What are the Different Medical Interpreter Jobs?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 27 December 2018
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There are four different medical interpreter jobs: consultancy, working for a health care services firm, teaching, and working for a government agency. A medical interpreter works with clients whose do not have sufficient English language skills and translates the information provided by health services personnel. The role of a medical interpreter is central to the ability of many people to maintain their independence, make important medical decisions, and receive life saving information.

In order to qualify for a medical interpreter job, you will need to obtain certification as a translator. There are specific government examinations of both non-English and English language skills that are required to become certified. Many people assume that a conversation-level skill in both English and another language is all that is required, but this is not the case. Most medical translators have completed formal health services training in another language and have obtained necessary English vocabulary required to translate.

A growing number of medical interpreters open their own private practice. Working as independent consultants, they provide language expertise, to clients. As a consultant, they can obtain medical interpreter jobs with publishing companies, translating medical journals or textbooks, translating letters, or translating medical information for a legal case.


There are a broad range of medical interpreter jobs available in a health services firm. These private organizations offer a wide range of therapies and support services to clients. Many companies have contracts with local hospitals and clinics to provide translators as required, or on a scheduled basis. The medical interpreter works with the other members of the health services team to make sure the patient receives information so they can make informed decisions.

There is a wide range of medical interpreter jobs available in teaching. Using their language skills, they can work as translators in the classroom or teach health care system courses. As a translator, they can bridge the gap in language to ensure that important medical information is provided to a broader community, or to a specific client. As a course instructor, they can provide courses in the secondary language on public health issues or how the health care system works.

In order to become an instructor, many professionals complete a certificate program in adult education. Learning the most effective way to teach adults can be a huge help when making this career transition. Bridging the information gap is critical to maintaining healthy communities and improving people's health.

Many social services related government agencies have two or three medical interpreter jobs available. He or she is typically responsible for working with the social worker and other members of the health services team to communicate important information in a crisis situation.



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