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Home-Based Phone Interpreters in Demand
By Christine Durst & Michael Haaren
Feb. 23, 2012
If you’re looking for a home-based job, knowing a second language
can come in handy. Language Line Services, for example, announced this
week that it seeks to hire 2,000 phone interpreters this year, most of
them home-based. Work-at-home translators, too, are in demand.
Language Line says it will be hiring “1,300 Spanish interpreters,
400 Mandarin, Russian, Vietnamese, Korean, Cantonese, Portuguese,
Arabic, Polish and French interpreters and nearly 200 in more than 160
other languages.” Work-at-home slots will be available in the
U.S., Canada, Mexico and the U.K. Job seekers may apply here.
Phone interpreters handle everything from business discussions to 911
calls, making sure that what is said is what is understood. Work can be
high-pressure, as you can imagine when a home-invasion is taking place
and police are needed, or a multi-million dollar deal is literally
“on the line.”
TRANSLATORS WORK WITH THE WRITTEN WORD
While interpreters work with the voice, translators, many of whom are
also home-based, work with the written word. Assignments can range from
poetry to business contracts to complex judicial decisions and beyond.
As might be expected, translators certified by professional
organizations such as the American Translators Association tend to earn
more than others. Those who work directly with clients can also earn
more than those who work through middle-man agencies. But if
you’re not comfortable marketing yourself and would rather have
someone else handling client relations and administrative functions,
you might be better off with the agency option.
JOB GROWTH AND PAY RATES
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook
Handbook for 2010-2011, the job outlook is good: “Employment of
interpreters and translators is projected to increase 22 percent over
the 2008–18 decade, which is much faster than the average for all
occupations.” The demand is driven by “the broadening of
international ties and the large increases in the number of non-English
speaking people in the United States.”
Demand and pay depend in part on the languages and type of work
involved. Spanish has strong prospects, says the BLS, as do the areas
of healthcare and law.
The median pay for salaried interpreters and translators as of 2008,
per the BLS, was $38,850. However, expert Corinne McKay, a certified
translator who specializes in French-to-English translation, and the
author of “How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator,”
affirms that there is more to be made working directly with clients. As
she writes in her blog, Thoughts on Translation,
“I think that if you’re very good at what you do and you
market yourself fairly assertively, there is enough work out there to
earn at least $75,000 a year as a freelance translator even if you work
with a mix of agencies and direct clients. I’d say that at this
point, all of the translators I know who work exclusively with direct
clients earn at least $100,000 a year.”
In other words, hablas español yet?
Christine Durst and Michael Haaren are leaders in the work-at-home
movement and advocates of de-rat-raced living. Their latest book
is Work at Home Now,
a guide to finding home-based jobs. They offer additional guidance on
finding home-based work at www.RatRaceRebellion.com. To read features
by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators
Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2012 BY STAFFCENTRIX, DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM