Question by sadangelsaza: What career options are available to people with a degree in Russian (besides translator/interpreter)?
I am a Russian major – and probably a German minor since so many classes overlap with my major – and I am looking at becoming a translator (working with text; interpreters work with spoken words) so I can work from home. I know there are a lot of job options for this degree, but I am not really aware of what they are.
What is the median pay of a translator, how hard is it to find job placement, etc.? I live in Seattle if that makes any difference…
Answer by Kevin
Normally, translators obtain work translating from their “second langage” to their native langauge. To interpret, you need to know both languages “almost native” (and still, usually to your native language).
Translators can work for government agencies, the UN, or translation agencies. Salaries vary.
As to “working from home”, you will need to associate yourself with an agency or broker, or establish yourself as a freelancer. Unfortunately, freelance translation work does not pay well unless you can land companies that demand the highest quality.
English<->Russian translators can be found internationally in the 1 US cent per source word range, all the way up to 25-30 US cents per word (often more, depending on subject/deadlines/clients).
Also, for many translations as a freelancer, you need to be certified by AIT, or even certified by individual states to work on their government projects.
All I can suggest is for you to do your research. Being a freelancer from home is a tough and competitive business. My wife’s rules: Never trust a colleague with a contact, never do work for a relative, and never do work for free.
You will find most translation job placements in the NY/Washington DC areas.
As to options, you could teach, do project management of “internationalization”, or work in an office where bi-lingual English/Russian is required (I have found this at many businesses in the Seattle area.)
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!