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About Interpreting Education Programs
An interpreter program is a formalized education program with a dedicated curriculum that is offered through a college, university or technical school that prepares students for a career in the field of interpreting.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions that RID receives regarding interpreting programs. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Preparation for Earning Credentials
Beginning July 1, 2012, hearing exam candidates will be required to hold a bachelor degree (any major) or an approved Educational Equivalency Application recorded in their RID account. Deaf exam candidates must have a minimum of an associate degree (any major) or an approved Educational Equivalency Application recorded in their RID account. While you may receive a degree in any field, one may find the background, skills development and theory learned in a recognized interpreter program are extremely beneficial in getting your national certification.
Learning Sign Language
Sign language classes are offered throughout the community at schools and colleges, churches and recreation departments. Some of these are excellent, and some are very poor. The classes may be ASL, PSE, SEE or some mixture of all. Instructors may be experienced, professional educators, or people who have only taken a few classes themselves. Buyer beware!
Finding an Interpreting Program
There are college and university programs around the country. A majority offer associate degrees in interpreting, but the number of bachelor programs is increasing. Additionally, a handful of schools offer master degrees in interpreting.
Choosing a Degree Option
To be a successful interpreter, you need a wide range of general knowledge. A degree is an important way to gain that knowledge. The higher the degree, the more diverse and complete your general knowledge will be. In many interpreting jobs in school systems, your salary is partly based on your degree. Interpreting is a very complex task and requires a high degree of fluency in two languages. Will you be able to master the language and the interpreting task during the length of the program you are considering?
In general, the more education a person can get, the better they will do. But, the quality of the education is important as well. Here are some questions to consider when choosing a program:
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