This article is a collaboration with Day Translations.
Remote video and phone interpreting is a cost-effective way for organisations to provide instant translation (this can be consecutive, i.e., with a short delay, or simultaneous) for spoken communications from one language to another. In-person interpreting is more expensive and has to take into account travelling costs. Remote interpreting via phone or video is often done over a secure phone line or web connection to maintain confidentiality and protect personal data.
According to Statista, the market for remote over-the-phone and video interpreting services in the United States doubled between 2012 and 2019 from $0.6 billion to $1.2 billion. Verified Market Research estimates the overall global market for interpretation services to reach more than $26 billion by 2026.
Video Interpreting Jobs
Video remote interpreting uses videoconferencing to provide language interpretation. Participants connecting to the video call can use their webcam, their tablet or their smartphone; sometimes they are required to download a remote interpreting app. This type of service can be extremely useful in emergency situations as it can be provided at short notice.
A quick search on major recruitment sites for video interpreting jobs resulted in a few hundreds listings.
A few things stood out from these search results:
- video interpreting jobs can attract salaries of between $40k and $130k a year;
- the most requests for video interpreters are in the medical sector, for example interpreting in health centres for patients from different ethnic backgrounds, in the science and engineering sector, in customer service, finance, banking, government and education;
- there is demand for a multitude of languages, with many jobs specifying proficiency in languages such as Vietnamese and Korean, for example.
Depending on the role, candidates are required to hold certifications in particular subjects on top of any language qualifications. This is more likely for medical and legal interpretation jobs. There are also many opportunities for candidates that specialise in sign language.
In terms of any technologies the candidates should be familiar with, many employers will offer training in their preferred interpretation delivery platform. Candidates are expected to be regular users of Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams.
Remote video interpreting can be done for one-to-one or group meetings as well as for web conferences and seminars. Interpreters work in real time and need to be able to perform in a range of events, for example multilingual virtual events.
Remote video interpreting jobs may require real time translations of speeches, lessons, tutorials, sales and marketing presentations and meeting discussions. It is a highly pressurised environment and interpreters work in shifts.
Phone Interpreting Jobs
Phone interpreting allows communication between people who don’t speak the same language. While many phone interpreting jobs tend to be in customer service, the scope of interpreting can be much wider than that, including sectors such as medical and legal, but also the travel and hospitality sectors.
Various government departments may require phone interpreting to provide a number of services such as employment and benefits. These services are very much in demand for immigration departments, for example. They may also be requested at very short notice for emergencies.
Depending on the situation, the information being shared by the parties in a call can be confidential and interpreters are required to have exceptional communication skills to ensure everything is translated in the right context with the correct terminology, because there is no margin of error in such cases.
Phone interpreting has an added layer of difficulty as the interpreter has no access to visual cues, such as gestures and facial expressions, which the speaker may use when a term doesn’t come to mind.
Phone interpreting jobs may attract different rates of pay according to the complexity of the topics being discussed: like in translating jobs, medical and legal interpreting are paid at a higher level. Phone interpreting is provided in work shift. The entertainment industry can also be very lucrative for interpreters, for example by providing real-time interpretation during TV programmes.
How To Get a Job as a Remote Video Interpreter and Remote Phone Interpreters
Remote video and phone interpreting jobs are usually advertised through specialised language services agencies. Some agencies offer a range of remote interpreting jobs, while others are industry-specific, with their primary focus being on healthcare, for example.
We discussed in our previous article how getting experience as a remote translator or interpreter.
Day Interpreting (part of Day Translations) offers career opportunities for qualified, experienced interpreters.