o Ever thought about becoming an interpreter but don’t know where to start? Become an educational interpreter requires that you are able to sign well (generally in either SEE, PSE, or ASL) and be able to take a spoken language and make it functionally equivalent in another language.
o If you want to become an interpreter at any point in time, increase your skills by taking ASL and studying ASL on your own. Then look for opportunities to interpret and take time to begin practicing interpreting things you hear. Like a TV program, sermon, announcement, conversation, etc. Get involved with the Deaf community and look for opportunities to volunteer and converse. The Deaf ministry at a local church may be an excellent option.
o The ESSE test (less common but still recognized) or EIPA test (more widely recognized) can be taken and used to prove that you are qualified to be an educational interpreter (K-12). After passing either of these tests, you are able to contact local interpreting agencies and apply to be a freelance interpreter. They generally receive either sub jobs where you substitute for the regular interpreter or consistent ongoing assignments where you have the same student at a school.
o Once you feel you are ready, you are also able to take other community jobs that you feel you are qualified for and gain experience to prepare you to take the National Interpreter Certification tests (NIC Knowledge and NIC Interview & Performance). You can also become an associate or student member of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. The NIC Knowledge can be studied for and taken at any time that you feel you are ready. Remember to never take a job that you do not feel completely qualified for.
o Educational Signed Skills Evaluation
o Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment
o Code of Professional Conduct Quiz Game to prepare for the NIC Knowledge
o “So You Want to Be an Interpreter” book to prepare for the NIC Knowledge on Amazon
- Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
- National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Knowledge (multiple choice test) and National Interpreter Certification Interview and Performance (signing, voicing, and applying the Code of Professional Conduct)