Is It Right for Me?

If you can answer “yes” to these questions, there is a good chance that interpreting is the career for you. If you answer “no” to any of these questions, we encourage you to contact an NTID admissions counselor to discuss this career option further.

  1. Do I enjoy and am I good at all aspects of English: reading comprehension, writing and knowledge of vocabulary?
  2. Do I have an interest in Deaf Culture and American Sign Language?
  3. Can I express my thoughts easily and clearly in speech and writing?
  4. Can I stand up in front of people and communicate my ideas without experiencing severe anxiety?
  5. Can I concentrate and pay careful attention for an extended period of time and easily understand the details of what is communicated to me?
  6. Can I correctly remember and re-state information that I have heard or read?
  7. Do I have good vision (with or without glasses) and have good depth perception?
  8. Can I stand comfortably for 30 to 45 minutes?
  9. Am I able to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds?
  10. Can I hear well enough to fully understand a person speaking even if s/he is behind me and/or at a distance?
  11. Can I easily hear recorded speech using headphones at normal volume?
  12. Is my speech clear and easily understood?
  13. Do I have good hand and arm muscle coordination?
  14. Do I naturally use facial expression when communicating with people?
  15. Would I describe myself as a people person?
  16. Can I cope with stressful situations?
  17. If I am faced with a problem, can I come up with several different ways to resolve it?
  18. In difficult situations do I remain composed and keep my emotions in check?
  19. Do I have an interest in different cultures and people who are not like me?

If you would like to learn more about the skills, knowledge and abilities needed to become a sign language interpreter, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics.