Salary & Certification of an ASL Interpreter


If you have the right qualifications as a sign language interpreter, then it should be possible for you to work in various job settings. It is also possible to enjoy well-paying employment. Do take note though that the average salary you will get depends on various factors. Some of these factors include experience and location. There are still other factors aside from these that can decide your pay grade.

Job Description

People who are fluent in the English language are the ones who may enjoy a career as a sign language interpreter. It is even more so when they are committed to learning a new language. Their desire to assist others is another beneficial asset they can take advantage of when they want to be successful in the field.

A sign language interpreter will have the responsibility of translating spoken English into American Sign Language, otherwise known as ASL. The purpose of the said translation is for the deaf or the hearing-impaired individuals to understand what other people are saying to them. Also, the interpreter will also be the one to translate what the deaf or the hearing impaired individuals are saying to other people.

Job Prospects

When it comes to the job prospects of sign language interpreters, it is quite favorable. There is a high demand for positions in the translating and interpreting field. Contact SignTalk For NYC ASL Jobs. The main factor affecting this rise in the demand is the availability of Internet video communication.

Work Environment and Similar Occupations

A highly qualified individual can take up sign language interpreter jobs in various environment. These include meeting and conference facilities, court settings, hospitals, and academic institutions. In fact, those who are qualified may also take up similar occupations such as technical writer, medical transcriptionist, and court reporter.

Salary Overview

Truth be told, the sign language interpreter jobs do not have a set pay grade. One’s pay can vary widely. A qualified interpreter can get about $14 to $40 hourly. However, the problem is that they may not be able to find enough hours of work in a week. This is especially true for those sign language interpreters who are working freelance. Their salary can depend on training, credentials, geographic location, and experience too.

For example, the salary will depend on the industry. Working in the professional, technical, and scientific field offers an average hourly wage of $27. Those working in secondary and elementary schools, one the other hand, can earn an average hourly wage of $19. Expect the highest average hourly wage for those who are working in the engineering, architectural, and other related fields as well as in the federal executive government.

Another example is with your geographic location. The states of California, Florida, Virginia, and New York are the ones that offer the highest levels of employment for sign language interpreters. On the other hand, the states with the highest average hourly wage include Virginia, Maryland, District of Columbia, Nevada, and Massachusetts. Expect lower average hourly wage in Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Montana.

Education Requirements and Certifications

It is possible to learn ASL even without formal education. However, it is still highly recommended to attend a sign language interpretation class. Get a bachelor’s degree or associate degree in this field to take up courses related to transliterating, interpretation analysis, deaf culture, and much more. Getting certifications can also advance one’s earning potential. A good certification worth pursuing is the National Interpreter Certification. An interpreter taking up this certification is required to have a bachelor’s degree, though. In this certification, one is required to pass a performance test, written exam, and oral interview. The certification will tell whether an interpreter is at a generalist level, advanced level, or master level.