Interpreters and translators can expect much faster than average employment growth over the next decade. Job prospects vary by specialty.
Sample of reported job titles: Sign Language Interpreter, Interpreter, Translator, Educational Interpreter, Medical Interpreter, Paraprofessional Interpreter, Bilingual Interpreter, Conference Interpreter, Conference Translator, Court Interpreter
Base salary and job outlook
- Median wages (2008): $18.68 hourly, $38,850 annual
- Employment (2006): 41,000 employees
- Projected growth (2006-2016): Much faster than average (21% or higher)
- Projected need (2006-2016): 20,000 additional employees
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Follow ethical codes that protect the confidentiality of information.
- Identify and resolve conflicts related to the meanings of words, concepts, practices, or behaviors.
- Translate messages simultaneously or consecutively into specified languages, orally or by using hand signs, maintaining message content, context, and style as much as possible.
- Proofread, edit, and revise translated materials.
- Check translations of technical terms and terminology to ensure that they are accurate and remain consistent throughout translation revisions.
- Read written materials, such as legal documents, scientific works, or news reports, and rewrite material into specified languages.
- Refer to reference materials, such as dictionaries, lexicons, encyclopedias, and computerized terminology banks, as needed to ensure translation accuracy.
- Compile terminology and information to be used in translations, including technical terms such as those for legal or medical material.
- Adapt translations to students' cognitive and grade levels, collaborating with educational team members as necessary.
- Listen to speakers' statements to determine meanings and to prepare translations, using electronic listening systems as necessary.
Source: O*NET OnLine