//The Professional Linguist Perspective on Independent Contracting – Page 3
The Professional Linguist Perspective on Independent Contracting – Page 3 – Survey Response Data

Survey Response Data

State of Residence

A total of 118 responses were received from the group of 927 professional linguists who were invited to participate in this study. The linguists were located in 25 states with the largest number of respondents being from California (43%), followed by Massachusetts (8.5%), Texas (5%) Florida (4%) and Ohio (4%) with the other states combined having slightly more than a third of the total respondents with 34.75%.
State Percentage
California 43.22%
Massachusetts 8.47%
Texas 5.08%
Florida 4.24%
Ohio 4.24%
Alabama 2.54%
Arizona 2.54%
Indiana 2.54%
Minnesota 2.54%
New York 2.54%
North Carolina 2.54%
Oregon 2.54%
Georgia 1.69%
Illinois 1.69%
Maryland 1.69%
New Jersey 1.69%
Pennsylvania 1.69%
South Carolina 1.69%
Washington 1.69%
Alaska 0.85%
Nebraska 0.85%
Tennessee 0.85%
Utah 0.85%
Virginia 0.85%
Wisconsin 0.85%

48% of the respondents provide only interpreting service, 14% provide only translating services, 36% provide both translating and interpreting services and 2% do not perform either of these.


While a bit over half of the professional linguists surveyed work under an Independent Contractor agreement (55%), nearly a quarter of the respondents (24%) work as employees while also providing services to others as an independent contractor. Working solely as an employee was the least common option with less than 22%.


The overwhelming majority of professional linguists, well over 90%, had more than one client in 2016. Only 6% of the linguists answering this question had one client for the year.

1 client 6.10%
2 clients 13.41%
3 clients 7.32%
4 clients 12.20%
5 or more clients 60.98%

In this question, respondents were asked to identify the advantages they valued in working independently. It was possible for a linguist to choose more than one option. Professional linguists clearly prefer the freedom to decide what they will and will not do, and having the ability to decide how they will adjust their schedule to meet client requirements. Economic independence is also a strong motivating factor, with 20 linguists citing the goal of establishing a business. A variety of benefits were cited by the respondents choosing the option “other” including:

Great variety of assignments (medical centers, schools, etc) Love working for myself. Can be away for 3 months each year Freedom to interpret in a variety of settings Not being at a place full time. I call it “Short and sweet work.” Variety Freedom to work where I want Example to family Running my own business


In this final survey question, the professional linguists surveyed spoke overwhelmingly that having the option of being an independent contractor is important to them.

Not important 2%
Somewhat unimportant 4%
Neutral 8%
Somewhat important 12%
Extremely important 75%

Copyright 2017
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2017-05-11T16:36:39+00:00