Spanish Interpreter

Translate spoken Spanish into English and vice versa.
picture of Spanish Interpreter

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$23,000 – $86,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Spanish Interpreters do?

Spanish and English share several words, including “cent,” “rodeo,” and “pretender.” However, it’s hard for a native Spanish speaker to string these shared words together and achieve anything close to a meaningful sentence, unless that person is talking to a Police Officer, making a claim of theft at a local sporting event. In all other instances, a Spanish Interpreter can help. A Spanish Interpreter translates phrases spoken in Spanish into English, and then translates English replies into Spanish.

As a Spanish Interpreter, you may focus on interactions between a Spanish speaker and one other person. Here, you take notes while the person is talking, translate the entire message in your head, and then repeat the conversation in the other language. As you speak, you give your sentences the same sort of emotional heft that the original speaker gave them, and you do your best not to change the meaning in any way.

Other situations may require you to talk before your subject is through speaking. This form of translation is often used in interviews with Reporters, in the judiciary system, or in governmental positions. Conveying emotion is not so important here, as the speaker will do that while he or she is speaking, but you must still be careful to relay the facts exactly as they’ve been spoken.

In many cases, you interpret sensitive information that’s incredibly private in nature. For this reason, you aren’t allowed to take your notes home with you, and you’re rarely allowed to talk about your work with friends and family.

Should I be a Spanish Interpreter?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • How to become a Spanish Interpreter

    Most Spanish 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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