Employment As a Medical Interpreter

A medical interpreter provides translation services for healthcare patients who do not speak the native language well. they interpret oral communication between patient and medical personnel and translate documents into the patient’s native language. Interpreters must have a strong understanding of medical terminology in both languages as well as familiarity with the patient’s culture.

This job will normally require a bachelor’s degree. The major can be a foreign language, a medical field, or a major in one area and minor in the other. Colleges often have formal programs in interpreting. many positions that require conference level interpreting or subject matter expertise need a Master’s degree. Medical interpreters need to be fluent in a minimum of two languages. with English as the universal language, you should be able to converse and write in English as well as other languages. Cultural differences affect many translations; take the time to travel to other countries and regions to get a better understand of your target cultures. for example, if you were to specialize in Chinese, there are hundreds of dialects and cultures within that one country. Mandarin, the state language, will help you get by but many poorer peoples are still only fluent in their native dialect.

Medical interpreters must be able to discuss medical issues and preserve the technical accuracy of the original speech. Interpreters in the medical area get the patient’s history and the reason for their visit to the doctor’s office. they also translate the doctor’s questions and answers to the patient. more schooling or classes in a medical area will be helpful on-the-job and look great on the resume.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a USA growth rate in the medical interpreter area of 22 percent between 2008 and 2018. with an influx of immigration expected for the next several years, there will be an increasing demand for interpreters who speak Spanish in the United States. The average hourly wage for medical interpreters is $23.94 or $49,790 a year. Employees in the 10th percentile of the salary range had projected earnings of $22,950 per year. Employees in the 25th percentile made close to $31,610 per year in 2010. those listed in the 75th percentile averaged $61,130 per year with those listed at the 90th percentile making a reported $86,410 per year.

With a heavy influx from Mexico, California had the highest reported number of medical interpreters with 7,200 workers. This is then followed by Texas employed that shows the total number of employees as being 3,490, following this is new York which has 2,920 interpreters. North Carolina is next with 2,300 medical interpreters in 2010 in Massachusetts employs 1,500 interpreters. In fact with all these positions, medical interpreters make up seven percent of all interpreters in the United States.

Employment As a Medical Interpreter


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