American Sign Language Interpreting Careers

Overview

According to the Deaf Resource Library, “American Sign Language (ASL) is a complex visual-spatial language that is used by the Deaf community in the United States and English-speaking parts of Canada. It is a linguistically complete, natural language. It is the native language of many Deaf men and women, as well as some hearing children born into Deaf families. ASL shares no grammatical similarities to English and should not be considered in any way to be a broken, mimed, or gestural form of English.”

winter2013.0993About the Coursework

The four-year interpreting degree program is designed to prepare graduates for a professional interpreting career and to use their skills in service to the community and the church. Upon completion of the B. A. degree, students will have taken the written portion of the National Registry of Interpreters for Deaf evaluation and have a sound base on which to build their interpreting skills. Most of our past graduates are working as interpreters while a few are involved in different roles with the Deaf community.

Possible ASL courses include:

  • Intermediate ASL I & II
  • Deaf American Literature
  • Linguistics of ASL
  • Intro to the Interpreting Profession
  • North American Deaf Culture

For a full list of sign language degree requirements and courses, refer to the course catalog.

Possible Career Paths

The possible career choices are broad for every major, and ASL interpreting alumni work successfully in many different careers. The list below will provide you with several career options, but it is not exhaustive. Please note that many of these positions require additional education.

  • Community Interpreter
  • Educational Interpreter
  • Medical Interpreter
  • Mental Health Interpreter
  • Legal Interpreter
  • Deaf-Blind Interpreter
  • Performance Interpreter
  • Conference Interpreter
  • Staff Interpreter
  • Video Relay Interpreter
  • Interpreter Coordinator

  • Interpreting Instructor
  • Professor of ASL
  • Teacher’s assistant in a Deaf program
  • Deaf Ministry Professional
  • Advocate
  • Case Manager
  • Communication Facilitator
  • Community Organizer
  • Program Coordinator
  • Resource Specialist

Additional Resources