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Tips for Getting Educational Interpreter Applicants through WECAN

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Are you having problems filling your educational interpreter positions? Do you predict you will need to hire one by this fall? There are currently 23 vacancies (and growing weekly) for educational interpreters in Wisconsin listed on WECAN. Many of these positions have been posted for the entire school year. As you can imagine, this is a concern for the student who might not be receiving educational access, but we now can see that we have a systemic shortage of interpreters within the state. With only about 12 interpreters graduating this year from UW-Milwaukee (and not all going into K-12 interpreting), we know that filling all 23 positions won’t happen with only our recent graduates.

There are four basic considerations for posting your position on WECAN:

  1. Put the position under “Certified Staff”. It requires a DPI license, so it should be under “Certified Staff”. Interpreters go to “Certified Staff” to look for jobs.
  2. Label the title as “Educational Interpreter” or Educational Sign Language Interpreter”. Do not put “para” or “aide” in the title. Interpreters will not probably apply if it’s titled or categorized as an aide or para position.
  3. The common rate of pay for educational interpreters across the state is between $25 and $30 an hour. School districts that offer this rate of pay are more frequently able to find and hire interpreters. This rate of pay could also possibly draw in some community interpreters into K-12 education.
  4. Consider making it a full-time position with medical and dental insurance. Many interpreters leave the field for other professions (like teaching) due to medical and dental benefits not being offered to them despite having a similar educational background as a teacher.

The Wisconsin Educational Services Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (within DPI) keeps an updated and compiled list of the WECAN educational interpreter positions. Educational interpreters have one place to go to find statewide vacancies easily.

If you have further questions about interpreters or want to list your position on our compiled and updated list - recruiting, hiring, role, etc. Please reach out to the WESP-DHH Outreach Services.