Full-Time vs Freelance Translator Career Potential

The advantages of being a Freelance Translator has increased in recent times. Every day more translators prefer this type of work because of the freedom it provides. The job is also becoming easier to complete. The tools offered by technology, such as computer-assisted translation, facilitate the tasks to be performed by the translator.

Advantages of being a Freelance Translator

As a salaried employee, you have an assured monthly income and all your taxes are automatically payed by the company you work for. You'll be stuck to a chair at the office, get your time managed by somebody else, do whatever jobs are given to you and you probably won't get any extra benefits.

On the other hand, being a freelance worker allows you to work from home, it gives you the advantage to manage your own time and, basically, becoming your own boss. Also, you will have a higher income and will not have extra expenses, such as transportation expenses or work clothes. There is much freedom in deciding whether you want to do the work that is assigned to you.


There are a few important considerations that a translator should remember. Your language skills should always be sharp. Use magazines, newspapers and books to stay on top of the language. Languages tend to evolve, stay on top of new meanings for old words or brand new terms. There are also a few other things you should do:

  • Get registered as a self-employed person and establish your own prices according to the going market
  • Keep in mind that getting a certification is not always a specific requirement, but having it can increase your business
  • Do your own marketing, such as business cards, publicity, creating your own website
  • Learn how to manage your time to get the job done on time and keep business records
  • Respect all deadlines requested by the clients, be available when they need you and always remain professional

Useful Tools

There are many technological tools that can help you work faster. You may need to make a nominal investment to take advantage of network associations, books and technology.  Here are a few simple tools:

  • Research to get useful information on the needed subjects and to stay in touch with potential clients and professional translators.
  • Learn how to use a word processor and a database using programs like Open Office, MS Office or others.
  • Get familiar with computer-assisted translation.
  • Install a Translator program or use an on line translator.
  • Buy terminology management software and references materials like dictionaries and grammar books.
  • Install and learn how to use a burning CD/DVD program to do your back up.

Lastly, do not forget to pay your taxes. As a freelancer, you will be required to take care of your taxes on your own and must keep good records so that you can pay the right amount. Be sure to keep receipts for the purchase of your materials, such as computer books, software and books.