Working as a professional translator allows you to turn your career into a remote one. Quality translations are often completed independently and can be submitted online via digital documents. If you’ve always wanted to work from home, either freelance or through a translation company, below is your guide to finding a remote translation job. We’ll go over the requirements needed, how to gain experience, and how to find your first work-from-home translation job.
Should You Translate on Your Own or With a Translation Company?
First, what is a professional translator? These professionals convert written text from one language into another. As such, the top requirement for translators is that they are fluent in both the language they wish to translate text from and the language they wish to translate text into.
If you want to work with a translation company, your physical location often doesn’t matter. Translation companies such as Tomedes, for example, have started business in all manner of locations. Tomedes was founded in Israel but language companies in London can provide translators just as easily as those in Tel Aviv, thanks to the online and remote nature of the work. Just because it’s the location of a particular translation company, London doesn’t have to be the location of the translator. A London service will employ staff around the world, just as one in Tel Aviv will. Doing so is essential to the company’s ability to work across multiple languages and dialects.
A translation company will often look for a would-be translator to hold a language degree, but some companies take practical experience into account over education. Professional translator jobs generally don’t require formal training, since you are expected to be fluent in both languages before you begin. Some professional translation services may offer on-the-job training or certification.
Depending on the type of translation you want to provide, certification can help you learn how to become a professional translator. Often, court/legal and medical translators need a professional translator certification, depending on local regulations and industry standards. You can research local needs by checking job ads and talking to professional organizations for translators.
How to Get Experience as a Professional Translator
Even though fluency is the number one requirement for working in translation or with a translation company, you can still boost your resume to stand out from other candidates.
There are a few ways to get experience as a professional translator. One common way is to volunteer to translate for a non-profit that serves communities that speak other languages or works internationally. Internships are also ideal. Plus, you can ask around your professional network to see if they need documents translated.
If you plan to work freelance, clients will often want to see your portfolio of past work. The above can help build this up. You can also use your experience while looking to work with translation services.
Getting certification through a professional translation organisation is a good way to prove your ability to provide quality translations. Many certifications have stringent education and testing requirements. You might also look into joining a professional translation organisation. This is a good way to show your devotion to the profession and to ongoing learning.
How to Find a Remote Professional Translator Job
Remote jobs are the new “it” way to work. They’ve been growing in popularity for years but COVID-19 has accelerated the trend massively. Due to lockdown and social distancing, 46.6% of UK adults did some work from home in April 2020.
And the trend is here to stay, with 83% of employees feeling they don’t need an office to be productive.
At this point, the question becomes: How do I get a job as a professional translator?
Luckily, it’s easier than ever to find a remote job. First, we’ll look at how to go about looking for a job with a translation company as an employee.
Many people find remote jobs the same way they find traditional jobs. They look at some of the larger job boards, like Indeed, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, or Hubstaff Talent. With many of these sites, you can enter “remote” into the location field.
There are also boards that specialise in helping people find remote work. Examples include WeWorkRemotely, VirtualVocations, Remote.co, WorkingNomads, and Remotive.io. Some remote job sites, like VirtualVocations, you have to pay for. You have to assess if that’s worth the investment. Often, the mainstream free job boards can turn up enough leads on their own.
You might also want to conduct your own web search. Say you want to provide English to French translation services. If you search for remote French professional translator jobs, companies that hire French translators should pop up. You can create a list of companies that use English to French translators and then apply them to each of them.
If you choose to work with clients directly as a freelance remote translator, there are a few ways to go about it. Some translators sign up through gig sites like Upwork to find clients. Sometimes a translation company hires freelancers based on the quality translations they can evidence.
Many translation companies work with freelancers who can provide quality translations in various languages. Other freelancers choose to start their own portfolio/website and market to companies or individuals that may need translation services. That approach could include ranking a website in Google, advertising, or even using cold calling and sales letters. Whatever your approach, it’s in your hands to build a translation career that enables you to work from home.
Quick Guide to Finding a Translation Job that Enables You to Work from Home is a feature post