An interpreter has the task of effectively facilitating communication between Deaf and hearing people. This complex process includes incorporating cultural information and requires a high degree of linguistic, cognitive, and technical skill in both languages. Even when conversation is not happening, an interpreter conveys key environmental sounds and happenings.
- Professionals (not volunteers) who undergo years of training in language and cultural competency.
- Expected to have appropriate credentials, including industry-specific degrees, screenings, licenses, and certifications
- Not helpers.
- Interpreter training (college programs) include 100-200+ practicum hours. Additional mentoring hours after graduation are needed to be qualified and ready to practice.
- National certification(s) require minimum of a bachelor’s degree to sit for the two-part (written and performance) exam.
- Additional training and practicum hours are required to specialize in legal, medical, and mental health interpreting.
- Interpreters must complete a minimum of 80 hours of professional development training every four years to maintain national certification.
Did you know?
- There are multiple screenings and certifications for sign language interpreters. These qualify an interpreter to work in a K-12 classroom, courts, and other settings. The only specialist certificate is the SC:L for legal court work.
- Interpreters earn from $20-$125 per hour or more. The state where work is performed, the type of interpreting assignment, and the interpreter’s credentials influence the pay rate.
- State regulations, laws, and credentials required to do various types of work (particularly in legal and educational settings) vary from state to state. Find requirements in my state
Demographics & Population
The main national governing body is the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).
- RID members: 15,000 (certified, associate, student, supporting etc.)
- Certified interpreters: 10,023 total; CDI (206); SC:L 321;
- Euro American/White: 9,315 (appx 88-90%)
- BIPOC: 1,689 (appx 12-15%)
- Female: 9,763 (appx 95%)
- Male 1,616
- Nonbinary, Gender Fluid, Transgender etc.: 125
- Audiological: Hearing: 10,557; Deaf/HoH: 516
- State statistics: (certified HI/CDI)
- CT 107/6
- MA 263/16
- ME: 76/2
- NH: 56/2
- RI: 23/2
- TN: 153/1
- VT: 28/2