How to Find a Job as a Translator


If you are bilingual, it's natural to want to find a job as a translator. Translation jobs are typically freelance, as few companies have a need for a full-time translator. Still, with enough clients, you'll be able to make a good income. Get certified if you want to break into the industry without experience or qualify for the best translator positions. This training ensures that you know how to accurately translate materials--maintaining the correct form and tone as you translate.

  • Join the American Translators Association. Through the ATA, you can earn your certification, look for jobs and network with other translators. You'll also be able to create a profile on their site which allows companies seeking translators to find you.

  • Look at websites that specialize in translation jobs. While you may find some job sources on the catch-all job boards, like, you'll find a wider range of available positions when you look at websites that only list jobs for translators.

  • Post your resume on a translation site. Some translation job boards allow you to post your resume. Clients can look over resumes at their convenience and may contact you through the board.

  • Sign up with a translation agency. A translation agency connects companies that need translation with qualified translators. You'll often have to go through a testing period to prove to the agency that you are qualified.

  • Search freelance job sites. Freelance sites sometimes have positions that require translation. You'll usually have to bid against others, but don't shortchange yourself. Charge companies a price that is fair for you.

  • Talk to other translators. Other translators may be able to pass on overflow work or refer clients that need additional languages. It's especially helpful to network with translators that work in a different language pair than you do because you won't be competing for work.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider specializing in a particular field. You may have more luck if you specialize in legal or medical translation, for example.

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