Top 7 Careers in the British Sign Language Field

Like many learners, you may wonder, “What kind of jobs can I do with sign language?” Or what are the careers in British Sign Language? Getting a higher British Sign Language qualification may be worth it. Sign language opens doors to various careers in education, medicine, and the community. 

We have listed some jobs below to guide the careers you can pursue as you continue your BSL studies. Learning sign language can give you many opportunities for an enriching career. It’ll also allow you to connect with the marginalised people in society. 

Learning BSL can open hundreds of employment opportunities you didn’t think possible. So, let’s check out careers in British Sign Language.

Table of Contents

Are There Career Options for British Sign Language Learners?

You can translate speeches in public meetings or conferences as a sign language interpreter. And you can work as a medical, legal, and mental health interpreter. But these fields need special training or certification. Television and theatre productions require interpreters to translate for audiences. Primary schools, universities, and technical areas are also open for interpreter jobs. 

There are about 72 million deaf people in the world who use nearly 300 sign languages. There have been significant improvements for people with hearing impairments. And that has opened doors for more careers in British Sign Language specialists. 

Why Learn British Sign Language Today?

More people than ever before are learning sign language. But those who need to know most, the families and friends around the deaf children, are still very few. But the number is rising! In the UK, the number of people using BSL as their preferred language is estimated to be about 87,000. But the total number of users is about 151,000, and BSL professionals are missing from this list. 

Besides, by learning BSL, you’ll be able to communicate properly with deaf people. And you’ll have the opportunity to contribute to a society where deaf people are included. Also, learning BSL will allow you to be more aware of and celebrate the rich diversity within the deaf community.

Nowadays, British Sign Language courses are becoming more popular in colleges and workplaces. People are getting more interested in learning BSL day by day. Among them, some are deaf, deaf, or want to learn BSL to communicate with others. It’s an industry where demand is currently outstripping supply. 

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British Sign Language (BSL) Level 1 & 2
Sign with confidence by mastering the UK’s most preferred language for deaf people.
British Sign Language (BSL) Level 1 & 2
Sign with confidence by mastering the UK’s most preferred language for deaf people.

Top 7 Careers in British Sign Language Field

British Sign Language expertise can open doors to a wide range of occupations in many fields. Competency in British Sign Language allows you to have a career in education, healthcare, or community settings. Here are the top 7 careers in British Sign Language field. 

    1. 1. Sign Language Interpreter
    2. 2. Teachers of the Deaf (ToDs)
    3. 3. Speech And Language Therapist
    4. 4. Communication Support Worker
    5. 5. British Sign Language Teacher
    6. 6. Special Educational Needs (SEN) Teacher
    7. 7. Audiologist

Keep reading to find out more about these careers and the potential it has for you.

(Please note that the income figures mentioned below are intended as a guide only.)

1. Sign Language Interpreter

Ever noticed the frequent use of sign language interpreters on television these days? The goal of society is to make all events, programs, and speeches more accessible for everyone. But this job involves more than you sometimes see on television. And they can work in courtrooms, museums, theatres, and government offices. 

The need for sign language interpreters has never been greater. These positions are often freelance or part-time based. And this means you can cast a vast network and involve different types of industries. 


Opportunities in Healthcare

Healthcare and medical fields are very prominent job fields for any efficient interpreter. Many positions in healthcare need a proficient sign language expert. People skilled in sign language are in high demand. Their help needs in emergency rooms, private pathology clinics, or social care facilities. They work to ease the communication issue. They work with patients of all ages and gender who are unable to speak or have problems communicating. 

Opportunities in Tourism and Hospitality

How can you take a tour of a beautiful city if you can’t hear the tour guide? How can you attend a cooking class if you don’t understand the instructions? Disabled people have faced inaccessibility in many aspects of our world for too long. 

But things are changing. Today, there are more tours, classes and opportunities for the deaf. There are vacations and tours designed for people who can’t hear properly. And there is a growing need for people skilled in British Sign Language and passionate about travelling. 

It doesn’t matter if you want to work as a tour guide in your hometown or lead hiking in the mountains. If you want, you can combine them with your ability in sign language.

How Much Do Sign Language Interpreters Earn in the UK? 

Some BSL interpreters may be hired full-time, while others are paid by the hour on a freelance basis. The average salary for interpreters and translators is £26,232 per year.  

But the average NHS Healthcare Support Workers Translator yearly pay in the United Kingdom is approximately £33,347, which is way above the national average.

2. Teachers of the Deaf (ToDs)

Teachers of the Deaf are also known as ToDs or teachers of the hearing impaired. They are qualified teachers with further training and are qualified to teach children with hearing loss. They support deaf children, their parents and family, and other professionals involved with a child’s education.

And Teachers of the Deaf need specialist training to work with very young children. For example, you must have 

  • Qualified teacher status (QTS) 
  • BSL qualification (usually Level 2 or Level 3)



Also, they can be known as preschool or early years Teachers of the Deaf. Moreover, they play an essential role in helping parents support their deaf children. 

While some Teachers of the Deaf are based in schools, others are visiting or ‘peripatetic’ Teachers of the Deaf. And the Peripatetic Teachers of the Deaf may have to travel to the child’s home, playgroup, nursery, school or college.

How Much Do Teachers of the Deaf (ToDs) Earn? 

