Careers with an M.A. in Translation: Technical Translation

Now more than ever, there is a growing demand for professional translators and interpreters. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment within this field is projected to increase by 18% between 2016 and 2026 – a much higher average than all other occupations.

These projections reflect an overarching need for language and cultural mediation around the world. As a student in our Online M.A. in Translation program, you can do your part to connect citizens in multiple locations that speak a multitude of languages.

Once you’ve completed your online translation courses and have earned your degree, there are numerous directions that you can choose to take your career. One of these is within the world of technical translation.

What Is Technical Translation?

A technical translating specialization is one that involves the translation of various documents produced by technical writers – most commonly in scientific and technological fields. This is a specialized career path; it necessitates a high level of knowledge of the required languages, the specific subject of the documents and a fluent-level understanding of industry terminology.

The types of documents that require day-to-day technical translation will vary, depending on the industry and company you work with. Some examples of these documents may include:

  • Technical articles and publications
  • Patents
  • Installation manuals and troubleshooting guides
  • White papers
  • Product requirements and spec sheets
  • User interfaces

As you can see from the list above, technical translators can choose to work in sectors such as telecommunications and IT, science, the automotive industry, engineering, and many more.

Machine Translation from Language Computing Tools

Computer-assisted translation tools and terminology management play an important role in technical translation. Translation memories, for example, can enhance your consistency when working with field specific terms, and boost your productivity.

Depending on the language pair and the genre involved, machine translation applications can also optimize technical translation workflows by providing target language suggestions for source text passages in an automated fashion. Technical translators need to have sound post-editing skills when working with machine translation output in this capacity.

Things to Keep in Mind as a Technical Translator

Thinking about becoming a technical translator? Here are some other factors to consider.

Select an Area That Is a Good Match for You

As you begin to look into options for your technical translation career, we recommend pursuing jobs in an area that you already have a moderate level of knowledge or interest in.

Doing this will help give you a leg up, as you will already have an idea of what to expect in the projects and translations that you’d be assigned. You’ll also have a better idea of the day-to-day terminology that may be required.

Consider Your Company’s Guidelines

Every company has its own set of policies, brand voices and guidelines. For instance, while one company may want their technical translations to be more neutral, another company may want translations that are more casual and easier for audiences to understand.

The guidelines given to you by your company will impact how you perform your translations every single day, so it’s important to always keep them in mind.

Ready to Pursue a Technical Translating Career? Earn Your M.A. in Translation at Kent State!

If a career path involving technical translation and language computing tools sounds like the right fit for you, take the first step and apply for our Online M.A. in Translation!

Our program offers students six languages to choose from, including some of the most spoken and printed languages in the world. These languages include:

Additionally, since the program is online, you can earn your degree from anywhere in the world.

To learn more about our program and begin the application process, fill out the short form on our admissions page. We look forward to having you as a student!