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Transform your bilingual ability into a vibrant career with our expert insights in medical interpreting, certification programs, obtaining employment, and much more. 

Over The Phone Interpreter Jobs

Posted by Dr. Nelva Lee on Sep 3, 2020 12:30:00 PM
Dr. Nelva Lee

chinese phone interpretingBeing bilingual opens up many job opportunities for language services in a variety of fields. There is a global demand from businesses and healthcare services alike for people who are fluent in English and another language to work in a variety of positions, including at bilingual call centers, translation jobs, interpretation, localization, online teaching, and more.

Your language skills can open up doors to making an extra income on a full-time or part-time basis. In some cases, you can even work from home. Working freelance or for businesses, you as a bilingual speaker are critical for translating key information between speakers of different languages in different professional settings.

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What Do Phone Interpreters Do

As a phone interpreter, you will carry out similar work as other professional interpreters. The main difference is that you will primarily make and receive phone calls to non-English or limited English proficient callers. And since many phone interpretation jobs can now be done from home, it allows for your career to be on your terms and fit within your schedule.

Depending on the job you take, your responsibilities might include reaching people on the phone for nearly any purpose: followup to a medical appointment, political polling, customer service, counseling, purchase, or contract confirmation.

You’ll be expected to communicate with people who have limited English proficiency (lep) in their language, and to relay or gather information reliably and honestly. If you are gathering information, you may be required to enter answers into a database or write a transcript of your conversation.  

Most Popular Languages

Although translation services are required in almost every language, the most commonly available jobs involve pairing English with another language. Mitio offer diploma courses in four of the most highly-sought after languages:

 

Salary 

A qualified language interpretation translator can earn around $35,000 for an entry level position. That figure climbs to approximately $54,000 for an experienced and sought after interpreter.

The salary of a phone interpreter can vary depending on key elements, such as:

    • Certifications - If you’re fluent in several languages, consider earning certifications in as many languages as you can. Being a certified interpreter improves your chances at competitive positions and makes you much more employable.
    • Experience - The more years of experience you have, the more money you will make on average.
    • Education - Continuing education and taking part in training courses and recertifications provide extra skills to add to your resume, as well as give good justification for a raise.
    • Geographical location - Different geographical locations will have a highly varied need for interpretation support. Consider the population and languages spoken in different areas if you are looking for a more suitable location to continue and grow your career.
    • Languages spoken 

A great way to secure better jobs with higher salaries is to invest some time in continued training. Boosting your resume and expanding your skillset continuously will make you increasingly employable and open up more opportunities.

What You Need To Do Phone InterpretingWhat You Need To Do Phone Interpreting

If a career in over the phone interpretation (OPI) sounds right for you, there are a few basic things you will need to get started.

 

Office Setup

Because your work may include video remote calls and call transcriptions, you’ll need more than just a reliable phone line. You’ll need a laptop or computer, a private, reliable WiFi connection, a quiet location with good lighting and a comfortable place to sit while working. Good quality headphones with a mic also come in handy to filter out ambient noises and help you hear what’s being said. You’ll need a few essential softwares, like a translation software & dictionary for the language of your choice in case you need to look up a word, and a document program, like Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, or Google Docs.

 

Interpreter Certification

A certification in interpretation is a great place to start your journey to qualify for a phone interpreter job. Here at MiTio we offer medical interpretation courses, which can open up another career path in the interpretation field. The critical skills you will learn during one of our medical interpretation courses will not just set you up for a medical career, but also provide you with a basic skill set to pursue other kinds of interpretation jobs in the future.

MiTio offers two different levels of medical interpretation courses for bilingual speakers: 

60-hour certificate course

The 60-hour certificate course includes six units, in which you’ll learn everything from interpreting modes and roles to International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA) ethics, standards, and university-level medical terminology. Upon completion, you’ll be fully prepared to take your IMIA - CMIE-accredited certificate exams and walk away with the requisite skills needed to perform interpretation services at a professional level.

160-hour diploma course

The 160-hour diploma course is a more in-depth training program, including a foundational 40-hour interpreting course, a 40-hour medical terminology course, an intermediate and advanced level interpreting course, 24 hours of live practice, and six hours of internship experience. Upon completion, you’ll be prepared to earn your IMIA-accredited medical interpreter diploma and walk away with the advanced skills and experience needed to be a more competitive job applicant. Diploma recipients will also receive exclusive job opportunities through MiTio’s interpreting agency to provide a seamless transition into your new career path.

We also have a full catalog of continuing education courses, including remote interpreting, mental health interpreting, and court reporting. All Mitio courses are self-paced and online, meaning the learning is flexible and designed to fit around your busy schedule.

Get The Guide On Becoming A Medical Interpreter!

Where To Find Phone Translation Jobs

Once you have decided that a career in phone translation is right for you and you have all the required resources and credentials to begin, the next step is to find a job. Translators are often freelance, however many companies will hire translators to work at home or over the phone. 

The great thing about being bilingual and searching for a job is that your skills are in high demand. Many companies are constantly searching for phone interpreters, so assuming you have the right credentials, finding a job that suits you and your lifestyle shouldn’t be too difficult.

A good place to start when looking for phone translation jobs is on larger-scale job boards. Just type in a job description such as “Spanish translator remote” on:

Check a few job summaries to make sure you’re using a job description you’re qualified for, then create a job alert using the search term that yields the best results, and you’ll get an email when there’s a new job posting.

If you want to work odd hours or take time off when you please, you may prefer to be an independent contractor. Contract interpreters have greater flexibility in job types, and the option to turn down jobs with low pay or inconvenient hours. 

Other than job boards, there are a number of companies you can go to look for language interpreter jobs. Just a few examples include:

LanguageLine Solutions - LanguageLine Solutions hire interpreters to work at home over the telephone. To be considered for a position here, you must live in the United States, Canada, Columbia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, or the United Kingdom. 

Languagesunlimited.com - This company hires for translation jobs on a freelance basis as well as on-site and telephone interpretation and transcription services. The languages offered include: Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, English, French, German, Russian, Bengali, Hindi, Portuguese and more.

Telelanguage - Telelanguage offer translation and interpretation jobs both on-site and over the telephone.

Another great way to find jobs tailored to you and your personal qualifications is to sign up for a remote interpreter service provider like MiTio. After you have completed your desired qualifications, try downloading the MiTio app and start your career as an interpreter.

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How To Make More Being A Phone Interpreter

Like most careers, phone interpreters have a variety of opportunities to progress and earn themselves a more competitive salary. One of the best ways for interpreters to do this is by expanding their resume with consistent additions of new skills and certifications which can be earned as you work, to your own personal schedule. A resume that has been padded out in this way will make you instantly more employable, and aid you in your pursuit of better jobs and increased pay.

The most effective way of doing this is to earn more qualifications, making you eligible for a greater variety of jobs, often at higher levels and, therefore, higher pay rates if these qualifications are combined with work experience.

Here at MiTio, we offer a range of courses and programs to help you expand your resume and give you the skills you need to earn certifications and take your career to the next level. These courses include Court Interpreting, Mental Health Interpreting and Hospital Translator training

Court Interpreting - This is a 10-hour course that will teach you the basics of legal interpreting and provide the specialized knowledge and practical skills required to navigate the legal interpretation field.

Mental Health Interpreting - This 10-hour course is aimed at those who already have experience working as a translator in a healthcare setting, and are looking to expand their skills and job opportunities to include mental health interpretation. It will provide an introduction to mental health interpretation and leave you prepared to communicate effectively with both professionals and patients.

Hospital Translator training - This is a 40-hour course aimed at giving bilingual speakers the foundational knowledge and skills required to excel as a medical translator. It is broken down into four units, and by the end you will have a solid knowledge of medical translation modes and roles, alongside a firm grasp of essential translating ethics and standards of practice.


Topics: Medical Interpreter