Interpreter and Translator Job Description

Interpreters and translators are the main workers behind global communication.

three people sitting in front of table laughing together

Interpreters and translators usually work in organizations such as government departments, medical offices, law firms and so on.


The function of interpreters is to translate what one person has said into another language (and vice versa), while translators deal with the written word.


The requirements of being an interpreter and translator also vary depending on the specific field they work in. But some general guidelines are:

  • Knowledgeable in multiple language pairs (i.e., English-Japanese, Japanese-Korean, etc.).
  • Ability to speak both languages fluently.
  • Knowledgeable in a certain field or specific technical terms.
  • Possess high levels of writing, listening and speaking skills.
  • They must be able to keep confidentiality of all information provided by their clients. 
  • Good at time management and perceptivity (for simultaneous translation). For simultaneous translations, they have to constantly listen to the person speaking.
  • Good working memory for information processing and response (for consecutive translation). For consecutive translations, they have to provide a translation of what has already been said in the previous sentence or paragraph. 
  • Must be able to meet deadlines at all times. 
  • Maintain composure during high-stress situations.
  • Must have good coordination skills and be able to work as a team member or individually.  


Interpreter and translators usually work in organizations such as government departments, medical offices, law firms and so on.


They work in a conference or meeting room, having a discussion with their clients while converting it into another language. They may also have to travel to various locations such as hospitals and jails. Their schedules can range from 8-5 pm during the weekdays and possibly 50 hours per week during recesses and holidays (i.e., weekends).


Their workloads are different. For many interpreters and translators, overtime is mandated to meet project deadlines. For others, there may be no such thing as overtime as they work solely on an hourly basis or even per project basis. In this case, they operate like a contractor and get paid only when their services are required by the company.


Interpreters and translators earn anywhere from $15 to $100 per hour, depending on the field they work in (interpreting or translating) as well as their experience level.

Statistics on Interpreters and Translators


  • Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 20 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. (
  • The largest employers of interpreters and translators were as follows: Professional, scientific, and technical services 34%, Self-employed workers 21%, Educational services; state, local, and private 18%, Hospitals; state, local, and private 8%. (
  • The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,740, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $96,480. (

Articles On Interpreters and Translators


5 Key Differences Between Interpretation and Translation

Learn the 5 key differences between interpretation and translation—and how each service can help your business communicate flawlessly with a global audience. (


Interpreter Vs Translator - What Are Core Differences?

What are the roles of Interpreters? How do they differ from Translators? Explore the difference between interpreters & translators in detail. (


Interpreters and Translators: Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Interpreters and translators convert information from one language into another language. (


Interpreters vs. Translators (


The Difference between Translation and Interpreting - Language Scientific 

Interpreting and translation are two closely related linguistic disciplines. Yet they are rarely performed by the same people. The difference in skills, training, aptitude and even language knowledge are so substantial that few people can do both successfully on a professional level. On the surface,... (


Interpreters and Translators (


Interpreter and Translator

While interpreters and translators both mold language to convey meaning, they shape it in distinct ways. Sign-language... (


What does a Interpreter Translator do and How to become One.

What does a Interpreter do? How to become a Interpreter and Job Description. Interpreter Degree Programs. Interpreter Career Outlook. Interpreters Types. (


What You Need to Know About Being a Translator or Interpreter

What does a translator or an interpreter do? Learn about earnings, outlook, and education requirements. Find out what working in this field is really like. (

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