Alternative titles for this job include

Translators convert the written word from the 'source language' into the 'target language', making sure that the meaning is the same.

Average salary (a year)


Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends attending events or appointments

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Translator

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • applying directly
  • a qualification with a professional body


You'll usually need a degree or postgraduate qualification in translation.

Relevant degrees include:

  • languages - courses which specialise in linguistics or translation may give you an advantage but are not essential
  • combined degrees which include a subject like law or science with languages

You could also do a postgraduate course like an master's in translation or translation studies.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information

Other Routes

You can take a diploma in translation through the Chartered Institute of Linguists, which is a postgraduate level qualification.

The Institute of Translation and Interpreting also has details of organisations offering training in translation.

More Information

Career tips

Language translation skills in demand include:

  • French
  • German
  • English
  • Russian
  • Chinese
  • Arabic
  • Spanish

Further information

You'll find more details about becoming a translator from the Institute of Translation and Interpreting.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • foreign language skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work on your own
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • concentration skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You must be fluent in one or more languages as well as English, and have knowledge of the culture in the relevant country, usually gained from living and working there.

You may have to pass enhanced background checks if your work is related to national security.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you could:

  • reproduce text clearly, accurately and in the style intended by the author
  • use specialist translation software
  • use specialist knowledge, like technical terminology
  • research legal, technical or scientific terms
  • consult with experts to make sure the translation is accurate
  • keep your language skills up to date and current

Working environment

You could work in an office, from home or at a client's business.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

Most translators work freelance or through translation agencies. With experience you could start your own translation agency, or move into teaching.

You could specialise in a particular subject area like law, medicine or finance.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Translator right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Russian 4 translation in practice

  • Start date: 25 September 2024
  • Location: Not known

Argonautica reading group (in translation)

  • Start date: 08 October 2024
  • Location: Not known

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.