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Become A Sign Language Interpreter

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Working As A Sign Language Interpreter

  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Getting Information
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Deal with People

  • $61,402

    Average Salary

What Does A Sign Language Interpreter Do At Peckham, Inc.

* Effectively interpret between American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English
* Maintain, as applicable, compliance with any national, state, or local licensure and/or certification requirements
* Demonstrate full compliance with Peckham’s standards and policies and the RID Code of Professional Conduct
* Work effectively in a team environment; receive support from and provide support to colleagues
* Possess the ability to work effectively in a fast paced, dynamic, highly regulated environment
* Enhance interpreting skills through continued education training
* Stand or sit for extended periods of time
* Interpret in ASL and spoken English for extended periods of time
* Positive attitude, team player, good interpersonal communication skills and able to work across company departments.
* Send invoice payments with in two-weeks after assignment.
* This position requires passing and maintaining federal and state security background checks.
* Must have access to reliable transportation

What Does A Sign Language Interpreter Do At Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency

* Facilitates communication between DHH patients and companions and providers or other staff either face-to-face or via a remote modality such as video remote interpreting (VRI)
* Shares relevant cultural information with all parties involved and assists all speakers in reaching a mutual understanding
* Effectively communicates departmental, organizational, and industry information to staff
* Maintains basic computer skills in order to complete job functions using a variety of software and hardware
* Participates in training new staff and in-service training for existing staff as needed
* Supports departmental and organizational initiatives around language access by acting as an ambassador and providing information and additional training as requested
* Represents the organization at various community events as delegated and internal committees and workgroups as requested.
* Works on assigned special projects
* Performs other related tasks as required in working for a specific patient population
* Documents and bills interpreter services provided
* Works with coordinator and other staff interpreters or other services as appropriate for DHH patients.
* Acts as a liaison between DHH patients and companions and HHS providers and other staff
* Assesses and plans for patient and companion communication needs and ensures effective language services and auxiliary aids are provided to DHH patients and companions
* Work with contracted vendors to ensure that the necessary tools and information are received
* Updates services and equipment on an ongoing basis to meet the needs of patients/ families and providers
* Addresses patient or companion concerns with coordinator and possibly Patient Representatives as needed for resolution.
* Other duties as assigned

What Does A Sign Language Interpreter Do At National Children's Center

* The below statements are intended to describe the general nature
* and scope of work being performed by this position.
* This is not a complete
* listing of all responsibilities, duties and/or skills required.
* Other duties may be assigned.
* Facilitates
* effective communication between deaf, hard of hearing and hearing persons.
* Interprets
* for staff and persons supported on a daily basis in formal and informal
* meetings and during training sessions.
* Operates
* telecommunications devices.
* Develops
* and coordinates ASL sign language courses for agency staff to improve proficiency

What Does A Sign Language Interpreter Do At City Colleges of Chicago

* Provides sign language interpretation/transliteration services in various settings including classrooms, meetings, tutoring, testing, and campus/special events.
* Accepts assignments weekly during days, nights and weekends at various City Colleges of Chicago campuses and satellites during the spring and fall semesters and as needed in summer semester and during semester breaks.
* Adheres to the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Code of Ethics for Sign Language Interpreters for the Deaf and standards set forth in the Illinois Interpreter for the Deaf Licensure Act of 2007.
* Maintains professional competence by attending and completing approved workshops, continued professional development activities and continuing education classes required to maintain and renew licensure as a sign language interpreter in the state of Illinois.
* Completion of a high school diploma or GED required.
* Completion of at least two years at an accredited college preferred.
* One year of experience providing sign language interpretation in a post-secondary setting required, two or more years of experience preferred.
* Must have appropriate certifications and licensure through the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission.
* All interpreters must renew their license by December 31 of each year.
* The license must be at the Intermediate level, Advanced or Master Level preferred.
* We are an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer

What Does A Sign Language Interpreter Do At Cleveland Clinic

* Assists deaf patients, their families, clinical, professional staff by interpreting information through dialogue spoken in English to American Sign Language such as; patient histories, physician instructions to patient, patient questions for physician, nurse-patient dialogue.
* Conducts preoperative or postoperative education and communicates the ramifications of accepting treatment or undergoing surgery, ensuring that patients understand their illness, its treatment and their legal rights.
* Using a broad spectrum of professional discipline and socioeconomic and cultural perspectives, relays sensitive information including diagnosis of terminal or severe illness, death of a family member during treatment or surgery or information pertinent to ethnic, cultural or religious values, morals and customs.
* Works with designated contact to coordinate and respond to patient requests and problem resolution to provide timely follow-up to complaints.
* Other duties as assigned

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How To Become A Sign Language Interpreter

Although interpreters and translators typically need at least a bachelor’s degree, the most important requirement is that they be fluent in at least two languages (English and at least one other language). Many complete job-specific training programs. It is not necessary for interpreters and translators to have been raised in two languages to succeed in these jobs, but many grew up communicating in the languages in which they use for work.


The educational backgrounds of interpreters and translators vary widely, but it is essential that they be fluent in English and at least one other language.

High school students interested in becoming an interpreter or translator should take a broad range of courses that focus on English writing and comprehension, foreign languages, and computer proficiency. Other helpful pursuits for prospects include spending time in a foreign country, engaging in direct contact with foreign cultures, and reading extensively on a variety of subjects in English and at least one other language. Through community organizations, students interested in sign language interpreting may take introductory classes in American Sign Language (ASL) and seek out volunteer opportunities to work with people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Beyond high school, people interested in becoming interpreters or translators have numerous educational options. Although many jobs require a bachelor’s degree, majoring in a language is not always necessary. Rather, an educational background in a particular field of study can provide a natural area of subject-matter expertise.


