How to become a British Sign Language interpreter
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- working towards this role
- a trainee scheme
You'll need a degree or level 6 award in both British Sign Language and interpreting.
You would also need an approved qualification in interpreting like:
- postgraduate or master's degree in interpreting or translation
- Level 6 Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting
You'll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
You could work for an organisation that supports deaf people, or in a school or college, for example, as an educational support assistant. You could then do your British Sign Language qualifications on the job to qualify as an interpreter.
Getting involved in deaf clubs or centres for deaf people is a good way of getting experience and may give you the opportunity to get relevant training.
You could qualify by registering as a trainee sign language interpreter (TSLI). To register, you'll need:
- a degree or level 6 award in your first language - either English or British Sign Language (BSL)
- a minimum of level 4, above A level standard, in your second language - either English or BSL
- you'll need to register with the National Registers of Communications Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People
Many interpreters work freelance or through agencies and often get work through recommendations of people who have already used their services. It's important to have knowledge and an appreciation of deaf culture and the issues facing the deaf community.
You can find out more about becoming a British Sign Language interpreter from: