by Becky Lindauer
Dec 12, 2006
Careers in ASL
Careers using American Sign Language are exciting and fun. For the
individual who enjoys ASL, finding a job where he/she is able to
utilize the language they love becomes an appealing prospect. Many
people do not have the opportunity to pursue their interests and
dreams; so many are stuck working jobs that are miserable and
mind-numbing. However, the person who likes practicing and getting
better at signing - and desires to continue in their studies - would
find a plethora of positons available following their certification.
Practicing ASL on a dialy basis, interacting with the Deaf
Community, making new friends, and learning new signs are all
opportunities one could expect to find in a career using ASL.
Becoming a sign language interpreter/translator would open up
endless doors to the individual who chose to pursue ASL as a career.
The need for sign language interpreters in the United States is
tremendous (Salter, 2003). There are plenty of opportunites
available in the professional sphere. Many large businesses are in
desperate need of ASL translators, and are willing to pay good money
to those who can provide said service (Salter, 2003). In addition,
public school districts all across the country are scrambling to
fill empty interpreter positons (Salter, 2003). The opportunites are
abundant, however, the supply does not meet the demand. The scale is
greatly tipped, and there are far more jobs available than there are
bodies to fill them. Interpreter positions are also in excess at the
state and government levels as well (Salter, 2003). If one had the
necessary skills, practical training, and state certification, they
would not have much trouble finding a steady, solid career as an ASL
Not only would a career as an interpreter/translator be rewarding,
original, and totally fun, but most employers would also provide
generous compensation, given the desperate need for skilled
professionals. In the state of Utah, one estimate placed the yearly
salary for an interpreter/translator, in a variety of sectors,
between $35,000 and $65,000 (Speckman, 2005). Skilled
interpreters/translators in local and state governmental positions
would more than likely make more. In his article, Speckman also
spoke of the tremendous need for trained interpreters/translators to
fill empty positions (Speckman, 2005). In the state of Utah, at
least, the situation has become so dire that many of the individuals
currently holding jobs at the state level are only temporarily
certified (Speckman, 2005). In addition, many of them would not even
be classified as reaching the level of novice (Speckman, 2005). By
briefly examining the situation in Utah, it is clear that skilled
ASL interpreters are rare commodities. Opportunities are available
in abundance to explore a career as a translator.
Becoming a teacher or professor of ASL is another way that one could
earn a living using the language they love. Internet job serches for
open teaching positions produce abundant results, as many
educational institutions are constantly in search for individuals
skilled to teach ASL. Within the teaching field, one's talents could
be utilized in a variety of capacities, filling positions such as
Professor of ASL, Assistant Professor of ASL, Professor of Deaf
Studies, ASL/English Interpreting Assistant Professor, and ASL
Tutor, among others (http://www.aslta.org/). Teaching opportunites
are availabe in excess in primary and secondary public schools as
well (http://www.aslta.org/). Helping others learn and come to love
ASL would be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Assisting deaf
students in the public school system would be equally so. The
opportunites are out there should one desire to finish the necessary
schooling in order to become certified as a teacher.
Careers in ASL are exciting, enjoyable, and available. Should one
decide to pursue ASL long-term, they would not be disappointed.
Salter, Lacey. (2003, October, 12). Lending a hand can be a noble
calling. http://www.jobjournal.com/. 06 December 2006.
Speckman, Stephen. (2005, February, 22). Sign language need called
dire. Salt Lake City Desert Morning News. Salt Lake City Desert
Morning News. 06 December 2006. www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20050222/ai_n9775764.
www.aslta.org/job/index.html. 06 December 2006.