How to Find a Job as a Sign Language Interpreter

Sign language interpreter

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Some people who learn sign language decide they want to become sign language interpreters. After completing interpreter training, they need to find jobs as interpreters. But where would one find such opportunities?

If you are searching for a sign language interpreter job, these resources can help you find what you're looking for.

Interpreting Agencies and Freelancing

A trained interpreter can choose between working for an interpreting agency as an employee or being a freelancer.

If you wish to work on staff at an interpreting agency, you can find agencies to contact about job openings by checking with statewide services for deaf and hard of hearing people. They often maintain listings of local interpreting service agencies.

If you wish to be a freelance interpreter, these same statewide services can be of help. Licensed, qualified interpreters can have their names added to any databases of licensed interpreters used when making referrals to those in need.

Contacting video relay services may also be helpful. Video relay services hire many sign language interpreters, as the employment demand for their services is increasing.

Deaf Job Sites

Deaf-related job sites often have some interpreting-related jobs listed. The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf may also be a useful resource for identifying employment opportunities.

Government Agencies

Federal government agencies will often list sign language interpreter jobs. For example, at the time this was written, a check of USAJobs.gov turned up three sign language interpreter jobs. Individual agency job sites and state government agencies may also list interpreting jobs.

College Programs

Contact major college programs for the deaf and hard of hearing that may be able to point you in the direction of employment, such as:

To find interpreting jobs at other colleges, try conducting job searches on higher education-related websites such as Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and HigherEdJobs. Don't forget community colleges either — they may have deaf services programs.

Mainstream Job Sites

Some large mainstream job sites may also list interpreting jobs. The best way to find them is to use the key phrase "sign language" in the sites' search boxes. You may also find interpreting jobs on the following mainstream employment sites: Monster.com, Indeed.com, or NationJob.com.

Public Schools

Last, but definitely not least, check your local public school system's job listings. Schools tend to have a chronic shortage of educational interpreters.

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  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Interpreters and translators. Updated April 10, 2020.