These 5 side jobs are perfect for translators looking for extra income

February 27, 2014
These 5 side jobs are perfect for translators looking for extra income

Professional translators often undertake one or more roles in addition to their translation work. Whether to earn some extra cash, diversify their income and thus spread their risk or simply because variety is the spice of life, many translators juggle their workload between translation jobs and other, related types of work.

Here we follow up to our examination of ways to supplement your translation income by taking a look at some of the most common related occupations. 


As the majority of translators are fast computer users with high levels of accuracy, many undertake additional work as typists or transcriptionists. The flexibility of job size that this kind of work usually entails, with documents ranging in size from a few paragraphs to full-length novels, means that translators can take on as much or as little additional work as needed. 

Desktop publishing

Desktop publishing work is another popular sideline for many translators, again thanks to their enhanced computer skills. With translation jobs often requiring some desktop publishing knowledge, this is a natural progression for individuals who particularly enjoy this aspect of their translation work.  

Web design

For some translators, enjoyment of desktop publishing work leads on to them undertaking web design work. This activity is a lovely complement to translation work, given the increasing number of companies that are looking to present their online presence to the world in more than one language. 

Copy writer

From website copy to press releases to marketing brochures, the demand for high quality written copy is strong. Thus copy writing is a popular means by which some translators look to boost their income, as we mentioned previously.

Given translators’ level of linguistic knowledge and attention to detail, they already have an advantage over many individuals looking to pick up online copy writing jobs. The fact that they can also apply for the jobs in more than one language is also extremely useful. 

However, writing copy for others through paid engagements is not the only option. Publishing your own eBook has never been easier and an increasing number of translators are looking at eBooks as a means of developing their careers. Though the initial work is intensive and unremunerated, once the book has been published it can generate income for life, with minimal further effort.  


Again born of their natural affinity for the written word, working as an editor or proof-reader can provide a stimulating second job for many translators. As with writing, they have the advantage that they can undertake the work in multiple languages, thereby increasing the editing and proofreading opportunities available to them. 

What do you do in addition to translation work and why? Let us know via the comment box.

By Ofer Tirosh

Ofer Tirosh is the founder and CEO of Tomedes, a language technology and translation company that supports business growth through a range of innovative localization strategies. He has been helping companies reach their global goals since 2007.



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