MMIA 2006 Compensation
Survey Summary Report
Prepared by:
Gregory Figaro, Culturesmart, Inc.
Acknowledgements
7 MMIA member-Interpreter
Reviewers
MMIA Executive Committee
Susan S. Fish, PharmD, MPH, CoDirector, MA in Clinical Investigation,
Boston University School of Medicine
MMIA members who answered the
questionnaire
The MMIA 2006 Interpreter Salary Survey
is published in accordance with federal
and state privacy and antitrust laws. It
meets all the conditions set forth by the
U.S. Department of Justice and the
Federal Trade Commission that apply to
compensation surveys.
What Methodology was Used?
Survey developed between August and
September 2006
Pilot survey tested and reviewed during
September 2006
Comments and feedback integrated into final
survey instrument
Professional researcher reviewed final survey
instrument for construct validity
What was the Process Like?
Questionnaire sent by email to MMIA
membership
Two follow-up email reminders
Survey opened on 10/3/06 and closed on
11/1/06
Not a scientific survey
Data is self-reported
Survey Content
73 Questions
One question: Screen out employers and
interpreters in administrative roles
9 Questions: Geographic location,
Demographics: race, gender, ethnicity, age,
language, length of time in U.S.
11 Questions: Education, training and work
experience
50 Questions: Wages, benefits, work settings,
employment status
Sample Question
What is the highest level of training in
interpreting you have received?
Workshop at my place of work or other
Interpreter training certificate program
Undergraduate level college interpreter
training/education program
Graduate level college interpreter
training/education
Other (please specify)
Who Participated?
1326 MMIA members with valid emails invited to participate
426 Members responded and completed online survey
30
U.S. States where MMIA respondents are located
75% of respondents located in Massachusetts
Classification of Respondents
 Of the 426 respondents, the initial question
screened out 80 employers (managers,
coordinators, directors)
 Six interpreting compensation categories
1. Staff medical interpreters
2. Freelance medical interpreters
3. Staff legal interpreters
4. Freelance legal interpreters
5. Translators
6. Telephone / Video / Remote interpreters
What questions
were on our minds?
Where are MMIA interpreters working?
What are the base salaries and salary ranges?
How does compensation compare between
different variables?
o
o
o
o
o
o
specialties
freelance vs. staff status
general educational levels
interpreter training
demographics
regions
Distribution of Respondents
by Primary Source of Work
28%
25%
1%
Freelance Medical Staff Medical
Interpreters
Interpreters
11%
Freelance Social
Service Interpreters
4%
Staff Social Service
Interpreters
Staff Legal
Interpreters
6%
Freelance Legal
12%
Freelance Translators
Interpreters
4%
Staff Translators
4%
Other
5%
Telephone / Video
Interpreters
Geographic Distribution of
Respondents
Number of Respondents
per Massachusetts Region
Western MA, incl. Springfield
area and Berkshires
17
41
Central MA / Worcester area
South of MA, incl. Cape and
Islands and Providence Area
32
40
North of MA, incl. Southern NH
166
Boston or Greater Boston
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
Languages Spoken by
Respondents
Vietnamese
3
Tigrinya
Tibetan
1
1
89
Spanish
8
Russian
Romanian
2
57
Portuguese
Polish
Kurdish
2
1
1
Korean
Khmer
Italian
3
3
Hindi
1
Greek
1
10
Haitian or French Creole
1
French
Farsi
1
1
1
English
Croatian
4
Chinese
Cape Verdean or Portuguese Creole
7
6
Cantonese
5
ASL
Armenian
Arabic
Amharic
Albanian
1
6
1
1
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Racial Distribution of Respondents
74%
White
Native Hawaiian or Other
Pacific Islander
0%
11%
Black or African American
12%
Asian
American Indian or Alaska
Native
2%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
General Findings
66%
71%
of interpreters also
89%
of interpreters report
having received 40
or more hours of
interpreter training
55%
of respondents are
Hispanic or Latino
109
Number of
Ethnicities reported
of respondents
report Portuguese or
Spanish as their
primary language
work as translators
while only 41% have
received training in
translation and 17%
are accredited
translators
of interpreters have
less than 5 years of
work experience as
an interpreter
of respondents
hold a bachelor’s,
master’s or higher
degree
43%
56%
80%
of respondents are
female
74%
of respondents
report their racial
identity as white
What is the highest level of training in
interpreting you have received?
Other 4%
Graduate level college
interpreter training/education
5%
Undergraduate level college
interpreter training/education
program
10%
Interpreter training certificate
program
73%
Workshop on interpreting at
my place of work or other
9%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
How many hours of training
was this program?
26%
More than 180 hours
20%
61 to 180 hours
43%
40 to 60 hours
8%
8 hours to 39 hours
4%
Less than 8 hours
0%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
30%
35%
40%
45%
50%
How many years of work experience
do you have as an interpreter?
6%
More than 20 years
7%
16 to 20 years
13%
11 to 15 years
30%
5 to 10 years
45%
Less than 5 years
0%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
30%
35%
40%
45%
50%
Staff Medical Interpreter Wages
$100.01 or more per hour 1%
$50.01 to $100.00 per hour
0%
3%
$30.01 to $50.00 per hour
9%
$25.01 to $30.00 per hour
32%
$20.01 to $25.00 per hour
40%
$15.01 to $20.00 per hour
15%
$10.01 to $15.00 per hour
Less than $10.00 per hour
0%
0%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
30%
35%
40%
45%
Freelance Medical Interpreter Wages
$100.01 or more per hour
0%
2%
$50.01 to $100.00 per hour
16%
$30.01 to $50.00 per hour
15%
$25.01 to $30.00 per hour
32%
$20.01 to $25.00 per hour
29%
$15.01 to $20.00 per hour
5%
$10.01 to $15.00 per hour
Less than $10.00 per hour
1%
0%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
30%
35%
Freelance Legal Interpreter
Wages*
4%
$100.01 or more per hour
20%
$50.01 to $100.00 per hour
44%
$30.01 to $50.00 per hour
24%
$25.01 to $30.00 per hour
4%
$20.01 to $25.00 per hour
$15.01 to $20.00 per hour
0%
0%
$10.01 to $15.00 per hour
4%
Less than $10.00 per hour
0%
5%
10%
15%
*not statistically significant.
20%
25%
30%
35%
40%
45%
50%
Human / Social Services
Staff Interpreter Wages *
$100.01 or more per hour
0%
$50.01 to $100.00 per hour
0%
16%
$30.01 to $50.00 per hour
47%
$25.01 to $30.00 per hour
5%
$20.01 to $25.00 per hour
21%
$15.01 to $20.00 per hour
$10.01 to $15.00 per hour
5%
Less than $10.00 per hour
5%
0%
5%
10%
15%
*not statistically significant.
20%
25%
30%
35%
40%
45%
50%
Human / Social Services
Freelance Interpreter Wages
$100.01 or more per hour
0%
10%
$50.01 to $100.00 per hour
33%
$30.01 to $50.00 per hour
26%
$25.01 to $30.00 per hour
13%
$20.01 to $25.00 per hour
15%
$15.01 to $20.00 per hour
3%
$10.01 to $15.00 per hour
Less than $10.00 per hour
0%
0%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
30%
35%
Next Steps / Recommendations
 Publish & distribute MMIA Interpreter Compensation
Survey Report (will be posted on www.mmia.org in
Spring of 2007)
 MMIA plans to conduct yearly compensation surveys
 Propose a standard survey tool in association with
other interpreter organizations
 Propose a national yearly interpreter compensation
survey
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MMIA 2006 Compensation Survey - IMIA