documents and gain more freedom and flexibility. I get it. I work from home, and I know how it feels to want (and have) that independence you're looking for. Translating documents is a great way to do it.
It's still competitive though, as all online jobs are, but compared to other online jobs like freelance writing or data entry, for example, translation is a rare skill. If you can do it, then you can definitely work from home translating documents.
To start you'll need to know at least two languages, of course – preferably English and one other. The language (or languages) you speak, will determine how competitive and in-demand your skills are.
Below are agencies and freelancing sites that will get you started. They can help you find both freelance translation jobs and interpreter jobs.
Since translation and interpretation are sometimes used interchangeably, I’m including both in this article. They are, however, quite different…
Translation jobs usually require document translation, while interpreting involves oral communication. If you're an introvert and typically avoid face-to-face situations, translating documents is probably a better choice. Being multi-lingual though, you have the option of exploring both.
As a full-time freelancer myself, I will also talk about starting your own translation business.
Work from Home Translator Jobs
Below are seventeen translation-specific job sites, followed by several others ways you can find translator jobs. These are all websites and agencies you can apply to. They’re not listed in any particular order.
Gengo is a professional translation agency that could be a good source of translator jobs. Since you will be joining them as a freelancer/independent contractor, you can enjoy flexible working hours and work in the comfort of your own home.
If you get accepted at Gengo, you can pick projects from their list of available jobs each day.
Of course, they do not guarantee that work will always be available because other freelancers/translators are also working on their platform. I would suggest being quick responding to job postings.
To apply to Gengo so you can work from home translating documents, create an account on their site. You'll need an email and password to start the application process.
As for Gengo's pay rates, it will depend on your language expertise, customer demand, and job availability. They have a built-in calculator on their site and I tried some random translation jobs to get an idea as to how their pay rate calculations work.
Below are some examples (these are monthly averages).
- English to Spanish (Latin America) – $393
- English to Japanese – $543
- English to French – $561
2. LanguageLine Solutions
LanguageLine Solutions is a company that offers translation and interpretation services to its clients. They usually have openings for US and UK positions. Some of their translation jobs can be done remotely, which is why they’re worth checking out.
Like the other work-from-home sites listed here, you can apply to the available jobs through their site. You’ll be considered for employment if you're qualified for their open positions.
I couldn't find specific rates to determine how much they pay their translators, but your pay rate will likely depend on the project you’re working on.
3. Interpreter & Translators, Inc.
Interpreter and Translators, Inc. is specifically offering work from home opportunities for translators and interpreters. If you’re interested in joining this company, please consider some of their minimum requirements:
- Fluency in the English language
- At least 2 years’ experience in translating documents
- Native speaker of your target language
- Basic computer knowledge (especially MS Office)
To apply, just send your resume/CV through their site.
Pay rates will depend on your expertise and the specific project. Their pay schedule is twice per month according to various sources online.
If you’re looking for a global company you can apply to and work from home translating documents, Andovar is a good option. They have a global reach and offer multilingual services to businesses and clients all over the world. They also accept applicants worldwide.
The translation jobs that can be found in their system include the following categories:
- Human resources
- Customer service
- Game development
To apply for translation jobs, go to their careers page to see their open positions. You will also find the job details there and whether they’re looking for part-time or full-time translators.
By clicking on their Apply button, you will be taken to a page with details and requirements about the particular job you’re interested in. Their application form needs to be filled out with some of your basic information such as name, email, experience, skills, languages, etc.
Some jobs may also require that you take a test.
5. Language Services Associates
Here’s another agency that offers work from home opportunities for linguists. Language Services Associates‘ main services include interpreting sign language, face-to-face (verbal) interpretation, telephonic interpretation, and more.
They require high levels of education from their applicants, however, and those with post-graduate degrees have an advantage when getting accepted. Of course, experience and credentials are also considered, especially if you’re going to apply for their medical and legal projects.
To apply at Language Services Associates, choose a job from their linguists page. From there you'll find the job descriptions with an overview of qualifications, responsibilities, and technical requirements. If you think you’re a good fit for the job, there is an “Apply for This Job” button. Follow the onscreen instructions.
According to the Language and Services site, the perks of working for them include working from home, having a flexible schedule, and receiving competitive pay.
6. Language Scientific
As its name suggests, Language Scientific specializes in life science translation and localization services. Their career opportunities include medical and technical translators and project managers.
