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Languages Work

The national information resource on careers with languages

Getting work (translation and interpreting)

Many translators and interpreters work on a freelance basis. The advantages of this are that you have some control over the assignments you take on and a greater ability to manage your own time. The disadvantages, in common with other types of freelance work, are that you do not have a regular income or paid holiday/sick leave, and you can feel isolated.
Some large companies and public bodies employ full-time staff translators and interpreters. The EU institutions employ large numbers of language professionals and there remains a shortage of qualified native English-speaking applicants. For information go to:

Joining one of the professional bodies for linguists is likely to help you greatly as you start out and progress in your career, although it does not guarantee that you will get work. Various categories of membership are available, depending on your status and experience. Membership entitles you to a range of benefits including networking events, training, advice on securing work and help with continuing professional development. Professional bodies do not offer funding for training or broker work placement or employment opportunities.

If you intend to work as a public service interpreter using spoken languages, you should consider joining the National Register of Public Service Interpreters or becoming a Police and Court Interpreter member of the ITI.

For sign language interpreters, visit the National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People (NRCPD) who hold the Register of Sign Language Interpreters.

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