Medical Translation Certificate and Education Program Info

Aspiring medical translators can pursue a certificate in medical translating. Designed for those who speak English and one other language, these programs typically qualify graduates for professional certification in addition to a translation career.

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Essential Information

Medical translators work in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. They are responsible for translating medical information, as well as diagnoses and treatment plans, to patients who don't speak English. They also translate patient concerns to healthcare professionals.

Individuals interested in working in the specialized field of medical translation can enroll in a medical translating or interpreting program. These programs are designed for individuals that have an understanding of a foreign language and can learn medical terms and inflections. Students learn to create word derivation abbreviations, take notes on medical illnesses, and improve memory-retention skills.

Upon completion, graduates of such programs can earn a professional certification in medical translation.

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Certificate in Medical Translation

Applicants to a certificate program in medical translating or interpreting should have advanced bilingual skills. Most programs are 16-18 credits in length and include internships or clinical experience. Courses may include:

  • Medical terminology
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Medical translating processes
  • Standards of practice
  • Professional development

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, interpreters and translators held about 49,650 jobs in the United States as of May 2015 ( About 5,070 of these individuals worked in general medical and surgical hospitals and earned a mean annual salary of about $47,210 or an hourly wage of approximately $22.70.

Certification Options

The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters offers certification for trained medical translators. To qualify for certification, individuals must first complete at least 40 hours of instruction; most certificate programs in the field meet these needs.

Individuals interested in a medical translation career can, after completing a qualifying program, obtain certification and employment in a variety of medical facilities that need translators and interpreters to meet patient needs.

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