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.