A freelance translator first needs to decide upon what type of rates that is to be set. There are also a number of factors that are to be kept in mind but the difficult thing while starting out is that the other translators in the sphere are unwilling to share the rates that they keep for their clients.
Here are some of the vital points that are to be kept in mind. All translators charge by the number of words that they have translated though there are other scales as well. These are the time spent or even the pages that have been translated. Most of the translators charge by the number of words because the number of words in each page can vary to a great extent. Though it is unfair on the part of the client to put more words in a page in order to reduce the price.
The language pair that you have chosen is another criteria on which the rate of translation depends. If you are providing for a unique combination then you can obviously charge more than what your contemporaries are charging.
Any technical material commands a much higher rate of payment as it involves a great deal of research. But those that are on some general topics will fetch you the common rates of pay. This is because these do not require much of in depth knowledge and research base.
Once you have established your name in this sphere you can charge high rates as you are providing quality work. This would create a niche for you and it would be extremely lucrative as well.