How much salary should I ask for as a financial translator?

Hello all. I’m going in Friday for an interview with a Japanese firm looking for someone to translate financial documents from Japanese to English. If I actually get the job, I have no clue how much to ask for.

Just so you have some background: I speak, read, and write Japanese fluently, and recently passed the highest level of the official Japanese Proficiency Exam. I have done some translation work in the past of law documents and aircraft training manuals, but always as part of a larger job.

However, I have never worked as a translator specifically.

Friends have referred me to websites where you can calculate the going rate for salaries in various fields, but “translation services” is always absent from the list. When we set up the interview, I told them I might ask for about 35K-40K a year, but made it clear to them that I was not sure how much to ask for.

Are any of you knowledgeable in this sort of thing? Thanks.

I wasn’t able to find any salary report, either, but I’d guess you’re selling yourself way short. Financial services companies tend to pay better, anyway (before I took my present job, I interviewed with one. the job paid about $6K more than mine, and had less responsibility), and what you’re doing requires a specialized skill, and it is crucial that you do it right.

Ask for $70K…see what they say. Drive a hard bargain.

Go over the the newsgroup sci.lang.japan and see what those guys think. I think a couple of the guys there have done translation work in Japan before. I’ve read it’s pretty tough to get a real job as a translator so I suspect the pay isn’t going to be astronomical.