How to Become a Translator in the United States

Take advantage of your bilingual skills by learning how to become a translator!
Take advantage of your bilingual skills by learning how to become a translator!

Most translators make around $47,000 a year so if you’re bilingual you could be cashing in on a lot of money. Not only does it pay well but translators are always in high demand and it can be a fun, rewarding job.

All you need to get started is a certification. From there you’ll take tests to show that you’re bilingual, gather experience, and market yourself. Trust us, it’s just as easy as it sounds.

In this article, we’re going to go into a little bit more detail on how to become a translator so grab a pencil and follow along. Class is in session.

1. Get Yourself Certified

First things, first, you’re going to need to get a certification from a reputable school. Without it, you’ll have a little more trouble becoming a professional translator when you’re just starting out. If you don’t have the ability to go to school, don’t worry there is another way you can take classes.

The American Translator’s Association also has translation certification programs. Going through this method will give you another advantage as well. They post people who have gotten a certification on their website so that gives you a chance to grab clients.

2. Take a Few Tests

Another way you can buff up your resume is to take a few proficiency tests. These tests just show that you indeed know the language that you’re claiming to know and if you score high, that will just make clients want to hire you on even more.

3. Gather Experience

Like any job field, becoming a translator is easier if you have a little experience. So if you’re in college get involved with programs. Meaning, take translation classes and then see if any departments at the school could use your unique skills.

Make sure that you don’t come out empty handed from these efforts. Get letters of recommendation and other physical proof that you can hand to clients.

4. Learn to Market Yourself

Once you’ve gathered all of this great experience and gotten your resume up and ready to go, it’s time to get some work. To this end, you’ll have to do a little marketing.

Create a website or a blog with all of your work on it as well as join an online community of translators of some kind. Also, make sure that you have your rates ready to go if a client asks for them. Not having rates will show them that you aren’t a professional.

How to Become a Translator and Maximize Your Bilingual Abilities

Becoming a translator can be a fruitful and fun career path to put yourself on. To get started all you need to do is get certified, take a few tests, gain experience, and market yourself. Use this helpful guide on how to become a translator to have a successful journey.

Do you want to be a translator but are scared that your accent will get in the way? You may benefit from some of our courses. Check out our pricing page to see if we have a package in your budget.


English Pronunciation & Fluency Expert
Annie Ruden M.S.CCC-SLP
CEO | Accent Reduction Trainer
[email protected]

Be Understood. Be Confident.