CAREER GUIDE FOR PUBLIC INTERPRETER & TRANSLATOR
SOC Code: 27-3091
Pay Band(s): 3,4 and 5 (Salary Structure)
Standard Occupational Description: Translate or interpret written, oral, or sign language text into another language for others.
Interpreter and Translator positions in the Commonwealth are assigned to the following Roles in the Public Relations & Marketing Career Group:
While Interpreters and Translators within the Commonwealth are all located within the Public Relations and Marketing Career Group, individuals may want to pursue other opportunities within the Commonwealth depending upon individual training, education, knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests.
Other Career Group(s) that may be of interest are:
SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES AND TASKS
(Technical and Functional Expertise)
Note: The technical and functional skills listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Interpreters and Translators commonly recognized by most employers. Typically, you will not be required to have all of the skills listed to be a successful performer. Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.
1. Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
2. Talking to others to convey information effectively.
3. Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
4. Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
5. Actively looking for ways to help people.
Note: The technical and functional knowledge statements listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Interpreters and Translators commonly recognized by most employers. Typically, you will not be required to have all of the knowledge listed to be a successful performer. Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.
The Knowledge of:
1. Structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
2. Structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
3. Media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Note: The technical and functional abilities listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Interpreters and Translators commonly recognized by most employers. Typically, you will not be required to have all of the abilities listed to be a successful performer. Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.
The Ability to:
1. Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
2. Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
3. Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
4. Identify and understand the speech of another person.
5. Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
6. Speak clearly so others can understand you.
7. Remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
8. Concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
9. See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
10. Focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
Note: The following is a list of sample tasks typically performed by Interpreters and Translators. Employees in this occupation will not necessarily perform all of the tasks listed.
1. Translates approximate or exact message of speaker into specified language, orally or by using hand signs for hearing impaired.
2. Listens to statements of speaker to ascertain meaning and to remember what is said, using electronic audio system.
3. Translates responses from second language to first.
4. Reads written material, such as legal documents, scientific works, or news reports and rewrites material into specified language, according to established rules of grammar.
5. Receives information on subject to be discussed prior to interpreting session.
Like people, occupations have traits or characteristics. These characteristics give important clues about the nature of the work and work environment, and give you an opportunity to match your own personal interests to a specific occupation. When you choose a job in an occupation that matches your own interests you have taken an important step in planning a successful and rewarding career.
The occupation of Interpreter or Translator has Artistic, Social, Investigative and Conventional characteristics as described below:
Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
LICENSURE, REGISTRATION, OR CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
Generally this is not required for Interpreter and Translator positions in state government.
There is currently no universal form of certification required of all interpreters and translators in the United States, but there are a variety of different tests that workers can take to demonstrate proficiency. The American Translators Association http://www.atanet.org provides accreditation in more than 24 language combinations for its members; other options include a certification program offered by The Translators and Interpreters Guild: http://www.ttig.org.
Both the National Association of the Deaf and the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf http://www.rid.org offer certification for sign interpreters and have recently collaborated to develop a joint exam.
The Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) offers a screening assessment for sign language interpreters in Virginia: www.vddhh.org
Certification may enhance professional growth and career progression.
EDUCATIONAL, TRAINING, AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
The Department of Labor provides the following information:
Interpreters and translators enable the cross-cultural communication necessary in today's society by converting one language into another. However, these language specialists do more than simply translate words—they relay concepts and ideas between languages. They must thoroughly understand the subject matter in which they work, so that they are able to convert information from one language, known as the source language, into another, the target language. In addition, they must remain sensitive to the cultures associated with their languages of expertise.
Interpreters convert one spoken language into another—or, in the case of sign-language interpreters, between spoken communication and sign language. This requires interpreters to pay attention carefully, understand what is communicated in both languages, and express thoughts and ideas clearly. Strong research and analytical skills, mental dexterity, and an exceptional memory also are important.
Sign language interpreters facilitate communication between people who are deaf or hard of hearing and people who can hear. Sign language interpreters must be fluent in English and American Sign Language (ASL), which combines signing, finger spelling, and specific body language. ASL has its own grammatical rules, sentence structure, idioms, historical contexts, and cultural nuances. Sign language interpreting, like foreign language interpreting, involves more than simply replacing a word of spoken English with a sign representing that word.
Translators convert written materials from one language into another. They must have excellent writing and analytical ability. And because the documents they translate must be as flawless as possible, they also need good editing skills.
