How can you become a medical interpreter?


Quick Answer

Becoming a medical interpreter involves meeting the prerequisite criteria of National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters and registering with the organization. Applicants have to pay a fee and submit several documents.

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Full Answer

Applicants become medical interpreters by completing and submitting online applications to the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters. There is a non-refundable fee, payable online, and applicants must prove that they are at least 18 years old. A copy of a passport, birth certificate or driver’s license can be used as proof of age. Applicants also have to provide a copy of a high school diploma or GED. In addition, the organization expects evidence of completion of an approved medical interpreter educational program.

All applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting a Bachelor's degree, Master’s degree, PhD or similar from an American institution. A high school diploma from an English speaking country is also acceptable. If a person cannot produce any of the documents required, he can provide test results for TOEFL, ELPT, CAE, ECPE, MELAB, FCE or CPE. The potential translator also needs to demonstrate proficiency in the target language by submitting a Bachelor's degree, Master’s degree, PhD or high school diploma from an institution where the target language is spoken.

Alternatively, applicants can show proof of completion of at least 24 semester college credit hours in the target language. Once applicants have met all the prerequisites, they must pass the written and oral exams to become medical interpreters.

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