Flexibility: Medium

Social Engagement: High

What’s What: It’s a global economy, and every sector from health care to education to technology to manufacturing needs translators and interpreters.

Amava Take: If you’re fluent in a language other than English, some entity somewhere is looking for your skills. There are so many industries and fields that rely upon communication between English speakers and people for whom English is a second or third language or who have no English literacy. That’s where you come in: translators and interpreters are integral to getting things done.

From the Front Lines:

What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these jobs?

We prefer people with professional demeanor, cultural sensitivity and of course impeccable speaking and writing skills in English and at least one other language.

Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?

Make sure you know what expectations are for your written output if you’re translating and your spoken demeanor if you’re interpreting. Give the most objective interpretation of language possible.

What’s a typical daily schedule like?

Some jobs are shifts, but many are gigs on an as-needed basis. If you run your own business, you could have quite a bit of flexibility and charge by the day, half-day or hour.

From the Trenches:

What’s the most satisfying part of the job?

Helping stakeholders make progress in a way that makes the language barrier seem like a non-issue.

How would you describe the hard parts?

Some idioms don’t translate all that well.

How did you get started?

I volunteered at my local schools first to get some experience.

Special Requirements: In addition to fluency, the minimum requirement is that you have a bachelor’s degree. To maximize prospects, you can get a translator/interpreter certification and/or an advanced degree in interpreting and/or translation.

Related Classes: Interpersonal Communication, Keys to Effective Communication, Mastering Public Speaking, Skills for Making Great DecisionsSpeed Spanish, Speed Spanish II, Speed Spanish III, Beginning Conversational French, Instant Italian, Conversational Japanese, Discover Sign Language, Discover Sign Language II

Finding a Position: Once you have some experience, you may find you want to start your own business and market in your area and online. There are plenty of listings for interpreters and translators if you prefer to start that way.