Career Advice on How to Become An Interpreter or Translator

General Career Information

If you are not a “people person,” you might want to look elsewhere for employment.  An interpreter or translator is most definitely not a job for people that don’t like people. With these careers, you will be expected to work with people intensively.  Most of the time the work is not extremely stressful, but in some situations, where the need for exact precision of translation is required, the stress level may obviously be higher.

Interpreters and translators clearly need to have a high level of skill in at least two languages.  It is not uncommon for interpreters and translators to be fluent in more than one language.  Often interpreters and translators are required to hold college degrees.


Career Facts:

One major distinction between translators and interpreters is that translators usually work with written material, translating that material from one language to another.  Interpreters, on the other hand, work with verbal language and convert one language into another so that two parties can easily communication with one another.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook- Excellent:

The rate of growth for interpreters and translators is expected to be very good at twenty-four percent.  If you are career planning in this field, this fact will come as very good news. This rate of growth is far above the national average, and the best job prospects should be in places like California and Washington D.C.  This rate of growth is a testament to how much the global economy is indeed becoming global.  It now involves individuals speaking various languages from around the world.  Of course, this increased rate of global interaction between countries and cultures means an ever-increasing role for the interpreter and the translator.
Job Outlook is Excellent

A Day in The Life:

Due to the fact that interpreters and translators are used in nearly every imaginable aspect of life, you will find them working in every field and aspect of society.  Governments, both local and federal, employ them to translate and interpret in setting ranging from law enforcement and judicial proceedings, to the school system.  Interpreters and translators are, of course, well represented in the business world as well.  The increased level of international business has made their skills more useful than ever.  Thus, it is possible for interpreters and translators to find themselves working in almost any working environment from an office setting to a court to even a high-school.

Average Salary:

Salary for interpreters and translators can vary greatly, with the average hourly earning being around $17 per hour.  However, some federal government interpreters and translators can earn about $76,000 per year.  High-level business translators can earn over a $100,000 annually.  The increasing importance of the interpreter and translator is likely to mean increased pay and job security in the coming years.

Career Training and Qualifications:

While formal education varies, a college degree is often required.  Many organizations and business will seek out employees who have at least three years of experience working either as a translator or interpreter.  The American Translator Association currently certifies individuals in numerous languages.
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