Becoming a self-employed translator :
the structuring influence of the clientele
This paper is concerned with the quality of employment of professionally qualified self-employed workers, using a case-study of translators in Quebec. They are a highly educated group most of whose members work for business clients. Quality of employment is defined in terms of four dimensions : occupational autonomy and control over contractual terms, remuneration, protection against economic risks (under-employment) and protection against social and occupational risks (illness, old-age, obsolescence of knowledge). The results show that the quality of employment of self-employed translators varies according to the dimensions studied and between professionals within each of these dimensions. This diversity is explained by the historical structuring of the labour market by different types of clients, by the characteristics of the « products » created by the labour process, with a marginal role being played by the variables of human capital and social milieu.