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British Sign Language Interpreter

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British sign language (BSL) interpreters help deaf and hearing people to communicate with each other in a wide variety of situations. 

Communication can be one-way, as in lectures or classes, or two-way, as in meetings or discussions.

The Work

You could be: 

You would work in a variety of situations, such as media, health and social work settings. You'd be interpreting at job interviews, courts of law, lectures or classes, training events, media events and conferences.

Pay

The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on: 

Salaries and rates vary since many interpreters work freelance. 

Full time interpreters might earn around £20,000 and £32,000 a year or more. 

For freelancers, the National Union of British Sign Language Interpreters (NUBSLI) provides guidance figures. For Scotland, fees for a full day range from £180 for a trainee up to £250 for a fully registered interpreter.

Conditions

Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland

Employment

Unemployment

Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)

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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2018
1548
1 %
RISE
2023
1564
  United Kingdom
2018
31308
0.9 %
RISE
2023
31605

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What Does it Take?

You need: 

Training

Getting On

More Information

BSL is a visual form of communication using hands, facial expression and body language, and is recognised as a language in its own right.  

Although there are other types of sign language, British Sign Language is the most common form used in Britain. It is not dependent on the English language, and has its own syntax and grammatical structure.

Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

British Deaf Association (BDA)
Tel: 0141 248 5565
E-mail: bda@bda.org.uk
Website: http://www.bda.org.uk/
Twitter: @BDA_Deaf
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BritishDeafAssociation

Institute of British Sign Language (IBSL)
Tel: 01925 632463
E-mail: admin@ibsl.org.uk
Website: http://www.ibsl.org.uk/
Twitter: @IBSL113
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IBSL2011

National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People (NRCPD)
Tel: 0191 383 1155
E-mail: enquiries@nrcpd.org.uk
Website: http://www.nrcpd.org.uk

Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters (SASLI)
Tel: 0141 248 8159
E-mail: mail@sasli.co.uk
Website: http://www.sasli.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sasli1981

SASLI is the Scottish regulating body for Sign Language interpreters for and maintains an official register for qualified interpreters.

Signature
Tel: 0191 383 1155
Minicom / Textphone: 0141 418 7193
Website: http://www.signature.org.uk
Twitter: @SignatureDeaf

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