Have you ever been in a situation where you wish you could help others go from...

Not being able to communicate

to open dialogue?

If you speak at least two languages, and you want to help others have a voice, a career as a language interpreter may be for you.

Interpreter Or Translator

What does an interpreter do?

Here's a brief peek into a few types of interpreter roles:


Interpreter = spoken language

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Translator = written language

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Now that we know the difference, let's focus on what it takes to be a language interpreter.


Which of these tasks would you do as a language interpreter?

What You'll Do

  • Listen to what speakers say to determine meaning

  • Relay what speakers say into specified languages (at the same time or immediately after)

  • Maintain the context and style of the original message

  • Protect the confidentiality of information

Where To Find Work

Interpreters may work in a variety of fields!

Requirements vary by field and state, and may require professional certification to demonstrate fluency in both languages and ability to interpret in real time. You can attend programs to help you prepare for the certification after high school, or study on your own.

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Includes witnesses testifying in court, depositions, and arbitrations.

Requires certification.

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Could include many fields such as science, law, medicine, engineering, information technology and geopolitics.

Requires certification and specialization.

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Includes patients at hospitals or expert witnesses in court.

Requires certification.

Flaticon Icon Community

Very common and can range in topics depending on the community group, such as city council meetings.

May not require certification.


Mary speaks Spanish and English fluently. She went to law school, but decided not to become a lawyer. She wants to use her skills to change careers and help people one-on-one. Which of the following clients would she enjoy interpreting for the most?

You'll Love It If ...

You love working with people.

You want to see the impact of your work in real time.

You thrive in a fast changing environment.

You like working in different industries and with diverse people.

luv it

Think Twice If ...

You prefer working alone.

You're uncomfortable with a fast-paced environment.

You want to work in the same place every day.

thanks I hate it

Will It Pay The Bills?

Salary varies widely by state, industry, certifications and whether you work as an in-house interpreter or are self-employed.

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The average yearly salary in the U.S. is $46,729 USD.

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The average yearly salary in Canada is $55,000 CAD.

*Note: Even when not required, certifications are always preferred and lead to better opportunities and income.

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