Summary Report for:
27-3091.00 - Interpreters and Translators
Interpret oral or sign language, or translate written text from one language into another.
Sample of reported job titles: Court Interpreter, Deaf Interpreter, Educational Interpreter, Interpreter, Medical Interpreter, Paraprofessional Interpreter, Sign Language Interpreter, Spanish Interpreter, Technical Translator, Translator
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- Read written materials, such as legal documents, scientific works, or news reports, and rewrite material into specified languages.
- Identify and resolve conflicts related to the meanings of words, concepts, practices, or behaviors.
- Check translations of technical terms and terminology to ensure that they are accurate and remain consistent throughout translation revisions.
- Refer to reference materials, such as dictionaries, lexicons, encyclopedias, and computerized terminology banks, as needed to ensure translation accuracy.
- Train and supervise other translators or interpreters.
- Educate students, parents, staff, and teachers about the roles and functions of educational interpreters.
- Compile information on content and context of information to be translated and on intended audience.
- Proofread, edit, and revise translated materials.
- Check original texts or confer with authors to ensure that translations retain the content, meaning, and feeling of the original material.
- Discuss translation requirements with clients and determine any fees to be charged for services provided.
- Adapt translations to students' cognitive and grade levels, collaborating with educational team members as necessary.
- Adapt software and accompanying technical documents to another language and culture.
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access
- Dictionary software — Electronic dictionaries
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Foreign language software — AceTools.biz Ace Translator; Adapt It; Smart Link Corporation ImTranslator; Stormdance CatsCradle (see all 15 examples)
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Web platform development software — Extensible HyperText Markup Language XHTML ; Hypertext markup language HTML
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Audio mixing consoles — Interpreter consoles
- Binoculars — Compact binoculars
- Desktop computers
- Digital voice recorders — Digital audio recorders
- Headphones — Headsets
- Microphones — Tie clip microphones
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Pocket calculator — Portable calculators
- Radio frequency transmitters or receivers — FM transmission equipment; Infrared transmission equipment
- Tablet computers
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Foreign Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
- Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
- Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Detailed Work Activities
- Translate information for others.
- Compile technical information or documentation.
- Edit written materials.
- Verify accuracy of data.
- Conduct research to inform art, designs, or other work.
- Train others on work processes.
- Confer with clients to determine needs.
- Provide educational information to the public.
- Contact With Others — 88% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 73% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 51% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 47% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 37% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 47% responded “Extremely important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 41% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 36% responded “Very important results.”
- Physical Proximity — 46% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 45% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 38% responded “More than half the time.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 42% responded “Every day.”
- Level of Competition — 29% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 40% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 49% responded “Extremely important.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: AS Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2017)||$22.69 hourly, $47,190 annual|
|Employment (2016)||68,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2016-2026)||Much faster than average (15% or higher)|
|Projected job openings (2016-2026)||7,800|
|Top industries (2016)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017 wage data and 2016-2026 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2016-2026). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- American Association of the DeafBlind
- American Literary Translators Association
- American Sign Language Teachers Association
- American Translators Association
- Communications Workers of America
- Conference of Interpreter Trainers
- Interpreters Guild of America
- National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators
- National Association of the Deaf
- New England Translators Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Interpreters and translators
- Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
- World Association of Sign Language Interpreters