Requirements vary and will depend on your position, but if you’re going to work from home translating documents, you can expect the following as a minimum:
- You must have experience in translation
- You must be bilingual
- You must be organized
- You must have basic computer skills
To apply to Language Scientific, send your resume and cover letter to the company through their site for consideration. They specifically state they do not accept applications from recruitment agencies – but if you’re an individual/freelancer, you can go ahead and apply.
Pay is competitive with industry standards.
Rev is a translation site, and another great option to work from home translating documents.
To join Rev, fill out the application form on their site. Some of the information required includes:
- PayPal email (for payment purposes)
- Native tongue
Please note that they specifically request applicants to refrain from calling their office/contact numbers because their operators are not involved in their hiring processes. If you’re keen on applying to Rev, just fill out their application and send your resume/CV through their site.
From various Rev reviews and workers, Rev’s pay rate for translating documents is between $0.05 to $0.07 per word, and they pay weekly via PayPal.
8. Multilingual Connections
Multilingual Connections is a company that offers translation, transcription, multimedia subtitling, voiceover, dubbing services, and more. Their clients cater to global audiences – and Multilingual Connections, with the use of freelancers, helps them break through language barriers.
As a translator/freelancer working on Multilingual Connections, you can work from home translating documents and get paid per project. You can work your own schedule – but you do need to meet their deadlines (they are very strict regarding this).
Here are some of the minimum requirements for their translator jobs:
- Relevant education
They have an online application form you can fill out if you’re interested in applying. They also give brief transcription tests for some of the languages included on their platform (so be prepared for that).
More than just a translation company, Transperfect offers interpretation services as well. Their workforce also includes in-house project managers and sales professionals.
To join Transperfect, you can register on their site or contact them there.
They’ll consider you for the position if you’re an expert in your chosen field. If accepted you will have the freedom to choose which projects you want to work on. However, while they do say they have a steady flow of work, you might want to quickly grab available job opportunities as soon as they come.
Transperfect has a training database built into their system, so you will also have access to valuable resources if you get accepted as a translator or interpreter.
From my research, Transperfect apparently pays as much as $30 per hour, and to be honest, that surprised me. They are definitely worth looking into.
10. Transparent Language
Below are some of their basic requirements…
- Experience as a translator (1 to 2 years)
- Attention to detail
- Basic computer skills (especially MS Office)
- Native (or near-native) speaker for the target language you’re applying for
If you get accepted to Transparent Language, your translation will be based on their templates and software apps.
I wasn’t able to find the pay rates on their site – but according to some of the reviews I found, they pay as much as $20 per hour.
Ubiqus is a translation, transcription, and interpretation site that specializes in many sectors including finance, medical and legal. They also offer web localization services for businesses who must make their sites accessible in the countries they are targeting (which includes adapting sites to the local language and culture).
To apply, head over to their employment page and choose from the available countries (currently the US and Canada) right corner. You will be taken to an application form that requires basic information such as your name, address, etc., as well as education and relevant experience.
According to their site, Ubiqus defines pay and responsibilities through direct, ongoing and individual discussion. In other words, your pay will depend on your experience and qualifications.
If you want to work from home translating documents, applying at WorldLingo might interest you (note: for some reason I had difficulty accessing their site using MS Edge, but it worked fine on Google Chrome).
They have freelance translation jobs in 2 categories – Translator Generalist and Translator Specialist.
I must say though, their website is old and hasn't been updated (as you can see from the screenshot above). That doesn't mean there are issues working with them and they are worth looking into, but I always recommend caution when it comes to web-centric companies who neglect their online presence.
At any rate, you can check them out.
Here are some of the requirements they specify for Translators and Proofreaders:
- 5 years’ experience in translation (must be in the commercial environment)
- Member of professional translation association (in your country)
- University degree (from a reputable institution)
And here are some of the requirements for Translator Specialist jobs:
- All the requirements for Translator Generalist jobs
- University degree (for your specialty)
- At least 2 years’ experience (in your area of specialty)
Smartling provides translation, interpretation, and transcription services to its clients. And they hire freelancers that specialize in those services.
To become a translator for Smartling, you can sign up to their site and tell them about yourself. Their relatively quick application form will open in Google docs and ask for your basics like name, email, and what your primary language is.