The average salary for Teachers of the Deaf (ToDs) is around £37,391 per year or £19.17 per hour. But this may vary depending on experience and the area in which they are based. For example, salaries for vacancies in London would be much higher due to the higher living costs in that capital.

3. Speech And Language Therapist

A profession related to helping deaf people is that of a Speech And Language Therapist. A Speech And Language Therapist helps them develop the communication skills needed in the hearing world. Speech therapists can be hospital-based and support various people with communication difficulties. 

Nevertheless, therapists can also choose a specialisation and work as part of a team to help children learn. Speech therapists should have BSL as part of their skill set. BSL is not a required skill to get the job done, but it aids in communication during appointments. 

How Much Do Speech And Language Therapists Earn in the UK? 

As a newly qualified Speech And Language Therapist or SLT, you can earn between £24,907 to £30,615. And when you become a specialist SLT, you can earn between £31,365 and £37,890. Typically, salaries for advanced or highly specialised SLTs and management roles attract higher salaries.

4. Communication Support Worker

Communication support workers (CSWs) use sign language daily. CSW is typically set up in a secondary or continuing education setting. The aim is to help young people access national curriculum and university courses. In these cases, you will work with one or two students throughout the academic year. 

Generally, CSWs are expected to meet BSL Level 3 to support children and young people who use BSL. This is especially important for the CSW working with GCSE or A-level students. That’s because it is more advanced and may include a wide range of topics. For example, a CSW may work with an engineering student in one session in college. And then, in another session, they work with an accounting student. 

Fluency is also essential here, and CSWs must be competent and adept at using sign language. Offices with deaf employees use communication support workers. You can join them also. In this case, CSW will ease communication between employees and provide support as needed in employee training.

How Much Do Communication Support Workers Earn in the UK? 

Communication Support Worker’s average salary a year can range from £18,000 (starter) to £24,000 with more experience. curriculum

5. British Sign Language Teacher

British Sign Language (BSL) teachers or BSL tutors teach British Sign Language to children, young people or adults and may also teach other subjects using BSL. As a BSL teacher, you could work at a special needs school, a sign language school, a college, or in the community.

To become a BSL tutor, you can complete a Level 1 and 2 Certificate in British Sign Language (BSL) before moving on to a higher qualification.

Employers generally ask for a minimum of a Level 3 or 4 Certificate in BSL. Some might even ask for a Level 6 Certificate. So we recommend you work up to a level 6 certificate.

How Much Do British Sign Language Teachers Earn in the UK? 

The average salary for British Sign Language Teachers can be from £26,247 to £46,316 per year in the UK. 

6. Special Educational Needs (SEN) Teacher

SEN or Special Education Needs teachers also have everyday responsibilities towards their students. They help students with special educational needs or developmental disabilities, including hearing loss. This work is like that of professionals using British Sign Language. They ensure that students understand the material by bridging communication gaps. 


Over 20,000 children in the UK use BSL. So, knowing BSL is a valuable skill for anyone who wants to make a career in this rewarding field. No one said this was an easy job, and teaching special education can be difficult. But whether it’s a very young child, a college student, or even an adult, the impact of this role can be enormous. 

However, special education has seen a lot of improvement over the past few years. But there is still a long way to go. While you use sign language to educate special students, you provide them with more opportunities in life. And because of that, your students will remember you long after they’ve completed their studies. 

How Much Do Special Educational Needs (SEN) Teachers Earn in the UK? 

On average. Special Educational Needs (SEN) Teachers earn £27,984 as a starter. And with experience, they can earn up to £46,083 a year. There are opportunities to move into other high-paying occupations, including higher education lecturing, teacher training, private training or tuition.

7. Audiologist

Audiologists are another important profession that frequently requires British Sign Language. They work to diagnose, prevent, and treat balance and hearing loss problems. Often through procedures or devices such as hearing aids. But, this is seen as a niche field with an ageing population. And there will need to be a significant increase in the number of trained audiologists.

How Much does an Audiologist Make in the UK?

The national average salary for Audiologists is £44,331 in the United Kingdom. But this can vary depending on location, experience or any specialities you may have. 

Also, it depends on your type of employment. The two most common types of audiologists are – public and private. Public jobs are covered by the “Agenda for Change pay rates” and consist of several pay bands. And there will be more differences in pay for private jobs.

How can I Learn BSL for a Career in British Sign Language?

John Academy offers an excellent course on BSL. And it will empower you to sign with confidence. So, master the UK’s most preferred language for deaf people with this British Sign Language (BSL) Level 1 & 2.

John Academy aims to deliver high-quality education at low prices to help you grow as a person and get the desired skills to excel in your career. So, you can learn BSL from John Academy without any worries!

British Sign Language (BSL) Level 1 & 2
Sign with confidence by mastering the UK’s most preferred language for deaf people.
British Sign Language (BSL) Level 1 & 2
Sign with confidence by mastering the UK’s most preferred language for deaf people.

Concluding Careers in British Sign Language

Now you know the top careers in British Sign Language field. It’s always wise to make a well-informed decision and prepare for your future with clear sight.  

So, if you’re interested in learning BSL or already know a bit of it and want to improve your skills and make a career out of it, there are plenty of options available. More importantly, choose the one that suits your needs and aligns with your vision and career goals.

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