Health or medical interpreters and translators: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more
Health or medical interpreters and translators typically work in healthcare settings and help patients communicate with doctors, nurses, technicians, and other medical staff. Interpreters and translators must have knowledge of medical terminology and of common medical terms in both languages. They may translate research material, regulatory information, pharmaceutical and informational brochures, patient consent documents, website information, and patients’ records from one language into another.
Healthcare or medical interpreters must be sensitive to patients’ personal circumstances, as well as maintain confidentiality and ethical standards. Interpretation may also be provided remotely, either by video relay or over the phone.
- Education Required
- A bachelor’s degree is typically needed to become an interpreter or translator along with proficiency in at least two languages, one of which is usually English.
- Training Required
- Interpreters and translators generally do not need any formal training, as they are expected to be able to interpret and translate before they are hired. However, those working in the community as court or medical interpreters or translators are more likely to complete job-specific training programs or certificates.
- Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 17% (Much faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
- After interpreters and translators have enough experience, they can move up to more difficult assignments, seek certification, and obtain editorial responsibility. They can also manage or start their own business.
- There is currently no universal certification required of interpreters and translators beyond passing the required court interpreting exams offered by most states. However, workers can take a variety of tests that show proficiency. For example, the American Translators Association provides certification in 29 language combinations.
- Median pay: How much do Interpreters and Translators make?
- $46,120 Annual Salary
- $22.17 per hour
Careers for Interpreters and Translators
- Community interpreters
- Conference interpreters
- Coordinating interpreters
- Educational interpreters
- Escort interpreters
- Federal court interpreters
- Foreign language interpreters and translators
- Healthcare interpreters and translators
- Judiciary interpreters and translators
- Legal or judicial interpreters and translators
- Liaison interpreters
- Liaison or escort interpreters
- Literary interpreters
- Literary translators
- Localization translators
- Medical interpreters and translators
- Mental health interpreters
- Sign language interpreters
- Simultaneous interpreters
- State court interpreters
- Trilingual interpreters