Conference Interpreter

Convey information in different languages during conferences.
picture of Conference Interpreter

Quick Stats


Outlook
Good

Salary Range
$23,000 – $86,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Conference Interpreters do?

At a conference, participants can listen, teach, share, and debate. They can also gorge themselves on free food and drink. While the latter activity requires no speaking (in fact, it’s preferred that people do not speak while eating), the former tasks do require a significant amount of talking and listening.

Often, people at a conference speak many different languages. That’s where a Conference Interpreter steps in. As a Conference Interpreter, you translate information from one language to another, easing communication between diverse groups.

Covering a busy conference often requires many Conference Interpreters. Often, you work in shifts, and you determine who will cover what session based on the languages you speak.

You rarely provide one-on-one interpretation services. Instead, you’re plugged into headphones, as is your audience. You may never be allowed to talk face to face to the people you’re interpreting for, but they may recognize the sound of your voice when you order coffee from the Barista while you’re on your break.

During the session, the speaker talks, and as the words roll through your ears, you translate and speak them in another language. If you’re covering a medical conference, the Doctors may rarely use emotion in their speech, so you also keep your speaking tone flat and calm. But if you’re covering a conference of Politicians or Presidents, you may need to inject a significant amount of zest and zeal into your translation to help the listeners understand the passion of the speaker.


Should I be a Conference Interpreter?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • How to become a Conference Interpreter

    Most Conference Interpreters have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:yo19cx&chl=no+college+%2812%25%29|certificate+%287%25%29|associate%27s+%2826%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2830%25%29|master%27s+%281%25%29|doctorate+%2824%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,12,30
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