How to become an interpreter
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- applying directly
- specialist courses run by a professional body
You can do a degree or postgraduate qualification in:
- interpreting studies
- languages and interpreting
- translation and 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 can find unpaid or paid volunteering opportunities through local councils and organisations offering community interpreting services.
A community interpreting qualification may help you volunteer as an interpreter in your local community. Colleges and universities may have more information about this.
You may be able to get into this job if you have a non-language degree if you're fluent in English and a second language.
To help you to get a job in public service interpreting, you can take a Chartered Institute of Linguists course like:
- Certificate in Bilingual Skills
- Diploma in Public Service Interpreting
To be fluent in a language, you should:
- communicate quickly, smoothly and accurately
- know and understand informal speech, slang and regional differences
- understand the culture of the country or countries where the language is spoken
Professional and industry bodies
You can join an industry association to help with your professional development and to build up your network of contacts.
- Institute of Translation and Interpreting
- International Association of Conference Interpreters
- Chartered Institute of Linguists
- National Register of Public Service Interpreters
You can find out more about training and working as an interpreter from the Institute of Translation and Interpreting.