Translation: The Fast Growing Career Where Every Word Counts

There’s some excellent news for those of you searching for your next bilingual job, particularly if you have previous experience working in the translation industry. Research conducted in the US by the website CareerBuilder, has found that translation and interpreting is the fastest-growing industry in the country. That means, in the not-too-distant future, there’s likely to be a surge in the number of roles in our already flourishing translation and interpreting sector.

According to the report, the translation and interpreting services industry is expected to grow by 36 percent by 2019. The only profession expected to have a higher growth rate than is a home care assistant, with demand expected to grow by 48 percent.

What is driving the growth in translation?

Two factors are powering the growth of the translation industry in countries like the US and the UK. Firstly, there has been a considerable rise in migration in the last decade, with net migration in the UK at an all-time high. This has increased the need for domestic services to be delivered in multiple languages.

Then there’s the surge in the number of commercial enterprises looking to expand their offerings overseas. There are now fewer barriers to entry in foreign markets than there have ever been before. Simply translating or transcreating your existing website and online content is often enough to expand internationally online.

How much can a translator or interpreter expect to earn?

Bilingual jobs are comparatively well paid due to just how highly sought-after linguistic skill sets are. A bilingual speaker will typically earn between 5 percent and 20 percent more than their monolingual counterparts.

Although there are a wealth of bilingual job opportunities currently in the UK, many translators and interpreters choose to work on a freelance basis. The average wage for a professional translator or interpreter is £29,000 a year, or £14 an hour, although this can vary considerably depending on the role.

What makes a good translator?

Bilingualism is not the only skill you’ll need to be a good interpreter or translator. Just as having two feet doesn’t make you Lionel Messi, speaking two languages does not make you an excellent translator.

Many translators set their sights on the profession from a young age and go through a formal training or degree programme to give them the skills they need. Some of the best translators and interpreters are immigrants who have a second language, but also have specific experience in a technical field like medicine or engineering. This gives them the specialised vocabulary they’ll need.

Although the two jobs are often thought of as interchangeable, that view couldn’t be further from the truth. Translators generally work on texts, using their research and writing skills to create word perfect translations. Interpreters perform simultaneous in-person translation, which is much more reliant on interpersonal skills and the ability to think on your feet.

Industry threats and opportunities

While onlookers might consider the improvement in translation technology a threat to the industry, insiders believe machine translation tools represent an opportunity, not a challenge.

Technology definitely has a role to play and in some translations, but it only provides a very rough sense of the translated passage. In medical, legal and other technical translations, every word must be perfect. When performing such exacting translations, there really is no substitute for a human translator.

Apply for bilingual jobs online

If you’re looking for your next UK bilingual job, you’re in the right place. At Linguistica Recruitment, we have an excellent range of bilingual job opportunities across the South Coast. Just take a look at our current bilingual job vacancies and submit your CV today.

How to Ruin your Bilingual Job Chances in 140 Characters

Who could have predicted the impact social media has had on our lives in the last decade? Whether you love it or loathe it, the rise of social media is undeniable. For bilingual jobseekers, social media has the power to help you land or lose your dream job in 140 characters, so it’s essential you think carefully about what you’re posting online.

A recent survey by recruitment technology site Jobvite, found that 92 percent of recruiters now look at a candidate’s social media profile when hiring. Those recruiters looked at the following sites:

  • LinkedIn -87 percent
  • Facebook – 55 percent
  • Twitter – 47 percent
  • YouTube – 21 percent
  • Google+ – 14 percent

While your qualifications and experience will form the first part of the screening process, recruiters and employers then turn to social media to see whether a candidate is worth bringing in for interview. Used correctly, your social media profiles could elevate your bilingual job application to the top of the pile. Used wrongly, and your otherwise promising application could find itself in the bin.

Where does it all go wrong?

We are all entitled to a private life and those private lives are allowed to be fun. In fact, an active social life will usually be seen as a positive by an employer as it shows you have the potential to be a team player. LinkedIn is the platform most likely to be viewed by a prospective employer, so this is the place to put your professional face forward. Here you should comment on industry trends and news, follow the right people and generally show an interest in your chosen sector.

Facebook and Twitter are undoubtedly the two biggest social media stumbling blocks for job applicants. 69 percent of employers have rejected candidates based on their social media activity. The most common reasons cited by employers include:

  • Posting inappropriate photos or comments – 11 percent
  • Posting negative comments about a previous employer – 11 percent
  • Demonstrating poor communication skills – 11 percent
  • Posts about taking drugs – 10 percent
  • Discriminatory comments – 10 percent
  • Posts about drinking – 9 percent

Be vigilant

To prevent your social media activity from damaging your bilingual job prospects, never post anything you wouldn’t mind a potential employer seeing. If you can’t be sure your friends won’t tag you in a questionable snap, make sure you check your Facebook privacy settings.

While it is good to have an opinion, it might also be wise to steer clear of posting anything too political. While employers cannot discriminate on political grounds, they are also unlikely to employ an individual with excessively strong and potential divisive opinions.

Social media mistakes that killed a few careers

Here are a few real life examples of how social media has cost these careless workers their jobs:

– One lucky new Cisco employee tweeted: “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” She received a reply from the hiring manager informing her the job offer had been rescinded.

– You’d think a professional social media strategist would know better, but a hapless employee who thought he had logged into his personal account tweeted the following from Chrysler’s corporate account: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f*cking drive.” He was sacked the next day.

– A waitress blasted two customers on Facebook for giving a lousy tip and keeping her at the restaurant till late. She also made the ingenious move to identify the restaurant by name. Needless to say, her P45 was in the post.

Find your next bilingual job at Linguistica Recruitment

At Linguistica Recruitment, we help talented linguists find bilingual jobs along the South Coast. Simply submit your CV and one of our experienced recruiters will be in touch.