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In the US, most healthcare providers must provide interpreting in many languages. Because of safety and liability concerns, providers don’t hire interpreters based on claims on resumes. Instead, for these in-demand jobs, you need a medical interpreter certification, like that issued by CCHI or NBCMI.
To get into these medical interpreter certification programs, you must show that you can speak English and one other language. To that end, CCHI and NBCMI each accepts a Parrot rating of ILR-2 or higher.
30 minutes is all it takes.
It couldn’t be easier. In fact, all you need is a computer, an internet connection, and half an hour. Record your answers to audio and video prompts in our simple online app and we’ll send you your rating in less than 24 hours. Next, download your certificate and send it to CCHI or NBCMI. It’s that easy.
How to Become a Medical Interpreter
Our mission is to help you get hired. To that end, here’s the very simple process you can follow. First, show “dual language proficiency” by taking our test. After that, CCHI or NBCMI will make sure you have the skills you need for medical interpreter certification. Before you know it, you’ll have all the proof you need to get hired.
Get your Parrot rating.
It’s super fast and easy. A Parrot rating of ILR-2 or higher is a passing grade.
Do the required training.
Pass the final exam.
This is your last hurdle. Pass CCHI or NBCMI’s final exams and you’ll be a certified medical interpreter.
Common Questions about Medical Interpreter Certification
A certified medical interpreter is someone who has been certified by CCHI or NBCMI. That proves they have the skills to interpret in a medical setting.
Usually, yes. While some non-certified people might do some interpreting, this is rare. Most groups that hire medical interpreters require certification.
Yes. The steps can all be done online, starting with our language test. Our test is available on-demand, 24/7, on any web-enabled computer or mobile device.
Usually, translation means re-creating written text in another language. In contrast, interpreting is done on-the-spot, requiring high-level listening and speaking, without reference materials.
Certification hinges on 3 requirements: dual language proficiency, interpreter training, and an interpreter skills exam. For the first requirement, both accrediting bodies accept Parrot ratings as proof.
An interpreter’s salary depends on a number of factors, including location, experience, and the languages spoken. On average, medical interpreters in the US earn about $45,000, but they can also earn much more. In fact, in some cities experienced interpreters earn close to six figures.
Both CCHI & NBCMI accept a Parrot rating of ILR-2 or higher. Learn more about our rating scale here.