Online Certificate Programs in Translation

Penn Foster Career School
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  • Education Prerequisites: At least a bachelor’s degree; must speak at least two languages fluently.
  • Professional Prerequisites: None.
  • Average Program Length: 6-12 months (full time); 1-2 years (part time).

Accredited online certificate programs in translation are a quick and easy way to gain translation knowledge and skills. There are two types of people who seek online translation certificate programs. The first type are beginners trying to break into the translation field or those who hope to get ahead in their careers. The second type are those who wish to become certified by the American Translators Association (ATA). Although the ATA is not the only association that grants certificate programs, it is the most comprehensive in terms of language combinations and the most popular among those in or entering the translation field. Online certificate programs in translation provide students with an overall education of the methodology, history, purpose, theory, and technology behind translation.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Translation

Online certification programs are typically offered by colleges and are meant to supplement a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Online college certificate programs are offered at both of these academic levels; students generally choose a program that offers the languages they wish to practice in their careers, such as a Spanish-English program. Some schools require students to pass an entrance exam, which is usually a written essay exam in which students’ dual-language fluencies are assessed. To complete an online translation certification program, students may be required to complete a capstone project or other major project to prove their competency and understanding of translation. Students will also be expected to complete assignments and exams throughout the course of their education. Because most students are already working in the translation field, most certification programs do not require students to complete an internship or practicum. Common courses for translation certificate programs include Scientific Translation, Introduction to Translation, and Legal Translation.

In regard to curriculum, certificate programs online and on campus are generally the same. The chief differences between an online translation certification program and an on-campus program are education delivery and environment. Unlike on-campus students, online students must tackle complex concepts independently, though they do have easy access to their peers and instructors through chat, email, forums, and video services like Skype. Additionally, instead of turning in assignments and projects by hand as on-campus students do, online students must do so via digital means, like email and online submission programs.

What Your Online Certificate in Translation Can Do for You

There are several reasons for pursuing a translation certificate program online. First, those who seek ATA certification enroll in certificate programs to gain real-world translation work experience and the academic background required for ATA certification. In order to become certified by the ATA, one must be qualified in one of following three ways: possess a master’s degree and a degree/certificate from a program approved by the ATA, possess a bachelor’s degree and two years of work experience as a translator; or have at least five years of work experience as a translator. Oftentimes, a certificate is much less expensive than a master’s degree, making it an affordable option to gaining ATA certification. Second, many pursue accredited online certificate programs because it simply sets them apart from others when searching for a job.

The most common career sought by certificate holders is that of a translator, though there are various types of translators. Generally speaking, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median pay for translators is $43,300 annually. The BLS also states that scientific and technical translators tend to make more than other types, with an annual salary of $51,650. Meanwhile, medical and legal translators annually earn salaries of $41,720 and $41,040, respectively. Overall, translation is a quickly growing field, as the BLS estimates that its work force will grow by 42% through 2020.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Herzing University
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Herzing University - Herzing's online certificate program offers the flexibility, personalization, and support you need to succeed in today's ever-changing job market. Discover Herzing's hands-on coursework, experienced faculty, and student-first approach which sets them apart from other online universities.

Ultimate Medical Academy
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Ultimate Medical Academy -
Get personalized attention with UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

Gainful employment information can be found at and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement and occupations.

Penn Foster

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Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School offers over 85 online career diploma and certificate programs that can help students prepare for a career path in some of today’s fastest growing fields. If you are looking for training in allied health, business, education, or the trades, then Penn Foster Career School is a great choice. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.