A bachelor's degree is almost always required, interpreters and translators note that it is acceptable to major in something other than a language. However, specialized training in how to do the work is generally required. A number of formal programs in interpreting and translation are available at colleges nationwide and through non-university training programs, conferences, and courses. Many people who work as conference interpreters or in more technical areas—such as localization, engineering, or finance—have master's degrees, while those working in the community as court or medical interpreters or translators are more likely to complete job-specific training programs.
The State Council of Higher Education lists Shenandoah University as a Virginia educational institution that offers a foreign language interpreter program.
Competencies are a set of identified behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities that directly and positively impact the success of employees and the organization. Competencies can be observed and measured. When consistently demonstrated, competencies make employees particularly effective in their work. Competencies help lay out a road map to career success. You can use the Commonwealth Competencies to help improve your individual performance by adopting behaviors that make high performing employees successful in their jobs. In this way, you can use the Commonwealth Competencies for your further professional development.
The Commonwealth Competencies are:
1. Technical and Functional Expertise
2. Understanding the Business
3. Achieving Results
4. Serving the Customer
6. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
7. Leadership and Personal Effectiveness
The above competencies may be applied to employees throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. They can be rank-ordered by agencies and hiring managers to represent the needs of a specific job. The rank ordering will change depending upon the occupation, an organization's priorities, the actual job requirements, and the supervisor's preferences.
Career success is both about what you do (applying your technical knowledge, skills, and ability) and how you do it (the consistent behaviors you demonstrate and choose to use) while interacting and communicating with others. Hopefully, by studying the Commonwealth competencies, identifying your developmental opportunities, and working to refine your own competence, you can take charge of your career!
For additional information about the Commonwealth Competencies go to: http://jobs.state.va.us/cc_planningctr.htm. For the competencies, we first list the competencies and then define each. Finally, we list competency indicators; to describe what successful performance looks like.
COMMONWEALTH CAREER PATH
Career opportunities in the Commonwealth are not limited to moving “up” to the next highest role and pay band, changing positions, or to becoming a supervisor. That's because most roles describe a broad group of occupationally related positions that perform a range of work that requires increased knowledge and skills. For that reason, Commonwealth roles describe the career paths within the same or higher-level role for the same or different Career Group. The broad salary range and the Commonwealth's pay practices provide flexibility in recognizing career development and advancement. (Salary Structure)
For example: Interpreter and Translator
Sample Career Path
Public Relations and Marketing Specialist II
The Public Relations and Marketing Specialist II role provides a career track for the interpreter performing entry-level responsibilities and having one-on-one communication in non-education situations and non-technical issues.
Public Relations and Marketing Specialist III
The Public Relations and Marketing Specialist III role provides a career track for interpreters performing journey-level to advanced level responsibilities.
Public Relations and Marketing Specialist IV
The Public Relations and Marketing Specialist IV role provides a career track for interpreters who serve as experts or supervisors.
Public Relations and Marketing Manager I
The Public Relations and Marketing Manager I role provides career tracks for managers responsible for public and media relations, customer service, marketing, public awareness, and/or fund raising activities for a segment of an agency's program or specialized program activities. Responsibilities include developing training, information and promotional materials, and policies and procedures related to a facility, supervision of staff and volunteers, and budget development.
Public Relations and Marketing Manager II
The Public Relations and Marketing Manager II role provides career tracks for managers responsible for the planning and implementation of comprehensive agency-wide programs or a major division program, supervision of staff, and utilization of program resources. Responsibilities include leadership and creativity in developing, managing, and executing public and media relations, publications, customer service, marketing, public awareness, and/or fund raising activities.
Public Relations and Marketing Manager III
The Public Relations and Manager III role provides career tracks for managers to directors responsible for the planning and implementation of comprehensive programs or a division-wide program, supervision of staff, and utilization of program resources. Responsibilities range in scope from regional to international and include leadership and creativity in developing and managing staff, policy development, executing public and media relations programs, publications, customer service, marketing, public awareness, and/or fund raising initiatives.
Public Relations and Marketing Manager IV
The Public Relations and Marketing Manager IV role provides career tracks for the executives whose responsibilities range in scope from statewide to international for an agency program or specialty area(s). Employees are responsible for extensive agency marketing and sales services, public and media relations and/or economic development and advancement programs. Duties include strategic planning, market and sales development, market and/or economic development goals and objectives, public relations and promotional initiatives, direction of staff and comprehensive fund raising strategies.
ADDITIONAL OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT:
O*NET (Occupational Information Network)
Virginia Employment Commission
Career One Stop
Virginia Career Resource Network