Arabic Translator Jobs: Career & Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become an Arabic translator. Learn about education and training requirements, salary and employment prospects to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Applied Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is An Arabic Translator?

Arabic translators convert documents, websites or any other type of communication written in Arabic to another language and vice versa, often for government agencies, corporations or scientific research firms. They may work as in-person translators or receive and submit their work electronically. In-person translators can be found working in a wide range of community institutions, including schools, social services offices, government buildings and medical establishments. Some translators will need to have a certain level of technical knowledge in order to carry out their job duties, particularly if they work in legal or medical contexts.

Continue reading to learn more about this career path:

Degree Required Bachelor's degrees are required by many employers
Training Required Specialized translator training could also be required
Key Skills Proficiency in Arabic, communication and interpersonal skills, cultural sensitivity
Job Growth (2014-2024) 29% (for all translators and interpreters)*
Median Salary (2015) $44,190 (for all translators and interpreters)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Do I Need to Be an Arabic Translator?

Most translators need at least a bachelor's degree, so you could earn a degree in Arabic language or translation studies. If you major in Arabic, it may help you fair better in the job market if you take courses in translation too. Degrees in Arabic train you in all aspects of the language, including speaking, listening, reading and writing, while translation studies programs may focus more on reading and writing as a primary skill set, training you in the nuances of written Arabic. You might learn about grammar, vocabulary and conceptualization as well. Most Arabic degree programs also include some linguistics training and often facilitate study in Arabic-speaking counties.

What Is the Compensation for Arabic Translators?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for all interpreters and translators was $44,190 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). During this year, the top 10% earned $78,520 or more, while the lowest 10% earned $23,160 or less. Organizations offering architectural, engineering and office management services were among the highest paying employers, as was the federal government.

Will I Be Able to Get a Job?

Many employers prefer candidates who have a native fluency in Arabic, although having a degree is also preferred. Native fluency can help in instances in which ideas may not transfer word for word and creative translations are necessary. Additionally, a background in linguistics, a strong command of cultural nuances, computer literacy and time spent living in an Arabic-speaking country are often preferable in the job market.

The BLS expected the employment rate for interpreters and translators to grow 29% between 2014 and 2024, which is much quicker than average. This growth was contributed to the United States' broadening of international relationships and its increasingly diverse population. Employment demand was expected to remain strong for translators of Arabic and other languages in the Middle East. Job prospects should be highest in major cities, like Washington, D.C. and New York City.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are a number of alternative options available to those who find translation careers interesting. You may want to work as a court reporter and provide an accurate word-for-word transcript of trials, court cases and other legal events. This requires a thorough knowledge of the relevant terminology and the ability to work quickly and efficiently. A similar option is to become a medical transcriptionist, converting oral reports into written documents to convey medical information. Both of these career paths require a postsecondary qualification, but may not necessarily require you to obtain an undergraduate degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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