Smartlink is also the parent company to Verbalizeit, which it acquired to provide professional translation services for video, audio, and multimedia content.
According to various reviews, payments are made on the 15th and 30th of the month via PayPal.
You can check out WeLocalize and apply to various work-from-home jobs, including translating documents. They also offer interpretation jobs.
Here are some of the industries that you can expect to work on when you take on some of their projects:
- Customer service
What Welocalize does is match freelance translators with targeted industries according to their expertise. This will ensure high-quality results that will please their clients.
Click on the Apply button to see the full job description and if you’re interested (and think you’re qualified), hit the “Apply for This Job” button.
According to some of the reviews I found on the internet, Welocalize’s pay rates depend on your specialty. And since your overall earnings will also depend on the availability of work, it’s hard to tell exactly how much you can earn from Welocalize. It seems, however, that the average earnings are anywhere from $20 to $40 per hour.
15. Argos Multilingual
As a translation agency Argos Multilingual, hires freelance translators with expertise in the following fields:
- Customer service
If you get accepted to their company, they’ll provide you with free training online to further hone your translation skills.
To apply to Argos Multilingual, register on their site and fill out the information sheet detailing your translation experience. You should also include your resume/CV.
The pay on Argos Multilingual can vary depending on your skills and language expertise. However, having brief communication with some translators, their pay is apparently competitive. They are certainly worth considering for work from home translation jobs.
RWS is another translation site that provides freelance translation opportunities. Here are some of the popular industries included in their platform:
- Life sciences
- Financial services
RWS is the parent to SDL, which seems to be the freelance arm of their organization.
To apply, fill out the form on their site (provided by SDL). They’ll require your name, email, mother tongue/target language, and experience.
Based on what I’ve seen in reviews on the internet, SDL pays their translators anywhere from $30 to $50 per hour. But of course, they don't guarantee there will always be work available.
CAPITA is a global company that offers translation and interpretation services. They always have freelance positions available (that doesn't mean there are always projects available) and are another great site worth considering.
Most of their projects/materials cover the business and healthcare industries – so if you’re interested in those, you might be a good fit for this company.
CAPITA’s requirements call for at least 3 years of experience in translation. It’s either that or you must have professionally translated at least 100,000 words in your career as a translator.
To apply as a translator on CAPITA, just register on their site. Their online application form will ask for your name, email, nationality, languages, experiences, and specialties. And if you’re considered for the job, they’ll email you.
Below are more ways to find document translating jobs you can do from home…
Freelance Translation Jobs
For this section, I’m going to share a few freelancing platforms where you can also find translation jobs.
As one of the most popular freelance marketplaces today, Upwork has become a favorite among freelancers. Aside from translating and interpreting, you will also find other types of gigs on their site (writing, transcribing, video editing, and much more).
To start using Upwork, you need to register to their site first. To do this, go to their site and open an account (it’s free). Just keep in mind that you have to wait for their approval before you can start applying for jobs.
Upwork uses a bidding system when applying for jobs. You also need to use “connects” when you send applications.
It takes around 2 to 6 connects per application (depending on the size of the project), but they’ll give you 60 free per month. Just use them wisely and you’ll be fine. They employed the connects system to regulate job applications on their site (which seem to overwhelm employers).
Your pay on Upwork will depend on the agreed rate (between you and your client).
What's important to know right is that they’ll charge 20% fees on your first $500 worth of earnings. For earnings between $500 and $10,000, they charge 10%.
When your earnings exceed $10,000, they only charge 5%. Please note that those fees apply per client. They pay via PayPal.
Flexjobs is another freelance marketplace that is similar to Upwork. You’ll find many job posts on their site – not only translation and interpretation but a multitude of freelancing jobs that may interest you.
What makes Flexjobs different from other freelancing sites is that they’re not free. They have three pricing packages currently…
- Monthly – $14.95
- Quarterly – $29.95
- Yearly – $49.95
I know, you'd rather not pay to join a job board, but the reason I’m including Flexjobs as a place to find translation jobs is that it’s different than most. One reason they have a signup fee is that it's one of the few freelance marketplaces where job opportunities have been vetted. Their posts are legit – so you’re paying for quality and peace of mind.
You can save money with their yearly plan which will only cost you around $4 per month, and they provide a 30-day money-back guarantee.