Interpreters and translators generally need specialized training on how to do their work. Formal programs in interpreting and translating are available at colleges and universities nationwide and through nonuniversity training programs, conferences, and courses.

Many people who work as interpreters or translators in more technical areas—such as software localization, engineering, or finance—have a master’s degree. Those working in the community as court or medical interpreters or translators are more likely to complete job-specific training programs or certificates.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

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 27 language combinations involving English.

Federal courts provide judiciary certification for Spanish, Navajo, and Haitian Creole interpreters, and many states offer their own certifications or licenses for these languages.

The National Association of the Deaf and the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf jointly offer certification for general sign language interpreters. In addition, the registry offers specialty tests in legal interpreting, speech reading, and deaf-to-deaf interpreting—which includes interpreting among deaf speakers of different native languages and from ASL to tactile signing.

The U.S. Department of State has a three-test series for prospective interpreters—one test in simple consecutive interpreting (for escort work), another in simultaneous interpreting (for court work), and a third in conference-level interpreting (for international conferences)—as well as a test for prospective translators. These tests are not considered a credential, but their completion indicates that a person has significant skill in the occupation.

The International Association of Conference Interpreters offers information for conference interpreters.

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters offers two types of certifications for healthcare interpreters: Associate Healthcare Interpreter, for interpreters of languages other than Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin; and Certified Healthcare Interpreter, for interpreters of Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin.

The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters offers certification for medical interpreters of Spanish.

Other Experience

A good way for translators to learn firsthand about the occupation is to start working in-house for a translation company. Doing informal or volunteer work is an excellent way for people seeking interpreter or translator jobs to gain experience.

Volunteer opportunities for interpreters are available through community organizations, hospitals, and sporting events, such as marathons, that involve international competitors.

Paid or unpaid internships are other ways that interpreters and translators can gain experience. Escort interpreting may offer an opportunity for inexperienced candidates to work alongside a more experienced interpreter. Interpreters also may find it easier to begin working in industries with particularly high demand for language services, such as court or medical interpreting.

Whatever path of entry new interpreters and translators pursue, they should develop mentoring relationships with experienced workers in the field to build their skills and confidence and to establish and expand a network of contacts. Mentoring may be formal, such as that received through a professional association, or informal, such as that engaged in with a coworker or an acquaintance who has experience as an interpreter or translator. Both the American Translators Association and the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf offer formal mentoring programs.


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.

Many self-employed interpreters and translators start their own business by first establishing themselves in their field. They may submit resumes and samples to different translation and interpreting companies and work for companies that match their skills with a job. Many then get work on the basis of their reputation or through referrals from existing clients.

Important Qualities

Business skills. Self-employed and freelance interpreters and translators need general business skills to manage their finances and careers successfully. They must set prices for their work, bill customers, keep records, and market their services in order to build their client base.

Concentration. Interpreters and translators must have the ability to concentrate while others are speaking or moving around them.

Cultural sensitivity. Interpreters and translators must be sensitive to cultural differences and expectations among the people whom they are helping to communicate. Successful interpreting and translating is a matter not only of knowing the words in different languages but also of understanding people’s cultures.

Dexterity. Sign language interpreters must be able to make quick and coordinated hand, finger, and arm movements when interpreting.

Interpersonal skills. Interpreters and translators, particularly those who are self-employed, must be able to get along with those who hire or use their services in order to retain clients and attract new business.

Listening skills. Interpreters must listen carefully when interpreting for audiences to ensure that they hear and interpret correctly.

Reading skills. Translators must be able to read in all of the languages in which they are working.

Speaking skills. Interpreters and translators must speak clearly in all of the languages in which they are working.

Writing skills. Translators must be able to write clearly and effectively in all of the languages in which they are working.

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Sign Language Interpreter jobs

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Sign Language Interpreter Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • German

  • French

  • Mandarin

  • Arabic

  • Portuguese

  • Chinese

  • Italian

  • Russian

  • Bulgarian

  • Hindi

  • Vietnamese

  • Braille

  • Japanese

  • Greek

  • Armenian

  • Korean

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Sign Language Interpreter

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Sign Language Interpreter Education

Sign Language Interpreter

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Real Sign Language Interpreter Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Sign Language Interpreter Nationwide Interpreter Resource Boca Raton, FL Aug 05, 2013 $104,350 -
American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation Washington, DC Feb 11, 2015 $61,402
American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation Odenton, MD Feb 11, 2015 $61,402
American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation Whitehaven, MD Feb 11, 2015 $61,402
American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation Baltimore, MD Feb 11, 2015 $61,402
American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation Columbia, MD Feb 11, 2015 $61,402
American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation Laurel, MD Feb 11, 2015 $61,402
American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation Lutherville, MD Feb 11, 2015 $61,402

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Top Skills for A Sign Language Interpreter


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Top Sign Language Interpreter Skills

  1. Sign Language
  2. Language Interpreter
  3. Classroom Setting
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Position - Sign Language Interpreter Duties - Provided individual and team interpreting services throughout Idaho and Nevada.
  • Sign language interpreter for designers and participants.
  • Served student's individual needs within the general education classroom setting, interpreting/translating all oral lessons, presentations and materials.
  • Key Interpreter Skills o Effective communication in American Sign Language (ASL).
  • Coordinated observation opportunities for interns to observe educational interpreters.

Top Sign Language Interpreter Employers

Sign Language Interpreter Videos

Fake Sign Language Interpreter Not Even Close At Mandela Funeral

A Few Minutes In The Life Of A Sign Language Interpreter

Sign Language Interpreter, Career Video from drkit.org