Alumni Testimonial #15 - Medical Interpreter Resume Tips & Templates

Aug 01, 2023

Karima Omari-Manasrah Testimonial

“I chose to go back to school to further my education in interpreting and translating languages because I love to help people communicate and connect with each other even though there might be a language barrier”

As a medical interpreter, you’ll have a direct impact on patient care for people who do not speak English as their native language. You could work in various environments, ranging from a hospital setting to doctor’s offices, long-term care facilities, and more. You may work directly for the health care facility, or you may be hired by a third-party who will dispatch you to the facility where you are needed. 


You'll go beyond standard interpretation services, abiding by a code of ethics, to help medical staff understand a patient's medical history, symptoms, and more. You'll follow standards of practice to ensure the non-English speaking patient understands their diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care, in a kind and compassionate manner.


According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), interpreters and translators receive a median pay of $29.42 an hour or $51,830 per year. Between 2019 and 2029, the job outlook is expected to increase by 20%, much faster than the average. The average growth rate across all occupations is only 4%.


Any hospital that receives federal funding is legally required to provide language services for anyone with limited English proficiency (LEP) or non-English speaking patients. Other healthcare settings may not be required by law to offer translation services, though many do offer it to those in need.



Even though medical interpreter demand is growing, that doesn’t mean you should be casual with your resume. Healthcare providers want to see medical interpretation professions that can go beyond simply translating from one language to another. They want to know you'll build a rapport with the patient to make them feel safe and comfortable.


To stand out from the crowd, you should follow some standard resume rules, while also taking steps to ensure you properly reflect your unique experience, relevant skills, and education. 


While looking at resume examples is helpful, take time to look through some medical interpreter resume samples. This can help you see how you should structure your overall document and what information to include. Following the industry-specific example is far more effective than using a generic approach. 


It’s a good idea to have several versions of your resume tailored to the job you are applying to. For instance, one resume could be used for applying to hospitals. Another could be used for doctor’s offices, and a third could be used for mental health facilities or companies that hire translators to service local healthcare centers. Even if you don't work with multiple versions of your resume, you should still seek to tailor it to the job description for each job you're applying for.

translating from home

Medical Interpreter Experience to Highlight

While writing your resume, be sure to highlight experience and skills, such as:


  • Translate medical information verbally
  • Translate medical text
  • Maintain patient confidentiality
  • Assist with patient follow-up
  • Establish positive interaction
  • Participate in continued training


It’s crucial to go beyond the languages you speak to demonstrate that you have not only a solid understanding of the target language, but also medical terminology, effective communication skills, and an understanding of cultural differences.


Beyond this, be sure to include any technical skills and soft skills, such as Microsoft Office knowledge, customer service, active listening, interpersonal skills, etc. 


Pay attention to the keywords in the job postings, because you can use the same words and phrases the employer lists in the “requirements” and “qualifications” sections in your experience and skills sections or in your cover letter. These keywords are essential as some of the systems recruiters use to narrow down their candidates automatically kick out any resumes that don't use specific keywords.


Organize your resume to highlight essential information. Include your job title, years experience, and so on, as long as it is relevant.


Quantify achievements with numbers, time frames, and percentages when possible. For instance, “Assisted 2,000 patients in a two year period.”


If you’ve yet to secure employment as a medical interpreter because you just earned your certifications, it’s crucial to focus your transferable skills efforts. Even if the majority of your experience is in a different industry, it will still be relevant. 


Did you work in fast food before moving into medical interpreting? Highlight how you translated from Spanish to English for customers. Did you work in medical coding and billing? Highlight how this gives you knowledge of medical procedures. No matter your past work experience, be sure to focus on how your interpreter services have helped others.


You can also include non-professional experience on your resume, too, where relevant. Maybe you’re an active member of your child’s Parent-Teacher Association, where you assist students in ESL classes. Even your hobbies can be mind for proof of your skills and experience - as long you’re not overreaching. If you have 350 followers on Twitter - you’re not a social media expert. Taking three years of Spanish in high school doesn't make you fluent.


Use your resume objective at the top of your resume to highlight the kind of job you’re looking for. In this space, clearly connect your former career to your new one - and how those skills transfer to the skills you need in the new field, and more specifically, this job.


If you lack work history at all because you’re a freshly graduated student, focus on your efforts to highlight your educational and volunteer experiences, seeking to connect your skills and expertise in those areas to a position as a medical interpreter. If you majored in Spanish, or took honors foreign language courses, include that information.


And of course, if you want to improve your experience as a translator before working at a medical center, you could always join us here at MiTio, working as a freelance interpreter for our on-demand translating services.


Medical Interpreter Certifications

Though many often have a bachelor’s degree, it’s possible to work as a medical interpreter with a high school diploma or GED. As long as you have the appropriate certifications to show that you are not only fluent in English and at least one other foreign language, you’ll be able to work in the field. As a certified medical interpreter, you'll be ahead of anyone who is a language interpreter without certification to support their skillset. 


Both the diploma and certificate courses we offer here at MiTio prepare you for certification exams with the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) and the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI). The certification agency you choose will depend primarily on the target language(s) you want to certify in. 


Highlight any specializations you have, such as hospital translator, mental health interpreter, or court interpreting. Include any continuing education you’re part of to show that you keep your skills current and sharp.


In addition to displaying certifications from either of these agencies, if you’re part of any professional associations for interpreters, make sure to list them on your resume. Options include:



Many states also have their associations you can join, where applicable. Membership not only adds to your credibility but also may help you network with others and find other job opportunities.

Medical Interpreter Resume Templates

Medical Interpreter Resume Templates

Creating an eye-catching resume that will capture hiring managers’ attention is much easier if you use a template. Rather than starting from scratch, relying on one of these options makes it easier for you to focus on what matters - your fit for the job. 


Beyond using a template, you can use a resume builder or hire a professional resume writer to help you craft the document to be the first step toward getting a job interview.

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