LanguageLine Blog

Interpreter and Translator are America's Top Emerging Careers

Written by The LanguageLine Solutions Team | December 6, 2017

Interpreters and translators top the national list of emerging careers for bachelor’s degree holders, according to a new study.

Each year, the University of California San Diego’s Extension Center for Research on the Regional Economy publishes an outlook of career opportunities for new graduates. After finishing outside the school’s Top-10 list in 2016, interpreters and translators zoomed to the top in 2017.

This year’s top 10 looks like this:

  1. Interpreters and translators
  2. Operations research analysts
  3. Personal financial advisors
  4. Computer systems analysts
  5. Software developers, applications
  6. Market research analysts and marketing specialists
  7. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors
  8. Information security analysts
  9. Meeting, convention, and event planners
  10. Management analysts

Thirty-One Percent Growth Rate

For their report, researchers used labor-market data from Emsi, with additional information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They filtered national data by job change percentage from 2016 to 2026, included only entry-level jobs that required a bachelor’s degree, and which required work experience of zero to five years.

According to the report, interpretation and translation will experience a whopping 31 percent growth rate across the U.S. between now and 2026 – over four times the average job growth rate of 7 percent. In nine years, researchers projected there will be 67,985 interpreters and translator jobs that fit their criteria.

The report cited a pair of reasons for the skyrocketing job creation for interpreters and translators:

  • Increased diversity in the U.S., where today there are 120 million multicultural residents. Growth in this population made up 92 percent of the total growth in the U.S. population between 2000 and 2014.
  • Accelerating globalization, with especially bright prospects for those fluent in Chinese, Spanish, German, and Russian.

Top Creative and Media Job

UC San Diego’s findings are consistent with those of other research outlets.

The number of people employed in translation and interpretation has doubled in the past seven years, according to the Department of Labor.

Earlier this year, U.S. News and World Report ranked interpreter/translator as the No. 1 “Creative & Media” job, citing an expectation that the field would add 17,500 new jobs by 2024.

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