Interpreter

Quick Facts: Interpreters and Translators
2012 Median Pay $45,430 per year
$21.84 per hour
Entry-Level Education Bachelor’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Short-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2012 63,600
Job Outlook, 2012-22 46% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 29,300

What Interpreters and Translators Do

Interpreters and translators convert information from one language into another language. Interpreters work in spoken or sign language; translators work in written language.

Work Environment

Interpreters work in schools, hospitals, courtrooms, and conference centers. Many translators work from home. Self-employed interpreters and translators frequently have variable work schedules. Most interpreters and translators work full time during regular business hours.

How to Become an Interpreter or Translator

Although interpreters and translators typically need at least a bachelor’s degree, the most important requirement is to have native-level fluency in English and at least one other language. Many complete job-specific training programs.

Pay

The median annual wage for interpreters and translators was $45,430 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 46 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increasing globalization and by large increases in the number of non-English-speaking people in the United States. Job prospects should be best for those who have professional certification.