Career prospects for native speakers of English are very good. In globalized Germany, there is a great demand for native speakers of English who can translate or interpret from German into their mother tongue. Even undergraduates find it relatively easy to procure attractive freelance jobs. Graduates whose first foreign language is German can be sure of finding suitable and well-paid work.
Translators and interpreters whose native language is English can find work:
- as translators in German companies, where they translate, for example, texts from the motor or medical industries into English,
- as translators or interpreters with the EU (for example with the European Parliament),
- with German institutions (for example ministries),
- as freelancers, which has the advantage of greater independence. Freelancers often combine translating and interpreting with other language-related activities, such as teaching.
Incomes vary, of course. Freelance translators who work from German into English earn between €35,000 and €70,000 per annum; freelance interpreters tend to earn more (but freelancers have high overheads, and the start-up phase can be frustratingly long). An average starting salary for translators with German companies is €26,000-37,000 p.a.; with German institutions, €30,500-33,000 p.a.; and with the EU, c. €50,000 p.a.