FEDERAL COURTS have downsized their interpreter staffs to the very bare minimum. Then on top of that they use their in-house interpreters to interpreter for OTHER federal courts in other states that may lack interpreters thru what's known as the TIP Program. Uncle Sam will squeeeeeze you mercilessly, as usual.
INDEPENDANT CONTRACTOR court work is also declining nationwide as HIRING agencies use non-certified interpreters whenever they can get away with it. And considering that they can get away with it almost ALWAYS ..that's quite alot of lost work for certified court interps.
STATE COURTS are the only viable source of constant work as a court interpreter right now and some states pay better than others. You'll have to become an employee tho and probably join the local unions. Some unions are good but others (like what they got in CA) are the WORST, pathetic and ineffective P'sOS imaginable.
ADMINISTRATIVE/MEDICAL (where certification available) interp jobs seem to be increasing slightly, but they don't pay as well as court does. AND it's hard work in the medical field (they'll run you ragged) and CUTTHROAT in the administrative. Bring your Bowie knife & best backstabbing skills. You'll need both.
CONFERENCE work is usually limited to small groups of local interpreters that have the markets in their areas already cornered. Since conference work is rare per se the hiring contractors usually use the same interpreter over and over again. Major caveat: interpreters willing to work for next to nothing might be given a chance to sneak-in and do some conference work occasionally.
UNITED NATIONS, you need to know THREE languages. And only a few specific language combinations are popular right now. If you're NOT in NYC you might as well not exist. UNLESS you're in a major european city, of course.
LANGUAGE LINE SERVICES; you might as well work in a show store like Al Bundy. $10-$15 per hour at most.