More than ten years ago, ProZ.com released an online rates calculator designed to help you determine the minimum rates required to meet your objectives. Together with forum discussions, the record of average rates reported by the community, and other useful resources such as the the article "Determining your rates and fees as a translator", the rates calculator has proved to be very helpful in answering one of the questions asked more frequently by freelance language professionals: what rates should I charge for...?
For the last few weeks, a few small improvements have been made to the area:
- Improved interface and user experience with updated page information, organization and navigation.
- Better page performance, faster.
- The option to save the calculated rate in your profile with one click.
- Quick access to the tool from the job quoting form.
- The addition of a history of calculated rates and a record of units reported through WIWO and Project history services.
- Enabled localization of tool content so that it can be used in several languages*.
- Enhanced appearance on different screen resolutions (including mobile).
To see the new version of the rates calculator, login at ProZ.com, go to the calculator page (Tools menu → ProZ.com tools → Rates calculator) and click on "Try the new version." at the top of the page. You will be able to go back to the old version at any time using the "Switch back to old interface" option.
If there are further improvements you would particularly like to see, please comment in the discussion in the forum post "Improving the rates calculator". Suggestions would be much appreciated.
Here are some instructions on using the calculator:
- Use any currency you want. Results will be in the currency you use.
- Enter business-related costs as a yearly total. This field should include hardware, software, Internet connection, office space, business insurance, memberships, taxes, training, seminars, etc.
- Enter your desired personal income expressed as a yearly amount. This would cover your living expenses, savings, personal insurance, disposable income, etc., and would be a pre-tax figure.
- Enter the amount of hours per week you plan to dedicate to your translation business.
- Enter the percent of your working hours that you spend actually translating. Don't forget to take into consideration such non-translation activities as communications (email, phone calls, chat), quoting, layout, file and document preparation and handling, billing, accounting, marketing, errands, training, breaks, etc. Note: If you spend 2 hours in an 8-hour working day on non-translation business activities, then the percent of time you spend translating would be 6/8 = 75%
- Enter your average words translated per hour, after adjusting for CAT tool use and other factors. You may use units other than words (such as lines, pages or characters); results should be considered to use the same unit of measure.
- Consider your net productivity during an average hour dedicated just to translation, as all distractions were considered in the previous point.
- Enter the number of weeks of holiday you take per year. This should include not only leisure time but also days away from work spent in congresses, seminars, conferences, etc.
- Click "Submit" to get the number of words you would translate per year and the rate you would need to charge to achieve your desired level of income. You may want to adjust the rate for jobs which will take more or less time than your average speed.
The rates calculator is available to all site users at ProZ.com. Two links are provided below the results: the first one takes you to the rates you have entered in your profile, while the second one leads to the site-wide average rates. Rates are shown by language pair.