What Does it Take to Be an Interpreter or Translator?
Career Description Interpret oral or sign language, or translate written text from one language into another.
List of Interpreter or Translator Job Duties
- Compile information on content and context of information to be translated and on intended audience.
- Adapt translations to students’ cognitive and grade levels, collaborating with educational team members as necessary.
- Educate students, parents, staff, and teachers about the roles and functions of educational interpreters.
- Check original texts or confer with authors to ensure that translations retain the content, meaning, and feeling of the original material.
- Compile terminology and information to be used in translations, including technical terms such as those for legal or medical material.
- Identify and resolve conflicts related to the meanings of words, concepts, practices, or behaviors.
Interpreter or Translator Needed Skills
Below is a list of the skills most Interpreters and Translators say are important on the job.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Other Interpreter or Translator Job Titles
- Technical Translator
- Audio Narrator
- Interpreter for the Deaf
- Educational Sign and Oral Certified Interpreter, Sign Language
Is There Going to be Demand for Interpreters and Translators?
In the United States, there were 68,200 jobs for Interpreter or Translator in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 17.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 12,100 new jobs for Interpreter or Translator by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 7,800 job openings in this field each year.
The states with the most job growth for Interpreter or Translator are Colorado, Utah, and Idaho. Watch out if you plan on working in Wyoming, Montana, or Delaware. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Interpreter or Translator Salary
Interpreters and Translators make between $27,230 and $90,610 a year.
Interpreters and Translators who work in District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Interpreters and Translators in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$93,730|
What Tools do Interpreters and Translators Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Interpreters and Translators may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Hypertext markup language HTML
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Extensible HyperText Markup Language XHTML
- Voice over internet protocol VoiP system software
How do I Become an Interpreter or Translator?
Learn what Interpreter or Translator education requirements there are.
How many years of work experience do I need?
Interpreters and Translators Sector
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
Image Credit: Susana Freixeiro via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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