Auslan Interpreter | Ponder

Auslan Interpreter

What do Auslan Interpreters do?

Australian Sign language (Auslan) interpreters provide communication between hearing and deaf people by converting spoken language into sign language and vice versa.

If you love helping people, are good with languages and have a great memory, this could be a rewarding career choice for you.

About you:

  • Fluent in Auslan and English, other languages could be beneficial too
  • Exceptional communication skills (including body language and facial expressions), and adaptable within various settings and cultures
  • Compassionate with the ability to remain neutral and professional

The job:

Provide continuous, simultaneous verbal or signed replications of speeches between Auslan and English in a number of settings.

  • Interpreting for social scenarios including weddings, graduations, funerals and memorials
  • Working in business and official situations e.g. schools, courts, police stations, hospitals, social services, at press releases and official openings
  • Translating words into Auslan for news and TV programs, musicians, comedians and other performers
  • Providing interpretations for videos, movies and online information sources

Auslan Interpreters salary (average) $65,000 per year


Job growth for Auslan Interpreters is moderate (source:

As this is a relatively small industry (with only 4,000 jobs recorded in 2016 (source:, to be competitive you’ll need to get lots of experience and be accurate at translating signs and words but also able to communicate feelings, humour, and context.

How to become an Auslan Interpreter in Australia

Fluency in Auslan takes two years on average, but to qualify as an interpreter could take between three to six years.

Step 1 – Study English and languages at school, if possible start learning Auslan or getting experience within the deaf community.

Step 2 – Undertake a relevant qualification, make sure it’s endorsed by NAATI if you’re hoping to become certified later on (you’ll need to be certified to apply for certain positions)

Step 3 – Improve your skills and get experience interpreting in as many situations as possible

Step 4 – Take an Auslan Language Assessment, find out the requirements in your state or territory.


Step 5 – Obtain NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters) Certification

Find out more here –

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

  • How much do Auslan Interpreters make in Australia? 

Depending on your experience and who you work for, salaries may vary a lot. The average salary is $65,000 per year, but jobs advertised at the time of writing varied from $62,683 per year to $96,500 per year.

  • Is it hard to become an Auslan Interpreter?

Even if you already have experience with Auslan, deaf communities and culture, you’ll have to undergo an accreditation process to qualify. So, while not necessarily difficult, there are steps you’ll have to go through and it could take a little time.

  • Where do Auslan Interpreters work?

Auslan Interpreters could be required to work in multiple settings. You could find yourself working in community or home environments, offices, clinics, labs, hospitals and other formal settings. Technology such as video conferencing means you could find yourself working remotely and interpreting for a variety of situations each day.

  • Can you work as an Auslan Interpreter in Australia without a degree?

Having a degree isn’t a requirement for this career, although you will need to obtain a diploma or similar qualification and gain a significant amount of work experience. To be eligible for some jobs you’ll also need certification.

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