14 Sign Language Careers
Sign language is a unique and essential skill that can open various job opportunities. While many people use sign language to communicate with family and friends, it is also a valuable career path that can help bridge the gap between hearing and non-hearing individuals. With the growing demand for sign language interpreters and other professionals, the following 15 sign language careers are worth exploring.
1. Sign Language Interpreter: Sign language interpreters are professionals who interpret spoken language into sign language and vice versa. They play an important role in helping deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals communicate effectively with the hearing world. To become a successful sign language interpreter, one must have a thorough understanding of both sign language and spoken language, as well as excellent communication skills.
2. Sign Language Teacher: Sign language teachers are responsible for teaching sign language to students in both academic and informal settings. They must possess an in-depth knowledge of sign language and be able to guide and support their students. Sign language teachers can work in schools, universities, or even within their own private practice.
3. Speech-Language Pathologist: Speech-language pathologists specialize in diagnosing and treating speech and language disorders. They use sign language to help patients communicate more effectively and to improve their overall speech and language skills. This type of sign language career requires a master’s degree in speech-language pathology and a valid license.
4. Deaf Education Teacher: Deaf education teachers focus on teaching academic and social skills to deaf and hard-of-hearing students. They use sign language as their primary form of communication and must possess strong communication and teaching skills. Deaf education teachers typically work in schools or specialized educational programs.
5. Speech-Language Therapist: Speech-language therapists work with children and adults to improve their overall communication skills. They use sign language as an important tool to help those with communication disorders, such as autism and dyslexia. This type of sign language career requires a master’s degree in speech-language pathology and a valid license.
6. Sign Language Translator: Sign language translators are responsible for translating written documents and audio recordings into sign language. They must have a thorough understanding of both sign language and the language being translated. A sign language translator often works in a business or academic setting, assisting deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.
7. American Sign Language (ASL) Linguist: ASL linguists are experts in the field of sign language. They conduct research on sign language and its various dialects and help develop new teaching methods and materials. An ASL linguist typically works in an academic setting, such as a university or research institute.
8. Deaf Services Advocate: Deaf services advocates help to represent and empower deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. They often work within the legal system to ensure the rights of the deaf and hard-of-hearing are upheld. A deaf services advocate must be knowledgeable in sign language and possess strong communication and advocacy skills.
9. Sign Language Curriculum Developer: Sign language curriculum developers are responsible for creating educational materials for sign language classes. They must possess an in-depth knowledge of sign language, as well as an understanding of how to create effective teaching materials. A sign language curriculum developer typically works in an academic setting, such as a school or university.
10. Sign Language Researcher: Sign language researchers conduct research on sign language and its various dialects. They must possess strong research and communication skills, as well as an in-depth knowledge of sign language. Sign language researchers typically work in an academic setting, such as a university or research institute.
11. Sign Language Videographer: Sign language videographers are responsible for creating videos that feature sign language. They must possess an in-depth knowledge of sign language and excellent video production skills. Sign language videographers often work in a business or academic setting, creating videos for educational and promotional purposes.
12. Sign Language Lobbyist: Sign language lobbyists work to promote and protect the rights of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. They must be knowledgeable in sign language and possess strong communication and advocacy skills. Sign language lobbyists typically work in a government or political setting, advocating for the rights of the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
13. Sign Language Medical Interpreter: Sign language medical interpreters help bridge the communication gap between medical professionals and deaf and hard-of-hearing patients. They must possess excellent communication and interpreting skills and an in-depth understanding of sign language and medical terminology.
14. Sign Language Captioner: Sign language captioners are responsible for providing real-time captioning of television, web, and other audio/visual materials.