How viable is being a translator or interpreter in Australia?

With the growth of AI technologies that are now able to complete basic translation tasks without human assistance, many have been left wondering if being a translator or interpreter in Australia is still a viable career option. Census data from 2016 has shown that over 300 languages outside of English are spoken at home, and this has been on the rise since.

Translators and interpreters are therefore in high demand in a multi-cultural country like Australia where many of those who speak other languages are not proficient in English and therefore need translators and interpreters to assist them in day-to-day activities as well as various other settings.

Interpreters and translators have job opportunities across a wide range of sectors such as business, legal, healthcare, community, government etc. Basically all industries where communication is valued, interpreters and translators are likely required. Many certified interpreters and translators work as contractors, freelancers, and casuals in conjunction with other jobs, allowing great flexibility as far as where and when they work. Organisations like hospitals, banks, tourist agencies and private firms often also hire translators and interpreters on a contractual or freelance basis. Due to the shortage of translators and interpreters in Australia, the hourly and yearly wages of advanced and experienced interpreters or translators can range up to AU$125,000, meaning that translators/interpreters that produce high-quality work are compensated well due to the high demand. Furthermore, the high demand for translation and interpreting presents many opportunities for career growth meaning that you can mould your career path according to your specialties or interests.

As a translator or interpreter, no work day is the same. Every day presents new interesting opportunities and work, as no two projects are ever the exact same. The nature of the job means that you will need to be flexible as you cover a broad range of topics, providing you with exciting new challenges and varied work. The work you do as a translator or interpreter will be able to make a difference in the world. As communication and connection to and with others is such a big part of our everyday lives, by using your language skills to help people from all walks of life you will feel fulfilled in the fact that you were truly able to help people/organisations and improve the lives of many.