College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Modern Languages > Student Resources > Employment Opportunities > Translation and Interpreting

Careers in Translation and Interpreting

When organizations don't hire bilingual employees, they pay extra to hire translators and interpreters.  Language major/minor students interested in capitalizing on their bilingual abilities may wish to consider translation and/or interpreting as their primary profession or as a secondary income source. Below are links to professional organizations related to translating and interpreting as a profession. Additional information about a career in translation and interpreting may be found in the Occupational Outlook Guide provided through the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts ~ The Illinois Supreme Court is committed to ensuring language assistance services and access to justice for people of limited English proficiency (LEP). As part of that commitment, the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) developed the Illinois Supreme Court Language Access Program to train and test interpreters, educate court officials on best practices for using interpreters, translate court forms, and address related language access issues.
  • American Translation and Interpreting Studies Association (ATISA) ~ The purpose of the Association is to encourage, support, and further the study of translation and interpreting studies, especially by organizing meetings, publishing a journal, Translation and Interpreting Studies (TIS), disseminating information to the public at large, fostering ties with allied organizations, and by such other means as the Association may deem appropriate.
  • Association of Language Companies (ALC) ~ The Association of Language Companies (ALC) is a national trade association representing businesses that provide translation, interpretation, localization, and language training services.
  • Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters ~ Founded in 2009, CCHI is a 501(c)(6) organization whose mission is to develop and direct a comprehensive credentialing program for healthcare interpreters, bring together representatives from national and regional non-profit interpreting associations, language companies, community-based organizations, educational institutions, healthcare providers, and advocates for LEP individuals.
  • Chicago Area Translators and Interpreters Association ~ CHICATA was established in 1987 as an independent professional association of individual translators and interpreters. For those interested in working primarily in the Chicagoland area, CHICATA can provide great networking opportunities to meet other Chicagoland translators and interpreters.
  • International Federation of Translators ~ FIT (Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs / International Federation of Translators) is an international grouping of associations of translators, interpreters and terminologists. More than 100 professional associations and training institutes are affiliated, representing more than 80,000 translators in 55 countries. The goal of the Federation is to promote professionalism in the disciplines it represents.
  • Interpret America ~ InterpretAmerica, LLC was established in 2009 to provide a national and international forum for the interpreting profession. Our mission is to help raise the profile of interpreting. At InterpretAmerica, we feel the time is ripe for our field to unite around its similarities. Our goal is to provide an open and ongoing forum where key players from all branches of interpreting can gather and foster greater connection among its many sectors.
  • National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators ~ The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators promotes the highest professional standards in legal interpreting. Professional legal interpreting is required to ensure due process, equal protection and equal access to the administration of justice for non-English or limited English proficient (LEP) individuals. Judiciary interpreters work in court settings, but also out of court, when the proceedings may have legal consequences. For example, professional legal interpreters are required for accurate interpretation during depositions, administrative hearings or attorney-client interviews. Professional legal interpreters are also used in law enforcement investigations, or in the review, transcription and translation of recorded evidence.
  • National Center for State Courts ~ (Court Interpreter) Professional court interpreters are individuals who possess an educated, native-like mastery of both English and a second language; display wide general knowledge, characteristic of what a minimum of two years of general education at a college or university would provide; and perform the three major types of court interpreting: sight translation, consecutive interpreting, and simultaneous interpreting. 
  • National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare ~ The NCIHC is a multidisciplinary organization whose mission is to promote and enhance language access in health care in the United States.
  • United States Courts ~ (Federal Court Interpreter) The Court Interpreters Act, 28 U.S.C. §1827 provides that the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts shall prescribe, determine, and certify the qualifications of persons who may serve as certified interpreters, when the Director considers certification of interpreters to be merited, for the hearing impaired (whether or not also speech impaired) and persons who speak only or primarily a language other than the English language, in judicial proceedings instituted by the United States.
  • U.S. Department of State ~ The Interpreting Division of the Office of Language Services maintains an active roster of contract interpreters who work on an occasional, as-needed basis for assignments at various levels of interpreting expertise.
Translation: Saskia, Sarah, Jill, Nicolas    
Students must gain experience in translation and/or interpreting before graduation in order to break into the field. Ideas to build up a resume and professional translation and/or interpreting skills are outlined below.
  1. Translation courses ~ every assignment should be quality work that can be used as sample work in a translator/interpreter portfolio.
  2. Volunteer through various organizations such as DePaul Translator & Interpreter Corps, Illinois Legal Aid OnlineNational Immigrant Justice Center (Heartland Alliance), Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society​, etc.