Does it ever seem like there are too many interpreters and translators out there? Or maybe there aren’t enough? Well, let’s dig into some data first:
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics report from 2019, there were 77,400 interpreters employed in the US. Interpreters work in settings such as schools, hospitals, courtrooms, meetings and conferences. Some work for translation and interpretation agencies such as ours, individual organizations, or private clients. Many interpreters and translators also work remotely. Self-employed free-lance interpreters and translators frequently have variable work schedules.
States with the highest numbers are, to no surprise, California, Texas, New York, Florida and Arizona. Please note that these statistics are for “employed” workers, not independent contractor freelancers. There are almost 5,500 interpreters listed by the American Translators Association (ATA), most of which are freelance.
Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 20 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Globalization and large increases in the number of non-English-speaking people in the United States will drive employment growth. Job prospects should be best for those who have a professional certification.
All this data leads us to one conclusion. There are NOT enough interpreters and translators to meet the rising demand – especially if immigration policy stops being restricted, and travel becomes easier once the pandemic has lifted.
If you, or anyone you know, are interested in becoming an interpreter or translator there are several options and we would love to help steer you in the right direction – it’s a very rewarding opportunity if you speak more than one language fluently and want to become a freelancer!