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Career and Education Opportunities for Interpreters in Vancouver, Washington

Interpreters can find many career and educational opportunities in the Vancouver, Washington area. Currently, 970 people work as interpreters in Washington. This is expected to grow 19% to 1,160 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for interpreters, which sees this job pool growing by about 22.2% over the next eight years. Interpreters generally translate or interpret written, oral, or sign language text into another language for others.

The income of an interpreter is about $19 per hour or $40,100 annually on average in Washington. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $18 per hour or $38,850 annually on average. Interpreters work in a variety of jobs, including: arabic translator, sign language interpreter, and bilingual secretary.

The Vancouver area is home to forty-eight schools of higher education, including seven within twenty-five miles of Vancouver 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. You can expect to spend about two years studying 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 Vancouver 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

Lewis & Clark College - Portland, OR

Lewis & Clark College, 0615 S W Palatine Hill Rd, Portland, OR 97219-7899. Lewis & Clark College is a small college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,650 students and an admission rate of 58%. Lewis & Clark College has 4 areas of study related to Interpreter. They are:

  • Foreign Languages and Literatures, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • German Language and Literature, bachelor's degree which graduated 6 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 5 students in 2008.

University of Portland - Portland, OR

University of Portland, 5000 N Willamette Blvd, Portland, OR 97203-5798. University of Portland is a small university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,666 students and an admission rate of 79%. University of Portland has a bachelor's degree program in Spanish Language and Literature which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Reed College - Portland, OR

Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97202-8199. Reed College is a small college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,471 students and an admission rate of 32%. Reed College has 7 areas of study related to Interpreter. They are:

  • Linguistics, bachelor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Chinese Language and Literature, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Russian Language and Literature, bachelor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • German Language and Literature, 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.
  • Classics & Classical Languages, Literatures, & Linguistics, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Pacific University - Forest Grove, OR

Pacific University, 2043 College Way, Forest Grove, OR 97116. Pacific University is a small university located in Forest Grove, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,135 students and an admission rate of 78%. Pacific University has 3 areas of study related to Interpreter. They are:

  • Japanese Language and Literature, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • German 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.

Portland State University - Portland, OR

Portland State University, 724 SW Harrison, Portland, OR 97201. Portland State University is a large university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,959 students and an admission rate of 80%. Portland State University has 8 areas of study related to Interpreter. They are:

  • Foreign Languages and Literatures, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Linguistics, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Chinese Language and Literature, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Japanese Language and Literature, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Russian Language and Literature, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • German Language and Literature, bachelor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • French Language and Literature, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Spanish Language and Literature, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated five and seven students respectively in 2008.

Portland Community College - Portland, OR

Portland Community College, 12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219-7132. Portland Community College is a large college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,657 students. Portland Community College has 2 areas of study related to Interpreter. They are:

  • American Sign Language, one to two year which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Sign Language Interpretation and Translation, associate's degree and two to four year which graduated four and two students respectively in 2008.

George Fox University - Newberg, OR

George Fox University, 414 N Meridian St, Newberg, OR 97132. George Fox University is a small university located in Newberg, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,382 students and an admission rate of 83%. George Fox University has a bachelor's degree program in Spanish Language and Literature which graduated one 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.