Conference interpreters: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more
Conference interpreters work at conferences that have non-English-speaking attendees. The work is often in the field of international business or diplomacy, although conference interpreters can interpret for any organization that works with speakers of foreign languages. Employers generally prefer more experienced interpreters who can convert two languages into one native language—for example, the ability to interpret from Spanish and French into English. For some positions, such as those with the United Nations, this qualification is required.
Conference interpreters often do simultaneous interpreting. Attendees at a conference or meeting who do not understand the language of the speaker wear earphones tuned to the interpreter who speaks the language they want to hear.
- Education Required
- A bachelor’s degree is typically needed to become an interpreter or translator along with proficiency in at least two languages, one of which is usually English.
- Training Required
- Interpreters and translators generally do not need any formal training, as they are expected to be able to interpret and translate before they are hired. However, those working in the community as court or medical interpreters or translators are more likely to complete job-specific training programs or certificates.
- Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 17% (Much faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
- After interpreters and translators have enough experience, they can move up to more difficult assignments, seek certification, and obtain editorial responsibility. They can also manage or start their own business.
- There is currently no universal certification required of interpreters and translators beyond passing the required court interpreting exams offered by most states. However, workers can take a variety of tests that show proficiency. For example, the American Translators Association provides certification in 29 language combinations.
- Median pay: How much do Interpreters and Translators make?
- $46,120 Annual Salary
- $22.17 per hour
Careers for Interpreters and Translators
- Community interpreters
- Coordinating interpreters
- Educational interpreters
- Escort interpreters
- Federal court interpreters
- Foreign language interpreters and translators
- Health or medical interpreters and translators
- Healthcare interpreters and translators
- Judiciary interpreters and translators
- Legal or judicial interpreters and translators
- Liaison interpreters
- Liaison or escort interpreters
- Literary interpreters
- Literary translators
- Localization translators
- Medical interpreters and translators
- Mental health interpreters
- Sign language interpreters
- Simultaneous interpreters
- State court interpreters
- Trilingual interpreters