A translator is someone who translates documents from one language to another or translates speech in real time between two parties who do not understand one another. Translators require high levels of fluency in both of the languages they speak as well as a high level of education. Because of the number of languages, translators tend to specialize in only a few. As a result, they serve important roles in news, the government, and on a freelance basis. The pay is high, but the work itself is often difficult and taxing.
Translator Education Requirements
A minimum of a bachelor's degree in the desired language is required to become a translator. In addition, the candidate must display fluency and aptitude as well as the ability to speak above a mere conversational level. Translators must possess strong social skills and be able to listen and speak simultaneously, as well as read and write in their language of choice. On the job training is usually provided for specific details that may require more explanation. The job will often require travel to and from locations.
Translator Job Market
The job market for translators is expected to grow by 46 percent by 2022, an enormous amount of growth by any standards. This will lead to an estimated 3,810 jobs opening every year. Translators often work in government positions, courthouses, universities, and more. Those who work on a freelance basis are able to charge whatever rates they want and usually make a very comfortable living doing so.
The wage of a translator is highly dependent on who the employer is. For instance, a translator may make as little as $14 to $17 an hour in a small law office while making $24 an hour in a larger engineering company. On the other hand, one who works for a large communications group might make as much as $60 an hour. Freelance translators have no real limit on their earning potential provided they charge a rate that clients are willing to pay.