Immigration interpreters: job outlook and salary in 2022

immigration interpretersIf you are thinking of becoming an interpreter, now it is the right time to do it. The demand for interpreters has steadily increased and is projected to grow 24% by 2030.

According to the US Bureau of Labor statistics, about 10,400 openings for interpreters and translators are projected each year, on average, over the decade. So, don’t shelve your idea, learn the pros and cons of becoming an immigration interpreter, and look the interpreter’s job overview to determine if this career path is right for you.

First, decide what kind of interpreter you would like to be – medical, legal, immigration, business, community interpreter, or a literary translator. All of these specialists help LEP (Limited English Proficiency) individuals  overcome language barriers in communication, but work in different fields, use different terminology and follow different protocols. To help you make an informative decision we offer a short overview of the job responsibilities and salary of the immigration interpreters.


What do immigration interpreters do?

The main goal of immigration interpreters is to provide high-quality interpretation services to their clients in various immigration settings. The typical responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • providing simultaneous and consecutive interpretations for the clients during immigration interviews, attorney-client meetings, asylum interviews, Immigration court, EOIR (Executive Office for Immigration Review) hearing, etc.;
  • translating immigration documents from English into the target language and vise versa;
  • following ethical guidelines and best practices for immigration interpreters


What skills do future immigration interpreters have to acquire?

The work of an immigration interpreter is demanding and requires one’s attention, energy, and stress resilience. That is why the mastering of the mentioned below skills not only helps to reduce the work-related stress, but also propels your career further. Here they are:

  • Solid language skills, including mastery of English and a foreign language. Strong language skills are the foundation for this career.
  • Listening skills. Those will help you not to lose the thread of the conversation and interpret the statements of immigration officers precisely and in details.
  • Consecutive memory, note taking skills, and strong simultaneous interpreting skills. In many situations, for example, during the immigration court hearing, these skills are extremely helpful as an immigration interpreter is responsible alone for interpreting the court decision including all the details.
  • Understanding of cultural aspects. An immigration interpreter creates a communication bridge for representatives of different cultures who use specific slang or colloquialisms. And it is an interpreter’s job to translate these words appropriately
  • Communication and customer service skills. Working with people requires flexibility and good communication

You can master those skills by enrolling into immigration interpreter certification training where you will gain the knowledge of immigration terms and concepts and the necessary contextual insights.


How much do immigration interpreters earn?

According to, in the US the estimated total salary of an immigration interpreter is $63,888 per year with the average wage of $49, 079 and estimated additional pay of $14,808. The state of Massachusetts is ranked number one out of 50 states nationwide for immigration interpreter salaries. estimates the average annual wage of an immigration court interpreter as $49,274 which is approximately $23.69 per hour, or $4,106 per month. The pay range varies greatly with the annual salaries as high as $84,500 and as low as $18,500. Most of the immigration court interpreter wages currently range between $39,000 (25th percentile) to $56,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $74,000 annually across the United States.


While the job of immigration interpreters is difficult, intense, and stressful, many of them still enjoy it because their work allows them to meet interesting people, listen to their stories, and assist them in communication process; their work encourages them to grow personally and professionally and to continuously improve the skills meeting the highest standards. If you are interested in this challenging yet fascinating profession, check out our Online immigration interpreter certificate training. We also offer online medical interpreter training, legal interpreter training, and business & community interpreter training course.