Interpreters transfer spoken or signed languages into other spoken or signed languages, usually within a limited timeframe in the presence of the participants requiring the translation.

    Formal qualifications and the ability to speak languages fluently are both needed to work as an Interpreter. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Interpreters.

    Tasks

    • Provides simultaneous and consecutive verbal or signed renditions of speeches into another language.
    • Renders the meaning and feeling of what is said and signed into another language in the appropriate register and style in a range of settings such as courts, hospitals, schools, workplaces and conferences.

    All Social Professionals

    • $1,942 Weekly Pay
    • Moderate Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment

    Interpreters

    • 4,000 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 22% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 41 hours Average full-time
    • 50 years Average age
    • 67% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Interpreters (in their main job) grew very strongly over 5 years:
    from 3,300 in 2011 to 4,000 in 2016.

    • Size: This is a very small occupation.
    • Location: Interpreters work in many parts of Australia. Victoria has a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Health Care and Social Assistance; and Public Administration and Safety.
    • Full-time: Less than half work full-time (22%, less than the average of 66%), showing there are many opportunities to work part-time.
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 41 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 50 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (62%).
    • Gender: 67% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services53.7
    Health Care and Social Assistance19.2
    Public Administration and Safety12.4
    Education and Training9.3
    Other Industries5.4

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateInterpretersAll Jobs Average
    NSW29.231.6
    VIC32.625.6
    QLD15.920.0
    SA9.27.0
    WA8.510.8
    TAS1.72.0
    NT1.71.0
    ACT1.21.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketInterpretersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.4-5.05.0
    20-243.2-9.39.3
    25-3414.8-22.922.9
    35-4419.8-22.022.0
    45-5423.4-21.621.6
    55-5913.3-9.09.0
    60-6410.8-6.06.0
    65 and Over14.4-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationInterpretersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate22.3-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree31.3-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma25.2-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV6.8-21.121.1
    Year 1210.8-18.118.1
    Year 110.9-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below2.7-12.512.5

    Formal qualifications and the ability to speak languages fluently are both needed to work as an Interpreter. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Interpreters.

    Accreditation with the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters or membership with the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators may be useful.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • working with children check

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Community Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Social Professionals who have good leadership and planning skills, with a strong ability to communicate.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Foreign Language

      95% Skill level

      Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

    2. English Language

      83% Skill level

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    3. Customer and Personal Service

      72% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    4. Clerical

      64% Skill level

      Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

    5. Computers and Electronics

      59% Skill level

      Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 27-3091.00 - Interpreters and Translators.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Contact With Others

      97% Important

      How much do you have contact with people (face-to-face, by telephone, or any other way)?

    2. Being Exact or Accurate

      92% Important

      How important is being very exact or highly accurate?

    3. Face-to-Face Discussions

      84% Important

      How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

    4. Telephone

      82% Important

      How often do you talk on the telephone?

    5. Electronic Mail

      80% Important

      How often do you use electronic mail?

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 27-3091.00 - Interpreters and Translators.

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