Major Monday — Interpreters and Translators

iStock_000017555303XSmallDo you love learning new languages? How about helping people? If so, language interpretation or translation may be the perfect major for you! Professional interpreters and translators help those with a language barrier navigate through life’s difficulties. A major in this area would include studying one or more foreign languages, and different interpretation styles. If you have a way with words and a love of different cultures, this is a great match for you.


If you are interested in becoming an interpreter or translator, you typically need a bachelor’s degree. Most important however, is that you have native-level proficiency in English and at least one other language, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is found that many people complete job-specific training when it comes to the job they want. If you would like to translate one specific language, you would focus all of your effort on learning that language.

What to know before you apply

It is important that you are dedicated to learning other languages, seeing as it can be quite difficult to be fluent enough to communicate with a native speaker. You must be able to put in the required amount of effort it takes to pick up another language.You must also remember that interpreters and translators do not just have to learn spoken language; they can learn sign language as well. Interpreters and translators work in a wide variety of environments, so do not expect to be in an office full time. A job in this field could take you anywhere in the world, seeing as the U.S. is a melting pot, so be prepared to travel.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, interpreters and translators earned an average of $43,590 per year as of 2014. If this salary does not seem high enough for you however, fear not. This field is expected to grow 29 percent from 2014 to 2024, due to the growth of immigration in the United States. This growth rate is much faster than the average for all occupations, so now is the time to sign up!

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