Education & Training


Translators work with text and documents converting them, as exactly as possible in words and meaning, from one language to another.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor's degree + post-graduate diploma

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Translator do?

Translators work with text and documents converting them, as exactly as possible in words and meaning, from one language to another.


Work activities

As a translator, you would:

  • reproducing the text faithfully, as it was intended by the author, in both structure and style
  • accurately keep the ideas and facts of the original material
  • use specialist terms including technical terminology, legal terminology or historical phrasing
  • have a thorough understanding of specialist terms and consult to ensure they are accurate
  • properly transmit any cultural references, including slang, and other expressions that do not translate literally
  • receive and transmit material using a computer
  • use computer-assisted translation (CAT) software to produce translations
  • edit computerised translations for grammar, style, structure and meaning
  • focus on one or more areas of expertise, either by industry or subject matter

Translation services are needed in virtually all subject areas. Types of documents which may require translation include include legal documentation, scientific and technical manuals, educational resources, literature, and online content.


Key skills and interests

To become a translator, you would need:

  • reading, writing and speaking fluency in one or more languages other than your mother tongue
  • a superior level of accuracy in your work
  • time management and planning skills
  • knowledge of your specialised field
  • self-motivation and the ability to work on your own.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

In a full-time role, you would usually work standard business hours. Part-time work and flexible hours should be possible.

As a self-employed translator you would work the hours that suit you, doing long hours to meet deadlines if necessary.


You would be based in an office or from home and largely work alone. If you work for a government organisation, some international travel may be required but generally you would be in contact with others through email or phone.


How to become an Translator?

Entry Level Education

To become a translator you would usually need to complete a bachelor's degree in a language or communication related field including translation studies, translating and interpreting, linguistics, speech and hearing sciences, speech-language pathology, language or literary studies, or related disciplines. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, and one or more foreign languages would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

After completing a bachelor's degree, you would then undertake a post-graduate certification, diploma or master's qualification in translating and / or interpreting.

To work as a translator, you would usually need to be accredited through The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations.

Employment growth will be driven by increasing globalisation, Australia's proximity to Asia, and by migration. Job prospects will be best for those who have professional accreditation.


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