In a message dated 11/21/2007 12:49:47 P.M. Pacific Standard
Time, Mervyn G writes:
...Is the only route to becoming a sign language interpreter by
enrolling in a college program that typically lasts for two years?
What are your suggestions to someone that wants to pursue this field
of interest? I can't seem to find any current info on the salary of
sign language interpreters in the USA. ... Do you have any current
information on salaries for sign language interpreters? Thanks for
I'll try to help answer your question regarding salaries for sign
language interpreters, but keep in mind there is quite a range
depending of what region of the country you are in. From what I've
researched, salaries commonly range from $10,000 to $45,000
depending on one¢s employer, experience, hours worked and location.
The national average is somewhere around $43,000 annually. The
hourly range is about $15 on the low end, and $50 or more on the
high end with certification and specialized skills. In my area of
Northern California, it is quite common to work part-time or as a
free-lancer earning between $25 and $45 per hour.
As for education, an associate degree is becoming increasingly
required by most employers, along with continual education classes
and certification. A bachelor's degree will be needed soon to remain
competitive in this field. A two year college program isn't the only
route to interpreting, but it is the most common and successful way.
The interpreter training program (Distance Opportunities for
Interpreter Training www.unco.edu/doit/) which Dr. Vicars mentioned
I was involved with requires a minimum of a two year degree before
acceptance as well.
Your best bet for information on interpreting as a career ca be
found through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID)
This will give you practical information and link you to other sites
which may be helpful. Good luck.