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Become a Court Interpreter

Bachelor’s degree

Most courts won’t consider candidates who don’t hold at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. Graduates who major in translation studies and/or court interpreting would be considered the most qualified, but several other fields are appropriate as well, such as foreign language majors in Spanish or French, for example.

Certification

Obtaining certification from a recognized professional court interpreter program could give you an advantage over other applicants. This type of certification usually provides enrollees the opportunity to take coursework that is directly pertinent to their future careers, such as classes in penal code, court procedures, and simultaneous translation, for example.

On-the-job experience

It’s the age-old conundrum for college graduates: how do I gain the experience required to get hired? Many courts are looking for experienced court interpreters. If you’re fresh out of college, consider working for a translation company or pursuing volunteer work or an internship that would provide you with the experience that many courts look for in a qualified candidate.

Adapt a flexible attitude when applying for positions

It’s entirely possible that you may have to move or make some concessions with regard to your desired salary in order to break into this profession. When applying for your first job as a court interpreter, remember that getting your “foot in the door” is always somewhat of a challenge, and you may have to relocate or take a salary that is lower than you would like in order to get your first job.