What Does it Take to Be an Interpreter or Translator?
Job Description & Duties Interpret oral or sign language, or translate written text from one language into another.
Life As an Interpreter or Translator: What Do They Do?
- Adapt software and accompanying technical documents to another language and culture.
- Refer to reference materials, such as dictionaries, lexicons, encyclopedias, and computerized terminology banks, as needed to ensure translation accuracy.
- Adapt translations to students’ cognitive and grade levels, collaborating with educational team members as necessary.
- Check translations of technical terms and terminology to ensure that they are accurate and remain consistent throughout translation revisions.
- Travel with or guide tourists who speak another language.
- Proofread, edit, and revise translated materials.
What an Interpreter or Translator Should Know
Interpreters and Translators state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.
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.
Related Job Titles
- Sign Language Interpreter
- American Sign Language ASL/English Interpreter
- Audio Narrator
- Diplomatic Interpreter
- Educational Interpreter
What Kind of Interpreter or Translator Job Opportunities Are There?
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.
Average Interpreters and Translators 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.
How much do Interpreters and Translators make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$93,730|
Tools & Technologies Used by Interpreters and Translators
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?
What kind of Interpreter or Translator requirements are there?
How Long Does it Take to Become an Interpreter or Translator?
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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