Becoming a Vietnamese translator opens the door to all kinds of job opportunities. You can work for the United Nations, social services, the courthouse in your area or even in a museum translating ancient literary works. Federal translator certifications are available only for Spanish, Navajo and Haitian Creole. There are no federal certifications for Vietnamese translators, but there are certifications available for every language through the American Translators Association. Translators also have to meet some educational requirements to gain the knowledge necessary to become a translator and pass the certification exam.
Take Vietnamese courses while still in high school. Get the basis you will need for your college degree program.
Enroll in a four-year Vietnamese bachelor's degree program. Minoring in a subject like finance or international relations, which corresponds with where you want to work as a translator, will also give you a leg up over your competition for jobs after graduation.
Enroll in a master's degree program in Vietnamese or foreign languages. A master's degree is preferred for candidates seeking jobs working as a translator for the United Nations or the United States government.
Work as an intern while completing your master's degree. Intern at your local court house translating for the court reporter or for your local news station. This will give you on-the-job translating experience that you can put on your resume when you graduate and start looking for jobs.
Register for the American Translators Association certification exam for Vietnamese. You can register on their website. The exam that must be taken is three hours long, open-book and proctored. It costs $300 to take. This can be paid by check, money order or credit card. The grades range from two to five and you must get a three to achieve certification. It can take up to 16 weeks to receive your results. Once you have registered, continue studying Vietnamese to prepare. Translating passages from Vietnamese to English is good practice.