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Interpreter

What is it like to be an Interpreter?

Interpreters are skilled in facilitating the translation of spoken or signed languages between people using different spoken or signed languages to enable successful and meaningful oral communication between them. This is usually done instantaneously in restricted timelines. Situations where an interpreter might be required include government meetings and events, radio and television, hospitals and international business meetings and events.

Interpreters work in a variety of settings including government institutions, hospitals, education, charity organisations, private agencies, international companies, hospitals and community organisations.

Employment level (thousands)

This data shows historical and projected employment levels (thousands) for this occupation. Data should be used as a guide only. Where exact job data has not been available, data from a related field has been used. Source: ABS Labour Force Survey.

Average weekly total cash earnings (before tax)

This data shows median weekly cash earnings for the occupation, before tax and not including superannuation. These figures are indicative and cannot be used to determine a particular wage rate. Data should be used as a guide only. Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report.

Is it right for me?

Interpreters will have a world of knowledge on languages and cultures which they can confidently interpret accurately and objectively. You will have an interest in language and the ability to learn at least one other language.

  • Excellent command of English, fluency or ability to learn at least one other language
  • Able to interpret accurately and objectively
  • Initiative and research skills
  • Broad general knowledge
  • Good concentration skills
  • Good memory
  • Able to maintain confidentiality
  • Understanding and acceptance of different cultures. 

To become an Interpreter

To be able to become an Interpreter, your study options will change based on your previous study experience or your preferred study pathway.

As an interpreter you must be fluent in a language other than English. You will also usually need to complete a course accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI), or acquire accreditation via a NAATI test. The following pathway will help you on your journey to working as an interpreter:

Professional Accreditation


To become an interpreter you must be fluent in a language other than English. You will also usually need to complete a course accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI), or acquire accreditation via a NAATI test. The related courses at USQ are currently being re-accredited so it is important to check on your course of choice whether it includes the NAATI requirement or not.

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Explore your career options!

Are you good at understanding people and situations? Do you enjoy helping others?