The most significant and renowned association of professional interpreters and translators in the United States is the American Translators Association or ATA.

The ATA is open to anyone who wants to use their skills as a translator or interpreter. If you wish to showcase your skills and work professionally as a translator, having a certification from the American Translators Association is a must.

Why Do You Need to Be Certified by the ATA?

I am an ATA-certified translator, and my clients prefer translators who are certified. I offer translations into and from the Chinese language, and my certification adds to my credibility and proficiency. Being a certified translator sets my potential clients at ease.

Additionally, having a certificate means that you can potentially get more clients compared to translators who do not have a certification.

Being in the translation and interpretation industry is no easy task. There are so many people out there who have excellent communication and translation skills. Furthermore, the prerequisites for working as a translator can easily be accomplished by anyone skilled in another language.

Acquiring a certification from the American Translators Association is vital for you to boost your career as a professional translator and gain an edge over your competitors. As a translator, being certified by the ATA has opened several new opportunities for me.

The American Translators Association is known by many as a prestigious association of professional translators. Their qualifying exam is extremely difficult, and the passing rate is incredibly low. This means that only skilled and proficient translators can pass their tests.

Because of the rigor of the ATA’s requirements, clients feel reassured if a translator is certified by this organization. A certification with the ATA is a true testament to the translator’s skills.

Other Benefits of Getting a Certification from the ATA

Apart from a boost in credentials and a surefire way to reassure your clients of your skills as a translator, getting certified by the ATA also has other benefits.

First, because of the reputation of the ATA and its strict standards for certification, being certified by the ATA opens many doors of opportunity and increases your chance for job offers.

The ATA has a directory of translators and interpreters where your certification will be listed. Having your name and certification on that listing means you will stand out from other translators and interpreters.

Furthermore, a certification will give you higher chances of acquiring clients since your name will be placed high on the listings.

Additionally, once you get certified by the ATA, you can choose to render your services and offer your suggestions to the ATA regarding its procedures, policies, and governance. Your voice will be heard since your certification will serve as proof of the credibility of your opinion.

Certified interpreters and translators of the ATA have an excellent opportunity to increase their reputations and become widely known as some of the best in the translation industry.

How to Get Certified by the American Translators Association

Apart from being an ATA-certified Chinese-language translator, I am also the head of Translation Boulevard. Our translation services include all the major languages.

Being certified by the ATA and having experience and credentials in this industry, I am confident in my abilities as a translator. Should you need any translation services, feel free to contact me.

Getting a certificate is no easy task. According to the statistics of the association, the passing rate for their exam is only 20%. This means that only the cream of the crop can pass and get certified.

It is essential to note that the ATA only supports specific languages. Before you continue to the next step, you must verify that the ATA supports your language. The list of languages they support is listed on their website, so go ahead and check it out first.

If your language is supported, the next step is to become a member. You will need to be a member of their organization for at least four weeks before the examination can be scheduled.

Aside from this, you also need to take the pledge of ethics. Once these prerequisites are accomplished, you are now qualified to take the test.

To be a certified member of this reputable association, you must follow a few simple steps. Here are the steps to get your certification from the ATA.

  • Application. If you are not yet a member of the association, pay attention to this step. If you are already a member, you may skip this step and proceed to the next one.

    Simply go to the official website of the American Translators Association. You will be required to fill out some application forms. The application fee can be paid using your credit card.

Once all of this is accomplished, your certificate of membership should arrive by mail in about two weeks. This is the easy part since there are no prerequisite requirements. All you need to do is to pay the application fee.

  • Registration. The next step is registering for the certification exam. Remember that you need to be a member of the organization for at least a month before you are qualified to take the test.

The registration form must be filled out at least two weeks before the certification exam. The registration fee is 300 dollars.

  • Studying for the test. The certification exam is complex, as can be seen by the low passing rate. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you take the practice test. However, the test is optional, so if you feel confident enough, you may skip this step.

However, if you are nervous and want to be more prepared for the test, taking the practice test will help you gain confidence.

It will also prepare you for the kind of questions you may encounter during the actual certification exam.

  • Taking the Test. Taking the test is the last step. The test is difficult, and it will last for three hours. You will be facing several questions testing comprehension and language skills.

Apart from that, you will also be tasked with translating several texts. These texts may include legal, technical, non-fiction, business topics, medical, and so on. Their standard is very high, and multiple graders will evaluate your performance.

Final Thoughts

Getting certified by the American Translators Association is very difficult, but it is definitely worth it.

Its benefits include boosting your career as a translator, paving the way for greater opportunity in the translation industry, and reassuring your clients of your abilities as a translator.

Note: Some information was taken from the ATA website. Please check the ATA website for the latest information. The website address is