Interpreters and Translators

Bookmark Print History Journal


    • Please sign in to view journal entries

Your Employment History in this Occupation

Please sign in to view Employment History

Please fill out the fields below to e-mail someone a link to this page

Please sign in to bookmark occupations

About the Job

Interpret oral or sign language, or translate written text from one language into another.

It is also Called

  • Translator/Interpreter
  • Translator and Interpreter
  • Translator
  • Technical Translator
  • Superior Court Interpreter-Spanish/English
  • Staff Interpreter
  • Spanish Interpreter/Translator
  • Spanish Interpreter
  • Sign Language Translator
  • Sign Language Interpreter, Deaf/Hard of Hearing Consultant
View All

What They Do

  • Travel with or guide tourists who speak another language.
  • Adapt software and accompanying technical documents to another language and culture.
  • Adapt translations to students' cognitive and grade levels, collaborating with educational team members as necessary.
  • Discuss translation requirements with clients and determine any fees to be charged for services provided.
  • Check original texts or confer with authors to ensure that translations retain the content, meaning, and feeling of the original material.
  • Proofread, edit, and revise translated materials.
  • Compile information on content and context of information to be translated and on intended audience.
  • Educate students, parents, staff, and teachers about the roles and functions of educational interpreters.
  • Train and supervise other translators or interpreters.
  • Refer to reference materials, such as dictionaries, lexicons, encyclopedias, and computerized terminology banks, as needed to ensure translation accuracy.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: AS.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Artistic interests, but also prefer Social environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Working Conditions and Recognition in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • 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.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • 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.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.


In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $48,860 with most people making between $29,000 and $71,440


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 1,410 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 1,900 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 49 openings due to growth and about 21 replacement openings for approximately 70 total annual openings.

Education & Training

Pennsylvania Department of Education