The sign language interpreter provides translation both into American Sign Language (ASL) for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HOH) individuals and translation from these individuals into spoken English (or another language, depending on their specialty and audience.) Interpreters can work in a variety of settings including schools, offices, courts, hospitals and conferences. When employed in schools, the interpreter may translate teachers’ speech into sign language for Deaf and HOH students and staff members as needed. Other uses include seminars, presentations and emergency room interpretations for patients. Positions may be part time or full time and the interpreter may also work as an independent contractor.
The need for sign language interpreters is expected to increase almost 30% in the next 10 years, much higher than the average for all occupations. Job prospects will be greatest for those with professional certification1.
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Interpreters and Translators, on the Internet at www.bls.gov (visited January 23, 2017).