Translators & Interpreters

FINDING TRANSLATION OR INTERPRETING WORK—TREASURE HUNT OR NEEDLE IN THE HAYSTACK?

 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2019 there were 77,400 translators in the United States. Other sources put the number at only 55,000, including interpreters, translators, and other jobs related to the industry, i.e., project managers, talent recruiters, etc. The Translation Association of China estimates there are 650,000 translators in the world, probably including interpreters in that rubric. Regardless of the actual number, the competition for jobs is fierce, often disheartening.

 
The number of translation agencies or LSPs (language services providers) in the United States is said to be over 3,000, worldwide 62,000. Other sources put the number of agencies as 48,000. A company’s world database includes 25,000, of which 5,100 are in North America. An online directory lists 7,256 translations agencies in the world, with 1,100 located in the United States.

 
Whatever the real number, marketing your skills to translation agencies, whether searching in online and association directories, or paying $59 for a translation agencies book, or 69 euros ($80.53) for a  25,000 database of agencies, will not be “a real treasure hunt,” as someone claims, but more like trying to find the proverbial needle in the haystack.


These books, databases, and directories are frozen in time. They do not list translations agencies’ current job openings, those currently willing to welcome your unsolicited application, or even the ones that are not really agencies at all, but a sole-proprietor translator working alone and not interested in hiring anyone.


To save you time and money in your job search, to help you grow your business and income, and to see you be successful, I have launched Translators & Interpreters Careers, a markets and jobs newsletter. For less than 17 cents a day, I will dive into the haystack for you.