Although university studies do not always provide translators with the necessary skills, many of them continue in their professional capacity, which is understood to be the result of self-directed learning processes. Thus, translators seem to be not only agents of their own education, but also products of translation operations. The data obtained by means of a questionnaire covers three areas: specialisation and the market, qualifications and competence as well as affects and attitudes. Also, a general description of translators’ specific self-directed learning strategies is provided. The results reveal that institutional training has virtually no importance in the professional education of translators and that the skills missed most in their everyday activity are those they failed to acquire by means of self-directed learning procedures.