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Career and Education Opportunities for Interpreters in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Interpreter career and educational opportunities abound in Chattanooga, Tennessee. About 460 people are currently employed as interpreters in Tennessee. By 2016, this is expected to grow 27% to 590 people employed. This is better than the national trend for interpreters, which sees this job pool growing by about 22.2% over the next eight years. In general, interpreters translate or interpret written, oral, or sign language text into another language for others.

Income for interpreters is about $14 per hour or $29,590 per year on average in Tennessee. Nationally, their income is about $18 hourly or $38,850 per year. Jobs in this field include: bilingual secretary, diplomatic interpreter, and linguist.

The Chattanooga area is home to twenty schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Chattanooga where you can get a degree as an interpreter. The most common level of education for interpreters is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. It will take about two years to learn to be an interpreter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Interpreter

Interpreter video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, interpreters translate or interpret written, oral, or sign language text into another language for others.

Interpreters follow ethical codes that protect the confidentiality of data. They also refer to reference materials, such as dictionaries and computerized terminology banks, as needed to insure translation accuracy. Finally, interpreters identify and resolve conflicts pertaining to the meanings of words or behaviors.

Every day, interpreters are expected to be able to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. They need to speak clearly. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for interpreters to check translations of technical terms and terminology to insure that they are accurate and remain consistent throughout translation revisions. They are often called upon to translate messages simultaneously or consecutively into specified languages, orally or by using hand signs, maintaining message content and style as much as possible. They also compile terminology and data to be used in translations, including technical terms such as those for legal or medical material. They are sometimes expected to proofread and revise translated materials. Somewhat less frequently, interpreters are also expected to adapt translations to students' cognitive and grade levels, collaborating with educational team members as needed.

Interpreters sometimes are asked to train and supervise other translators or interpreters. And finally, they sometimes have to translate messages simultaneously or consecutively into specified languages, orally or by using hand signs, maintaining message content and style as much as possible.

Like many other jobs, interpreters must be reliable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chattanooga include:

  • Music Director. Direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.
  • Public Relations Specialist. Engage in promoting or creating good will for individuals, groups, or organizations by writing or selecting favorable publicity material and releasing it through various communications media. May prepare and arrange displays, and make speeches.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Interpreter Training

Tennessee Temple University - Chattanooga, TN

Tennessee Temple University, 1815 Union Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37404. Tennessee Temple University is a small university located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 706 students and an admission rate of 24%. Tennessee Temple University has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Sign Language Interpretation and Translation.

Covenant College - Lookout Mountain, GA

Covenant College, 14049 Scenic Highway, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750-4164. Covenant College is a small college located in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,343 students and an admission rate of 65%. Covenant College has 2 areas of study related to Interpreter. They are:

  • French Language and Literature, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Spanish Language and Literature, bachelor's degree.

Lee University - Cleveland, TN

Lee University, 1120 N Ocoee St, Cleveland, TN 37311. Lee University is a small university located in Cleveland, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,147 students and an admission rate of 64%. Lee University has 2 areas of study related to Interpreter. They are:

  • French Language and Literature, bachelor's degree.
  • Spanish Language and Literature, bachelor's degree.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - Chattanooga, TN

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 615 McCallie Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a medium sized university located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,807 students and an admission rate of 79%. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has a bachelor's degree program in Foreign Languages and Literatures.

Bryan College - Dayton, TN

Bryan College, 721 Bryan Drive, Dayton, TN 37321-7000. Bryan College is a small college located in Dayton, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has an admission rate of 72%. Bryan College has a bachelor's degree program in Spanish Language and Literature which graduated two students in 2008.

Southern Adventist University - Collegedale, TN

Southern Adventist University, 4881 Taylor Cir, Collegedale, TN 37315-0370. Southern Adventist University is a small university located in Collegedale, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,731 students and an admission rate of 70%. Southern Adventist University has 3 areas of study related to Interpreter. They are:

  • Foreign Languages and Literatures, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • French Language and Literature, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Spanish Language and Literature, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

National Judiciary Interpreter and Translator Certification: Achieving the credential of Nationally Certified Judiciary Interpreter and Translator (NCJIT) shows your commitment to upholding the highest standards in the profession.

For more information, see the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators website.

LICENSES

POLYGRAPH EXAMINER

Licensing agency: Board of Polygraph Examiners
Address: Division of Regulatory Boards, Department of Commerce and Insurance, Davy Crockett Tower 6th Floor, 500 James Robertson Pkwy, Nashville, TN 37243-1156

Phone: (615) 741-0697
Website: Board of Polygraph Examiners Division of Regulatory Boards Department of Commerce and Insurance

POLYGRAPH EXAMINER INTERN

Licensing agency: Board of Polygraph Examiners
Address: Division of Regulatory Boards, Department of Commerce and Insurance, Davy Crockett Tower 6th Floor, 500 James Robertson Pkwy, Nashville, TN 37243-1156

Phone: (615) 741-0697
Website: Board of Polygraph Examiners Division of Regulatory Boards Department of Commerce and Insurance

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee photo by Avala

Chattanooga is situated in Hamilton County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 170,880, which has grown by 9.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chattanooga, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chattanooga are priced at $141,100 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-two new homes were built in Chattanooga, down from four hundred forty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Chattanooga are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.5% of Chattanooga residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chattanooga is 9.5%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Chattanooga residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.2%, is more than both the national and state average. Stuart Heights Baptist Church, Kings Point Church and Stanley United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Chattanooga. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.

Chattanooga is home to the Creeks Bend Golf Club and the Concord Golf Course as well as Warner Park and Ross Landing City Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northgate Mall, Northgate Crossing Shopping Center and Lee Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Chattanooga can choose from Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Crystal Air Sport Motel and Hampton Inn Chattanooga I-75 North for temporary stays in the area.