The Terminologist’s Job Description

"The original is unfaithful to the translation" - JORGE LUIS BORGES

“The original is unfaithful to the translation” – JORGE LUIS BORGES

I’m sure you have a general idea of what a terminologist does, but I’m sure these two sources, which are very detailed, will clear any doubts you may have. Needless to say, every job description is different, depending on your client’s needs.

The first one is a “Professional Profile for Terminologists” by the Council for German-Language Terminology (RaDT). It has four sections: Introduction, What a Terminologist Does, Prerequisites, and Training and Qualifications (this one refers to instruction in German). UPDATE: No longer available online.

The second one was found in (a magazine for international information management) and it’s an article by Dr. Klaus-Dirk Schmitz called “The Terminologist” and includes the sections on Who works with terminology?, What does the job profile look like? What are the tasks?, What is the required knowledge?, What are the existing educational or training paths?, What is the study duration?, and Where is further education and training available? (also refers to instruction in German) plus the Reference Literature.

What does it take to be a terminologist” is a Termcord article that gives in a few words a general idea about a terminologist’s work. By the way, at the end of this article they mention the first source given above (RaDT).

A March 2015 post on this blog provides an updated role description. Read “New Role Description for Terminologists here.

The Pavel tutorial, mentioned in other pages here, also gives a description of the Terminology Manager’s role.

The UN explains here what their terminologists do.

The Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union explains in a few paragraphs what their terminology coordinators do.

The following links are old job openings, but they will give you an idea of a terminologist’ job at the United Nations, at IBM Canada, and at the International Communication Union (ICU), which is a leading organization that works with standards.

What is a terminologist? by Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO).

Read a discussion on Linkedin “Struggling with the definition of Terminologist



3 Comments on “The Terminologist’s Job Description

  1. Pingback: Terminologist or Terminology Project Manager? | In My Own Terms

  2. Hi Patricia,

    Thank you for mentioning the Professional Profile for Terminologists in IMOT!

    The profile is still online, and you can download it here:

    BTW, there is a whole chapter (in German) about job profiles, competences, and education in the “Best Practices” published by the Deutscher Terminologie-Tag (

    Best regards,

  3. Hi, Donatella. Thanks for sharing that information. This blog depends on the subscribers who share updated information and I really appreciate your help. Best to you. Patricia

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