Professional Sign Language - Levels and Certifications | LanguageBard

Understanding the Different Levels and Certifications of Professional Sign Language


Inclusive communication is at the heart of our societies, and sign language plays a significant role in fostering better understanding amongst diverse groups. Professional sign language is a practical career choice and can open up numerous opportunities in sectors like education, interpretation and community service. If you're interested in pursuing a career in professional sign language, understanding the various levels and certifications is essential for your growth and development.

Different Levels of Professional Sign Language

Beginner Level

As a beginner, you'll learn the basics, starting with the alphabet and numbers. Other initial concepts revolve around simple greetings, common phrases, and basic vocabulary. You'll be introduced to the fundamentals of sign language syntax and structure, which differs distinctively from spoken languages.

Intermediate Level

The intermediate stage deepens your understanding of syntax, and you'll learn to engage in more complex conversations. This level often includes elements like storytelling, translating, expressing emotions, and learning more specific vocabulary.

Advanced Level

The advanced level focuses on nuances, idioms, and dialects within sign language. At this level, you will also refine signing skills, enhance your interpretative abilities, and explore detailed grammatical structures.

Professional Sign Language Certifications

ASL Proficiency Interview (ASLPI)

The ASLPI is a proficiency-based evaluation conducted conversationally to measure understanding and articulation of American Sign Language. It is one of the most widely recognized certifications for professionals in the field.

EIPA (Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment) Certification

Specifically designed for those aiming to work in an educational environment, the EIPA certification evaluates the ability to interpret spoken language into sign language efficiently.

RID (Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf) Certification

The RID certification validates proficiency in both interpreting and transliterating. The certified individual has demonstrated skills for a wide range of topics, levels of complexity, and communication situations.

Preparing for Sign Language Certification Exams

It isn’t enough just to learn the signs. The expressive and receptive communication in signing, linguistic knowledge, cultural understanding, and professional ethics are significant parts of preparation. Self-study, intensive coursework, guided practice, and lectures can significantly contribute to your preparation.

Importance and Benefits of Professional Sign Language

The field of professional sign language is not only rewarding but also deeply impactful. With your skills, you can bridge the communication gap for Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. You can work in various professions, including being an interpreter, a teacher, a counselor, or a sign language consultant.

Working in professional sign language allows you to effectively support Deaf culture and promote inclusive communication. Sign language professionals often find the role rewarding and fulfilling as they get to engage deeply with a vibrant and diverse community.

How to Grow and Develop as a Professional Sign Language Interpreter

  1. Continued Learning: Languages evolve and grow, and so does professional sign language. It's crucial to stay updated and continuously learn to adapt to the changes.
  2. Join Professional Networks: Professional networks provide a platform to share experiences, learn from peers, and stay updated on industry trends and job opportunities.
  3. Engage with the Community: Serving and volunteering in the Deaf community is a great way to gain experience, enhance skills and strengthen community ties.


With the knowledge of professional sign language levels and certifications, you can embark or continue on your journey towards becoming a professional in the field. The path to becoming proficient in sign language may seem tough, but it’s an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling pursuit. At LanguageBard, we offer resources and support to help you navigate your journey more effectively. So, let’s start signing and bridging the communication gaps together!