I always recommend Fiverr as a source for finding legit jobs because I have experience working on their platform. When you join (which is free), you can provide your translation services to anyone, anywhere on the planet. In fact, you can provide many different services with only one account.
The way Fiverr works once worked was with freelancers charging $5 for their services. That has changed however and you can now charge more. And you can offer different levels of services.
Fiverr pays through PayPal but charges 20% fees per withdrawal. I know, no one wants to pay to use these platforms, but they provide an important service for us freelancers connecting us to clients we wouldn't otherwise have access to.
Find Document Translating Gigs On Job Boards
Below are a few legit job boards that you can use to try to find translation jobs. These types of sites pick up job posts from the web and are another good option for finding freelancing jobs.
21. Research Square
When you go to the Research Square job board, you can search for translation jobs and apply to those that you’re qualified for.
Actually, you can use this job board to find all types of work from home jobs, not just translation.
You've almost certainly heard of Indeed. In fact, you've probably applied for jobs through Indeed before. You can search by salary (if you have a particular salary range in mind), job type (part-time or full-time), location, and company.
If you want, you can also upload your resume on Indeed. By doing this, employers who are looking for freelancer translators can find you.
With Glassdoor, you can find translation jobs and other types of freelancing jobs all in one place.
To get the full potential of Glassdoor, you might want to register on their site (it’s free). This will allow you to access reviews and salaries of some of their job posts to give you an idea if they’re worth considering.
24. Start a Translation Business from Home
Once you gain experience working for others, you may want to start your own translation business and work from home.
Here's the thing…
As you've gone through the lists of job sites and platforms above, it would have occurred to you that landing a translation job can be competitive. There are a lot of translators looking for work.
That means you have a large pool of potential employees you can hire if you start your own translation business.
Of course, you can find your own clients and do those translation jobs yourself, but you can also leverage arbitrage; you can sell translation jobs to clients for a certain price, and hire freelance translators at a lower price to do the job. Your profit is the difference.
And you don't have to be greedy about it. You're still providing a service and offering work to freelancers who need it.
Where do you find clients? Well, your clients will generally come from the many translation jobs you've done using various platforms. In some cases, you are not allowed to deal with your clients directly, but in some instances on job boards, for example, you will have the opportunity to develop relationships with them.
If you treat your clients well and your projects are delivered fast and accurately, they will likely provide you with reviews and referrals.
You can also set up your website as a portal, and promote your services on social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
Starting your translation business from home is the most profitable way of making money from translation, and you can leverage your time by hiring others. It's also the most difficult way to get started. If you're new to working online, your best bet is to start with the various platforms listed above.
What I Like About Freelance Translation Jobs
- Many translation jobs pay well when compared to other work-from-home jobs.
- You are helping people from different countries communicate with each other.
- They are good for a variety of personality types. If you're outgoing and enjoy speaking, an interpreter gig might be your thing. If you prefer a little more solitude, you can work from home translating documents.
What I Don't Like
- Work is not guaranteed
- It can be competitive.
- Services like Google Translate and other artificial intelligence systems are getting smarter and will eventually eliminate the need for human translators. (At the moment though, humans are still required to make sure documents for organizations, especially in fields like healthcare and legal, are accurate and understandable).
Translation Jobs: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can a translator work from home?
A: Yes, as you can see in the lists above, there are many avenues for finding work-at-home translation jobs. In fact, some companies hire translators as employees but let them work from home. As a freelancer, though, you have the freedom to work from home translating documents and you can set your own time and pace as well.
Q: How do I become a freelance translator?
A: As a freelance translator, you are required to be fluent in at least 2 languages (one of which is English). Depending on the company/agency you’re applying to, they may require you to have some form of experience. Some companies also require certain educational attainments. In either case, you could start with the skills you already have and learn as you go (some translation sites also provide free training).
Q: How can I make money online translating?
A: There are lots of ways to make money online. But if you want to concentrate on translating documents, you can apply to any of the sites/sources I mentioned above.
Q: How much money can you make as a translator?
A: Translation jobs are quite difficult and require certain skills and knowledge. Therefore, it's not a low-paying job in general. You can probably earn $5 to $10 an hour as a beginner, but I’ve seen reports of experienced translators making around $50 per hour. To be fair, these results vary widely and on the high end, are anecdotal. Companies are posting job ads in the $40 per hour range are uncommon. Starting your own translation business has the most income potential.