dcsimg

Interpreter

Job Duties

Interpreters convert one spoken language into another spoken language, or sign language into spoken language. Before they arrive at the job site, they usually spend time researching and familiarizing themselves with the subject matter to be covered, sometimes creating a list of common words and phrases. Some work, such as telephone interpretation, may not require their physical presence, but most do require them to travel to a job site so they can observe the person speaking. The work of interpreters is divided into two categories: simultaneous and consecutive. In simultaneous interpretation, interpreters listen and speak (or sign) at the same time. In consecutive interpretation, interpreters begin talking only after the speaker (or signer) has completed conveying their thought.

Second Language Learning

There are a number of specialties within the field of interpretation. Conference interpreters work in international and diplomatic conferences, as well as other international events. They are usually highly skilled in multiple languages and simultaneous interpretation. Escort interpreters assist foreign visitors to the U.S. or U.S. travelers abroad, ensuring that they can communicate during their travels. Judiciary interpreters facilitate communication in the courtroom between English-speaking and non-English-speaking witnesses.

Job Skills

Interpreters need to pay extra attention to the details of communication. They must be able to understand both languages completely, and have the ability to express thoughts and ideas clearly and concisely. A strong memory, excellent research and analytical skills, and good mental dexterity are also crucial skills for the job.

Income

In 2002, interpreters earned a median hourly wage of $15.67. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $9.37, and the highest 10%, who earned more than $25.99.

Training and Education

Interpreters come from a wide range of educational backgrounds. Many interpreters grow up speaking more than one language, although this is not necessarily a requirement. High school can offer some preparation in the form of courses in English writing and comprehension, foreign languages, and basic computer proficiency. Spending time in foreign countries or other forms of contact with foreign language speakers can be very helpful. Interpreters usually need to hold at least a bachelor's degree, although they do not necessarily have to major in a language. Formal programs in interpretation are available at many colleges, as well as non-university training programs.

Interpreters can become certified through the Federal courts in Spanish, Navaho, and Haitian Creole. Court interpreters can also become certified by the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators. The U.S. Department of State offers has a three-test series for interpreters, including simple consecutive interpreting, simultaneous interpreting, and conference-level interpreting. Sign language interpreters can become certified through either the National Association of the Deaf or the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Experience is essential, as many agencies and companies hire candidates who have 3 to 5 years of experience or who have a degree in translation studies.

Employment

In 2002, interpreters and translators held about 24,000 jobs. More than 20% were self-employed, working only part time and relying on other sources of income.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, employment of interpreters is expected to increase faster than the average due to the broadening of international ties and the increase in foreign language speakers in the United States. This has created high demand for interpreters, especially in urban areas in California, New York, and Washington, D.C.

For more information on a career as an interpreter, please see our directory of schools offering Media Training


Interpreter Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            French as a Second Language
            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree

            Our Lady of the Lake University is a private, Catholic university with a deep connection to the history and community of San Antonio. Founded in 1895 by the Congregation of Divine Providence, we have developed a reputation for our personal teaching style. Since 2011, OLLU has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.  We are a university that helps students develop their full potential in an environment that's encouraging and stimulating.


             

            • Online Courses
            Masters of Social Work

            Why Choose Widener University?

            At Widener University, we proudly cultivate challenging and culturally diverse learning environments where academics, leadership, and service come first. Our curricula are connected to societal issues and challenge students to take social responsibility for their role in today's global society.

            Founded in 1821 in Chester, Pennsylvania, Widener is nationally recognized for our commitment to civic engagement, service, and social responsibility. The university has been included on the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction every year since its inception in 2006.

            • Online Courses
            MA in Human Services, Mental Health Administration Specialization
            • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • Received the 2013 Making a Difference for Students Award from Quality Matters.
            • Offers a free student app for smartphones and tablets, helping students keep up to date.
            • Has a Golden Key International Honour Society and SALUTE Veterans Honor Society.
            • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Bachelor of Arts in English
            • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
            • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
            • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
            • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Human Services (MS)
            • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
            • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
            • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
            • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
            • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            B.A. Human Development
            • Founded over 60 years ago on the principles of inclusion and social justice.
            • Offers credit for previous life and work experience.
            • Equipped with over 17,000 titles in their library.
            • Has 3 semesters and 6 start dates a year.
            • Located in Pasadena, CA, with instructional sites in Sacramento, Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Visalia as well as online options.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: eLearning/Technology Education
            • A private, Christian, liberal arts university founded in 1905 and open to students of any faith.
            • Has an average class size of 20 students.
            • 97% of students receive financial aid, with the average freshman receiving $10,000.
            • Offers over 25 undergraduate degree programs.
            • Has approximately 5,000 students; 60% female and 40% male.
            • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Online Master of Information
            • Ranked one of the Top Public Schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Founded in 1766 as a public institution; it has a main campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey and offers many programs online.
            • Has an average freshman retention rate of 91.8%.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 14:1, and 38% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has famous alumni including chef and restauranteur Mario Batali, author Junot Diaz, actor James Gandolfini, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Arabic Language & Culture (Certificate) - Online
            • Each year since 2004, The Princeton Review has included California University in its Best in the Northeast listing, recognizing Cal U as one of the best regional universities in the northeastern United States.
            • Ranked #35 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost.
            • Grants students in its Global Online program the same diploma as graduates from Cal U’s traditional degree programs.
            • Has an student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits