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Certified Medical Interpreter Salary & How Much They Get Paid - Mitio

Posted by Dr. Nelva Lee on Aug 12, 2020 12:49:00 PM
Dr. Nelva Lee

Certified Medical Interpreter Salary

Medical interpreters are people who work in a variety of healthcare settings. They may work onsite at a medical facility or remotely through video conferencing or by telephone. They have excellent written and verbal skills in English plus one or more target languages and the ability to provide fast, accurate consecutive interpreting. They are expected to maintain ethical standards and patient confidentiality at all times.

Your salary will depend on a number of factors, including education and years of experience, geographic location, skill set, and continuing certification training.

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Salaries for a Medical Interpreters

What does a medical interpreter make? There’s a bit of wiggle room. Salary.com lists roughly  $46,000 dollars as the median salary, and the BLS puts the figure closer to $52,000. However, medical interpreting is not always a standalone position. Many medical interpreters are doctors, RNs, social workers, hospital administrators, or court reporters. 

If you are a medical professional with strong foreign language skills, taking a medical interpreter training program to qualify for a Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) can help you get higher pay - or snag your dream job.

According to Salary.com, here is the breakdown on average pay for Medical Interpreter salaries:

 

PERCENTILE

SALARY

10% (entry level)

$35,271

25%

$40,272

50% (national average median salary)

$45,764

75%

$50,170

90% (Top 10%)

$54,181

 

Earning a medical interpreter certification can get you a raise, qualify you for a new job title, or help you snag a higher paying job in your chosen field. 

For example, we found an Illinois Department of Human Services  job listing for a bilingual registered nurse that pays $4,781.00 - $6,485.00 per month That’s a top salary of nearly $78k with benefits, and it’s in Elgin, Illinois. 

In Los Angeles, bilingual RN positions are offered at about $70,000 to $90,000, depending on your years of experience and education.

And in Long Island, New York, the Royal Care Certified Home Health Care is offering $100,000 - $115,000 a year for bilingual Registered Nurses with CHHA experience.

Plum jobs are all over the United States, and becoming a certified medical interpreter gives you the edge you need to get the job you want. 

How many jobs? The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says the job growth for 2018-2028 is 19% - much higher than average. We speculate that Covid-19 may significantly impact those numbers, making demand -and average salary - much higher.

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How To Make More As A Medical Interpreter

If you speak more than one language and are looking to boost your salary or get a better job, here are a few tips that might help:

  1. Earn more certifications - Medical interpreters with certification in more than one language pair are naturally in greater demand. If you’re fluent in several languages, national certification in several foreign languages is a real plus for potential employers, even for highly competitive positions. Your employer may even pay for your training program and certification exams.
  2. Improve your skills - In addition to your foreign language skills, medical translators need excellent interpersonal skills. They need to build rapport with patients and their families, be sensitive to cultural factors, and be able to deliver news in an appropriate tone. Other helpful skills include knowledge of medical coding, compliance with ethics and standards, and the ability to translate quickly and accurately in both written and oral communications. 
  3. Gain experience - the more experience you have, the more money you will make According to PayScale, entry-level certified medical interpreters who have 5 years of experience or less typically earn average base pay of $40,000. Medical translators with 5 - 10 years of experience earn an average of $43,000; with 10 - 20 years, it goes up to $47,000; and at 20+ years, you’ll earn $52,000.
  4. Education - Continuing education is always a career booster. When you take training courses and get recertifications, you have more justification for a raise, and added skills to pad your resume. 
  5. Ask for it - With your credentials and experience in hand, approach your employer and ask for a raise or a promotion. 
  6. Evaluate Location and Demand - Geographical location often drives demand. If you live in rural Mississippi, where the population is not terribly diverse, the demand for medical interpreters will be much lower than it would be in Houston, Texas, where Spanish medical interpreters are in high demand. 

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Career Path for Medical Interpreters

This chart from Zippia shows a timeline of where your career path can lead if you add Medical Translating certification to your skill set. For example, the career trajectory for a registered nurse (RN) could be RN → RN Supervisor → Nursing Director in 9 years. Where will your career lead?

Source: Zippia.com Zippia Logo

 

 

medical interpreter

Benefits For Medical Interpreters

In addition to competitive salaries, most medical facilities offer healthcare, paid vacations, and retirement options. But there are other perks and conditions you may want to consider.

 

Flexibility

For some people, traditional 9-5 on-location jobs may not suit their personality or family needs. You may want flexible work hours, remote work, or some combination. Rest assured, not every medical interpreter job description is rigid. You can find plenty of jobs that offer the flexibility you need, and many jobs offer work from home opportunities or a hybrid situation.  

Work Environment

You may not want to work directly with patients in a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office, and you don’t have to. Job opportunities for in different interpreting fields include:

 

  • Court interpreting - work in a courtroom setting to translate between judges, lawyers, defendants, and members of the jury.
  • Mental health interpreting - While social workers and mental health professionals may work in an office or hospital some of the time, they also do plenty of field work, visiting homes, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers, wherever their case work takes them.
  • Hospital translator - Hospital translators typically work in the administrative offices, translating documents such as medical forms, written responses from patients, and instructions from the healthcare staff to the patient.
  • Remote work - At MiTio, our services include connecting highly trained medical interpreters to clients in need on a per diem basis. You would work from home, serving various clients.

 

Helping people in their own language

One of the biggest benefits of being a medical interpreter is the satisfaction that comes from helping people in need. People who are sick, injured, or facing a judge in immigration court to learn their fate are nervous and scared. 

 

You are a comforting lifeline, telling them what’s going on and letting them know what comes next and what they need to do. You help them understand what medicines to take, how to care for themselves, and how to proceed. Speaking to them in their own language lessens stress for patients and their families, and ensures that they understand the information and instructions they are given. 

 

Being a medical interpreter is a rewarding and interesting job. If you’re ready to take the next step toward a higher paying career, enroll in one of our medical interpreter training courses today. We’ll be happy to help you get started.

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Topics: Medical Interpreter