Do Medical Interpreters Make Good Money?

Interpretation accounts for 46.4% of the translation service industry, making it the largest section of industry services.  Due to the increase in non-English speaking immigrants, US hospitals are seeing an increased demand for language professionals with a Medical interpreter Certificate. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), interpreters and translators in hospitals (state, local and private) ranked third as the highest paid language service providers. The average salary for a medical interpreter was $49,560. Of course, this number grows depending on the years of experience, the demand for the languages the interpreter works in, and whether they have a medical interpreting certificate. 

Medical interpreting Industry Outlook

Considering the positive industry outlook, and the fact that interpreting is a labor-intensive profession, a medical interpreting certificate is a valuable addition for all language professionals. Currently, health care interpreters are fundamental for institutions as they provide high-quality healthcare services to patients with limited English proficiency. In 2018, the average medical interpreter made $24 per hour.  The top 10% made an average of $39.00 an hour.  Meanwhile, the lowest 10% made $12.70 per hour. Naturally, the language combinations impact salary as well.  For instance, Spanish and Portuguese interpreter training might be common, but it is highly in demand.  Meanwhile, Chinese and Arabic interpreter training are ranked among the highest paid languages. Overall, medical interpreter salaries fluctuate due to several variable factors such as: years of experience, certifications, degrees, and specialties.

For a medical interpreter to make good money, there are two national certifications that may increase job prospects (in addition to a medical interpreting certificate):

Certification Commission for Health care Interpreters

Certification Commission for Health care Interpreters - is one of the only certifications accredited by the NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies). Acquiring this credential is valuable for any healthcare interpreter’s career path.

National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters

The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters provides industry recognition.  It allows medical interpreters to leverage a degree as credibility to avoid constantly having to prove their competency to every employer.

To increase salary prospects, candidates should enroll in a recognized Medical Interpreter Certificate Training program that will essentially prepare them to take any of the national certifications. Additionally, acquiring the credentials that apply to each state will increase the job outlook in-state.

Medical Interpreting Certificate and Continuous Education

A medical interpreter can make a good salary, so long as they invest in continuous learning and specialize in a technical field to reach higher positions. Although some of the best interpreters may not have graduate degrees, their medical interpreter training and their industry expertise will define their upward mobility (as will an insatiable interest in healthcare). Basically, a medical interpreting certificate is the first step of an on-going process.  It’s also worth noting that as the industry grows, the salary potential for a medical interpreter can increase over time.  They just need to acquire a specialization and focus on continuous education that increases their value.

Get the necessary, in person training in order to become a competent professional interpreter. Register now for one of our interpreter training programs: Medical Interpreter TrainingLegal Interpreter Training or Community & Business Interpreter Training.

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Yana Fisher

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