Translation agency manager


Translation agency managers oversee operations in the delivery of translation services. They coordinate the efforts of a team of translators who translate written material from one language to another. They ensure the quality of the service and the administration of the translation agency.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to translation agency manager:

language interpretation service manager
language interpreter
language translation agency manager
language translation service manager
language interpretation agency director
language translator
interpretation agency director
translation service manager
language interpretation agency manager
translation agency manager
language translation agency director
language interpretation agency supervisor
interpretation agency supervisor
language translation agency supervisor

Minimum qualifications

Bachelor’s degree is generally required to work as translation agency manager. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Translation agency manager is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Translation agency manager career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to translation agency manager.

interpretation agency manager
lawyer linguist
sign language interpreter

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of translation agency manager. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of translation agency manager with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of translation agency manager.

Project management: Understand project management and the activities which comprise this area. Know the variables implied in project management such as time, resources, requirements, deadlines, and responding to unexpected events.
Quality standards: The national and international requirements, specifications and guidelines to ensure that products, services and processes are of good quality and fit for purpose.
Spelling: The rules concerning the way words are spelled.
Office software: The characteristics and functioning of software programs for office tasks such as word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, email and database.
Grammar: The set of structural rules governing the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language.
Customer relationship management: The customer-oriented management approach and basic principles of successful customer relations that focus on interactions with customers such as technical support, customer services, after-sales support and direct communication with the customer.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of translation agency manager.

Lead a team: Lead, supervise and motivate a group of people, in order to meet the expected results within a given timeline and with the foreseen resources in mind.
Manage budgets: Plan, monitor and report on the budget.
Speak different languages: Master foreign languages to be able to communicate in one or more foreign languages.
Master language rules: Master the techniques and practices of the languages to be translated. This includes both your own native language, as well as foreign languages. Be familiar with applicable standards and rules and identify the proper expressions and words to use.
Use consulting techniques: Advise clients in different personal or professional matters.
Proofread text: Read a text thoroughly, search for, review and correct errors to ensure content is valid for publishing.
Develop a translation strategy: Perform research to better understand the subject material and formulate the right questions to get the information needed.
Follow an ethical code of conduct for translation activities: Carry out translation activities according to accepted principles of right and wrong. This includes fairness, transparency, and impartiality. Do not use judgement or allow personal opinions to affect the quality of the translation or interpretation.
Comprehend the material to be translated: Read and analyse the content and themes of the material to be translated. The translator must comprehend what is written in order to best translate the content. Word-for-word translation is not always possible, and the translator must navigate the language to best maintain the sense of the text.
Consult information sources: Consult relevant information sources to find inspiration, to educate yourself on certain topics and to acquire background information.
Negotiate service with providers: Arrange contracts with providers concerning accommodation, transport and leisure services.
Assess quality of services: Test and compare various goods and services in order to assess their quality and to give detailed information to consumers.
Follow translation quality standards: Comply with agreed standards, such as the European standard EN 15038 and the ISO 17100, to ensure that requirements for language-service providers are met and to guarantee uniformity.
Observe confidentiality: Observe the set of rules establishing the nondisclosure of information except to another authorised person.
Write work-related reports: Compose work-related reports that support effective relationship management and a high standard of documentation and record keeping. Write and present results and conclusions in a clear and intelligible way so they are comprehensible to a non-expert audience.
Apply grammar and spelling rules: Apply the rules of spelling and grammar and ensure consistency throughout texts.
Liaise with colleagues: Liaise with fellow colleagues to ensure common understanding on work related affairs and agree on the necessary compromises the parties might need to face. Negotiate compromises between parties as to ensure that work in general run efficiently towards the achievement of the objectives.
Maintain updated professional knowledge: Regularly attend educational workshops, read professional publications, actively participate in professional societies.
Preserve original text: Translate texts without adding, changing or omitting anything. Make sure the original message is conveyed. Don’t express your own feelings and opinions.
Provide written content: Communicate information in written form via digital or print media according to the needs of the target group. Structure the content according to specifications and standards. Apply grammar and spelling rules.
Negotiate settlements: Negotiate with insurance companies and insurance claimants in order to facilitate agreement on a settlement which the insurance company has to provide for the claimant, such as covering repair costs for damages, taking into account the appraisal reports and the coverage assessment.
Build business relationships: Establish a positive, long-term relationship between organisations and interested third parties such as suppliers, distributors, shareholders and other stakeholders in order to inform them of the organisation and its objectives.
Assume responsibility for the management of a business: Adopt and assume the responsibility that entails running a business, prioritising the interest of its owners, the societal expectation, and the welfare of employees.
Translate different types of texts: Comprehend the nature of the type of text to be translated, for example commercial and industrial documentation, personal documents, journalism, novels, creative writing, certificates, government documentation, and scientific texts.
Review translation works: Read thoroughly translated works in order to ensure accuracy and achievement of the purpose.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of translation agency manager. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Musical genres: Different musical styles and genres such as blues, jazz, reggae, rock, or indie.
Court interpreting: The form of interpreting where it is mandatory to accurately translate everything the source says in order not to mislead the people who have to make judgements on the cases.
Linguistics: The scientific study of language and its three aspects, language form, language meaning, and language in context.
Postediting: The process of revising a translation, usually generated by a machine, and improving the accuracy of the text in the translated language.
Technical terminology: Type of language used in a certain context, containing terms that have a meaning specific to a particular group or activity, such as in industry, medicine, or law.
Semantics: The branch of linguistics that studies meaning; it analyses of words, phrases, signs, and symbols and the relation between them.
Transcreation: The process of reproducing commercial content, usually brand related, in other languages while conserving the most important nuances and messages. This refers to the preserving emotional and intangible aspects of brands in translated commercial materials.
Unseen translation: The translation technique whereby unseen extracts from Latin and Greek prose or verse are presented to translators for them to translate the excerpts perfectly in a determined language, for instance English. It aims to evaluate vocabulary, grammar, and style and increase linguistic knowledge.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of translation agency manager. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Coach employees: Maintain and improve employees’ performance by coaching individuals or groups how to optimise specific methods, skills or abilities, using adapted coaching styles and methods. Tutor newly recruited employees and assist them in the learning of new business systems.
Conduct scholarly research: Plan scholarly research by formulating the research question and conducting empirical or literature research in order to investigate the truth of the research question.
Improve translated texts: Revise, read, and improve human or machine translations. Strive to improve the accuracy and quality of translations.
Adapt text culturally: Adjust text so it is culturally and linguistically acceptable to the reader, while preserving the original message and nuance of the text.
Use computer-aided translation: Aid the language translation process by using computer-aided translation (CAT) software.
Develop technical glossaries: Organise technical terms used e.g. in scientific and legal settings into terminology databases and glossaries to aid future translations.
Create subtitles: Create and write subtitles making sure they are synchronised with the dialogue.
Perform sworn translations: Translate documents of all kinds and affixing a stamp indicating the translation has been performed by somebody endorsed by the local or national authorities.
Identify new words: Determine if there are new words being used by a significant number of people by doing research.
Analyse text before translation: Understand the messages conveyed and the nuances of the text in the original text to be translated.
Decode handwritten texts: Analyse, understand, and read handwritten texts with different writing styles. Analyse the overall message of texts to ensure coherence in the understanding.
Translate language concepts: Translate one language into another language. Match words and expressions with their corresponding brothers in other languages, while making sure that the message and nuances of the original text are preserved.

ISCO group and title

1349 – Professional services managers not elsewhere classified





  1. Translation agency manager – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022

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