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Career Profile: Interpreters and Translators

Interpret oral or sign language, or translate written text from one language into another.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 81,400 people employed as interpreters and translators in the United States. The median annual salary is $52,300. Entry level employees earn approximately $29,740 per year and senior employees earn approximately $96,480 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Check translations of technical terms and terminology to ensure that they are accurate and remain consistent throughout translation revisions.
  • Identify and resolve conflicts related to the meanings of words, concepts, practices, or behaviors.
  • Compile information on content and context of information to be translated and on intended audience.
  • Adapt translations to students' cognitive and grade levels, collaborating with educational team members as necessary.
  • Check original texts or confer with authors to ensure that translations retain the content, meaning, and feeling of the original material.
  • Adapt software and accompanying technical documents to another language and culture.
  • Educate students, parents, staff, and teachers about the roles and functions of educational interpreters.
  • Proofread, edit, and revise translated materials.
  • Train and supervise other translators or interpreters.
  • Read written materials, such as legal documents, scientific works, or news reports, and rewrite material into specified languages.
  • Travel with or guide tourists who speak another language.
  • Discuss translation requirements with clients and determine any fees to be charged for services provided.
  • Follow ethical codes that protect the confidentiality of information.
  • Translate messages simultaneously or consecutively into specified languages, orally or by using hand signs, maintaining message content, context, and style as much as possible.
  • Listen to speakers' statements to determine meanings and to prepare translations, using electronic listening systems as necessary.
  • Compile terminology and information to be used in translations, including technical terms such as those for legal or medical material.
  • Refer to reference materials, such as dictionaries, lexicons, encyclopedias, and computerized terminology banks, as needed to ensure translation accuracy.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
81,400
Annual Openings:
10,400
Increase in Openings by 2030:
24%
Annual Salary Range:
$29,740 - $96,480
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree