American Sign Language interpreter certification is available through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and requires taking certification exams in person, so online certification is not possible, suggests the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. The entry-level certification, which is called the National Interpreter Certification, or NIC, has education requirements that may be met through online coursework, however.
Those interested in earning the NIC certification need to first be at least 18 years old and take the first part of the exam, which is called the NIC Knowledge Exam, states the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. This part has no education requirement. After passing this exam, the person has 5 years to pass the NIC Interview and Performance Exam at a qualified test site. Eligibility for this second exam may be through having a bachelor's degree or meeting requirements for an alternative pathway, such as completing a special non-degree program through a university.
Some schools, such as William Woods University, offer interpretation studies degree programs entirely online, and such programs can help a person become eligible to take the second exam and earn certification. However, these programs may require fluency in American Sign Language and previous coursework or a degree in the field as prerequisites. The certification requirements do not restrict the bachelor's degree to any major, however, so the person could earn a bachelor's degree online in another subject and still qualify for certification.