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December 6, 2023
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Legal Service

How Much Does a Courtroom Interpreter Make?

If you have mastery in a foreign language, along with a legal background, legal interpreting can be an excellent career choice for you. The primary duty in court interpreting is translating speech from one language to another during legal proceedings and trials. You also get the option to work part-time, full-time, or even as a freelancer.

But just like other careers, one essential factor for prospective interpreters is how much money they can make. Take a look-

What is the Median Income of Legal Interpreters?

The annual median income of a legal interpreter can range from $30,000 to $80,000. Factors like experience, geographic location, qualifications, and court type significantly affect the income of the interpreters. Also, note that some of the courts only employ certified legal interpreters.

Even if you’re not certified in legal interpreting, consider certification from ATA as it can add value to your resume. Also, interpreters who work on contract-basis generally earn more than other legal interpreters. So, after gaining some experience, do try to work on contract-basis over freelancing.

How to Become a Certified Legal Interpreter?

To begin with, you should consider professional certification, like ATA certification, which will confirm your knowledge as a translator. To get certified, you’ll mostly be required to appear for a written and oral exam in English as well as in your target language. However, the certification requirements can vary between courts and states in the USA.

You can visit the official website of the local court in your state to get a better understanding of the certification process. After getting certified, you can also consider working for a legal employer.

Career Prospects for Legal Interpreters

In the next 10 years, translator and interpreter jobs in the USA are expected to grow at 20%. This is considerably higher than in most other fields. Globalization has increased the number of non-English speakers in the USA. According to the Washington Post, millions of US citizens do not speak to each other in English.

This has a direct relationship with the growing demand for translators and interpreters.  If you want to become a certified legal interpreter, this can be the right time as the prospects are very bright. With time, the income of legal interpreters is also expected to witness an upswing.

Should You Become a Legal Interpreter?

Court interpreting can be a fascinating career with excellent career prospects and high average income. Your earnings can also increase consistently as you gain more experience. If you’re from a legal background and have your way with languages, this can definitely be an excellent career for you.

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