Why be a Sign Language Interpreter?
1. If you are a people person, you will love interpreting and interacting with people of diverse language and backgrounds.
2. Sign language interpreters work in any area where communication needs to happen, so the possibilities of interest are endless. You could work in any of the following areas: education, medical, law, non-profit work, government, human resources, advocacy, the performing arts, technology, or even work from home.
3. The demand for sign language interpreters is growing and is expected to continue to grow. This growth is caused by societal changes, innovations in technology, and Deaf professionals having greater access to interpretation services.
4. You can work anywhere in the U.S. and abroad. However, interpreters will always have the greatest opportunity for work where there are larger Deaf communities.
5. The average beginning salary for interpreters is comparable to a beginning teacher’s salary, but this can vary by state. In Kentucky, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation sets a free-lance rate for interpreters that most interpreters working for themselves follow. Pay depends upon one's level of education, amount of experience, credentials, and the type of work the interpreter is providing.
6. EKU's interpreter education program is accredited and our graduates intern and are employed by Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Kentucky School for the Deaf, EKU Center for Student Accessibility, Sign Language Network of KY, Rochester Institute of Technology, Central Kentucky Interpreter Referral (CKIR), Interpreting Services of the Commonwealth (ISC), Sorenson Communications, and many other agencies.
To learn more:
- Be an American Sign Language Interpreter.
- Be an elementary teacher (primary/kindergarten - 5th grade)
- Be a middle school teacher (5th grade - 9th grade)
- Be a high school teacher (8th grade - 12th grade)
- Be a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Be a special education teacher
- Be a speech pathologist assistant