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Finding Work as a Staff or Contract Interpreter

Anyone who wishes to work as a court interpreter must first meet the qualifications. This means already being an approved or certified court interpreter.

Finding Work as a Contract Court Interpreter

When an individual becomes eligible, he or she must register with the AOC and the Division of Revenue. The AOC will send that person an invitation to register and provide the necessary forms to be completed.

The Administrative Office of the Courts itself does not hire contract court interpreters; rather, contract interpreting services are purchased directly by the trial courts from individuals and agencies included in the Registry of Interpreting Resources. In the Superior Court and Tax Court, the purchase of contract interpreting services is ordinarily handled by persons called Vicinage Coordinators of Interpreting Services or someone they supervise. They may hire as contract court interpreters only persons who have registered with the Administrative Office of the Courts and are listed in the Registry. At the Municipal Court level, interpreting services are managed by the Court Director or Court Administrator in each particular Municipal Court. These courts are encouraged to use the Registry as the source for locating contract interpreting services but are not required to do so.

Interpreters who want to work in the Federal courts in New Jersey should contact Irene Caramuta, Chief Court Interpreter, United States District Court, District of New Jersey, Office of the Clerk, P.O. Box 419, Newark, NJ 07101-0419; at 973-645-4621; (fax) 973-645-4431; E-mail: Irene_Caramuta@njd.uscourts.gov

They may also wish to consider advertising their services in the state's legal publications. The principal ones are The Legal Pages, www.lawdiary.com (240 Mulberry Street, P.O. Box 1226, Newark, NJ 07101; 800-444-4041), the New Jersey Law Journal (P.O. Box 20081, 238 Mulberry Street, Newark, NJ 07101-6081; 973-642-0075), and the New Jersey Lawyer, (Edison Square, 2035 Lincoln Highway, Suite 3005, Edison, NJ 08817; 732-650-7077).

Finding Work as a Staff Court Interpreter

As of now, there are one or more full-time staff court interpreter positions in the following languages: American Sign Language, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, and Spanish. In order to be considered for any such positions, one must meet the minimum requirements set forth in the Court Interpreter Job Band Specification.

IMPORTANT: There is no point in applying for these positions unless one already meets the requirements as outlined in the job specification. The only exception is for those persons who are in the last stage of the court interpreter approval process, are on track to reach the level specified in the notice of vacancy, and who are already scheduled to take or have taken the entire court interpreting performance exam and are awaiting the final results.

Eligible individuals will go through the following steps:

  1. Find out where there is a vacancy by checking the Judiciary's website periodically.
  2. Submit an application to the appointing authority as set forth in the "Information for Applicants" section of the notice of vacancy.
  3. Appear for the interview if invited for one.
  4. If offered the position, negotiate the particulars such as starting salary and starting date.
Interpreters who have been approved in New Jersey at the Journeyman or Master level are obviously eligible. Interpreters whose credentials are from some other jurisdiction are subject to the same principles of reciprocity as are interpreters who wish to become contract interpreters.

For positions in the Superior Court or Administrative Office of the Courts, Notices of Vacancy for Interpreter/Bilingual Positions are posted on the Judiciary's website. Candidates apply directly to the office indicated therein. For specifications, please refer to the Specifications for Interpreter Positions page.

Positions in the Municipal Courts are ordinarily posted through the New Jersey Civil Service Commission in the Executive Branch. Specifications can be found at the Municipal Court Interpreters Job Specification page.

Compensation Rates

Salary ranges for staff court interpreters in the Superior Court are determined as a function of collective bargaining agreements with appropriate unions. Rates of pay for contract interpreters are set through collective bargaining with Communication Workers of America (CWA).
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