Employment Trends for Translation Jobs

Translation jobs are now mainstream professional jobs. They went from an occasional novelty among the job ads to become an actual sector of the job market, with a very large range of possible career paths and related skill sets.

Translation Job Markets

All industries and all sectors of industry use translators on a regular basis. There are literally millions of ads for translation jobs, and large numbers of specialist translation agencies. Here are some of the most common fields:

  • Technical writing
  • Business translation
  • Multilingual
  • Dialect translation
  • Media text and subtitles
  • Proofreading
  • Linguistics
  • Editorial roles
  • Software
  • Medical translation
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Text translation (different language texts like Chinese, Arabic, Cyrillic, Thai, etc.)

Employment Trends

Employment trends are based on specializations in particular markets, and most translators have several skills and preferred sectors. The tendency to specialize provides some excellent career options. Many translators are professionally trained in their industries or sectors. Translation is a quality based service, and it's possible to build a very good resume and professional reputation on your work:

  • Technical translation skills and expertise in industry sectors: Particularly important in medicine and the sciences.
  • Types of translation: Technical, media, etc.
  • Business roles: In marketing and trade roles the translator is an important link in the information chain. A translator who can function in both business roles and translation is very valuable in business negotiation and sales.
  • Publishing and editorial roles: Global media sites often use very large numbers of languages.
  • Software: This is a major sector for software engineers who speak the languages of major market languages.

Career Progression and Translator Roles

The employment market is growing for translators exponentially throughout all these areas. If you're looking for a career path, the general rule is that the translator role and your other areas of expertise work together. Career progression in translation is integrated with your other functional roles. For example, if you are a translator in a business role like international sales, your career progression is directly linked to a series of possible areas of progression:

  • Management
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Advertising

Your translation skills will operate as added value to your business role across all these areas. The progression is based on the business function and skills sets, like any other job, but the translation capability provides a lot more options.

Translation as a Business

Some translators remain strictly in the translation area as a career choice and are able to structure a business around their services. Many translators work for agencies or run their own agencies. This is a very good cashflow business, and the massive demand for these services is supporting a lot of agencies. Digital media and the internet are the main drivers for the increasing demand for translators.