Jobs that Involve Sign Language

There are many exciting career options for people who know or want to learn sign language. Requirements may include licensing, and preparation ranges from non-degree programs to doctoral degrees. The careers listed here are only a few of the professions you can explore that involve sign language.

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Career Options that Involve Sign Language

Sign language is a complex visual language performed with the hands, for people who are speech challenged, deaf, or hearing challenged, and for those who wish to communicate with them. There are numerous job situations where you can put your knowledge of sign language to good use. Below are some careers to explore if you are interested in using sign language on a daily basis.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Special Education Teacher $57,910 6%
Interpreter/Translator $46,120 29%
Speech-Language Pathologist $74,680 21%
Audiologist $75,980 29%
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) $32,670 24%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Sign Language Interpretation
  • Sign Language Linguistics

Career Information for Jobs that Involve Sign Language

Special Education Teacher

Special education teachers fulfill a high need area in the education system teaching students who have various types of disabilities. Areas that teachers can specialize in are working with children who are deaf, hearing challenged, or who have speech disorders. To become a special education teacher, you will need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in the area of special education. Sign language knowledge is a plus.

Interpreter/Translator

As an interpreter or translator, you will be the liaison between people who don't speak the same language or where there may also be hearing challenges. This job requires that you speak fluently in all languages involved and can quickly translate the information being given in real-time with sign language. A minimum of a bachelor's degree is required, along with a working knowledge of sign language. If you have a good command of sign language, a degree in language is not generally necessary; degrees can be held in the area of interest where interpreting is needed.

Speech-Language Pathologist

Speech-language pathologists specialize in medical areas that involve communication and disorders surrounding swallowing. They assist patients who cannot speak or have impairments in their speech and language skills. Speech-language pathology requires a minimum of a master's degree, and in some cases, a doctoral degree. As a speech-language pathologist, you will come into contact with patients who are unable to speak, and possibly hear, and who require sign language as a mode of communication.

Audiologist

Audiologists focus on hearing disorders and problems with the ear. They assess, diagnose, and treat patients for their hearing-related issues in a clinical setting. A doctoral degree in audiology is required to begin practicing, as well as licensing. This profession has a high rate of expected growth, which indicates an excellent chance of finding work in this profession.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) work in emergency situations with hospitals to treat and transport patients to medical facilities. They provide emergency medical care for patients, some of which may be deaf or hearing/speech challenged. To become an EMT, you will need to pursue a non-degree program that can be completed in one to two years. Licensing will also be required in order to work in any state.

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