Freelance Translator as a Career | Pros & Cons

Choosing a profession is quite challenging, especially when you don’t have more people around who could give you the right career advice. If you’re someone who just finished their degree in linguistics, things might be confusing because you may hardly find professional linguists who can guide you or offer mentorship.

Don’t worry, you are in the right place to find the information that you need at this stage. Before choosing any career, it is important to evaluate its pros and cons. So, you can make yourself ready for the challenges, and you know exactly what benefits you may get by pressuring that career.

Read this article to get some insights on freelance translator as a full-time career, and whether or not it is the right choice for you.

Pros of Becoming a Professional Linguist

Translators Are High in Demand

Growing globalization around the globe has increased the need for more translators and interpreters. The translation industry is continuously growing at a fast speed with the high need for translators in medicine, entertainment, business, and many other industries. If you are a multilingual degree holder, it is high time for you to be a translator because the future of the translation industry seems brighter.

Flexible Working Hours

Freelance translators work on their terms which makes it a liberating career choice. There is no 9 to 5 clock, and you can decide how and when you want to work based on your preferences. So, you will be more in control of your schedules, and there will be no restrictions on time and space. Many translators do part-time freelancing to earn some extra income.

Work From Home

After covid, work from home has become a thing but freelancers have been doing it for decades. For some people, the real charm of freelancing is that they don’t need to step out of their houses or socialize with other people regularly. However, this is not the only benefit of working from home. First of all, you don’t need to dress up for the day, and you can work in your pajamas. Secondly, it saves up the time and cost of traveling to the office every day. Thirdly, you are not even bound to work from “home”, you can take your laptop to the park, or the nearby café, or fly to some exotic island for vacation. A great example of work-life balance.

Cons of Becoming a Professional Linguist

High Competition

The competition in the translation industry is becoming so intense that new translators might have a hard time finding good work in the beginning. Freelancing may seem easy but it requires a lot of consistency and patience. Most freelance translators have to work at low rates until they have made a good standing in the market, gotten enough experience, and proved their credibility. Companies like to hire professional linguists with good industry experience. 

So, for new translators, it is always suggested to first work with a professional agency and do freelancing as a side hassle. It will allow you to understand how things work; you will learn to work on a translation project management platform; you can also build a strong network. So, you need to get some experience and exposure in the industry first, before moving entirely to freelancing.

Irregular Incomes

Unlike regular jobs, where you get your paycheck at the end of each month, income is quite irregular in freelancing. You have to constantly keep yourself on the ball to get a new project and close deals with profitable clients. You may not have to climb the corporate ladder but still freelancing is not easy money; it’s a constant hassle. So, your freelancing career as a translator will be full of ups and downs, and you never really know from where your next paycheck is coming.

Multi-Tasking or No Work

There will be days when you have good projects coming your way that you have to multitask to meet the deadline. You can use a professional translation project management platform to manage excessive translation work. However, things don’t stay the same in freelancing; there are chances that you may get out of work. Having no work is a real nightmare for freelancers, and you may question your future financial security. So, sometimes you have a lot of work that you have to exhaust yourself to bits, and sometimes there will be no work.


Working from home and the anti-social lifestyle that comes with freelancing, might not attract everyone because some people can only fuel themselves by socializing with people. For such social butterflies, freelancing might get onto your nerves. However, there is a way out; instead of working from home, you can work in a co-working space dedicated to freelancers, where you can socialize with other freelancers.

Wrapping Up!

Now, you have got an idea about the pros and cons of adopting freelance translation as a full-time career. It is humble advice to understand your strengths and weaknesses, only then you can decide whether or not you can build a good career out of freelance translation.