Hospital interpreters are needed in the medical community. Hospitals that provide acute care are required by law to provide interpreters to those who do not speak English. Interpreters provide services not only for patients but also for their family members for follow-up treatment after their hospital stays.
Medical interpreters have detailed knowledge of medical terminology in both English and in the language for which they interpret. They also ensure that patients and their families understand what medical personnel are telling or asking them. They provide ongoing monitoring of understanding during their interpretation services. They may also translate written documents.
Hourly Wages & Median Salary
A hospital interpreter might earn between $15 and $20 per hour, according to the Medical Career Site website as of May 2011. The salary survey website Salary.com reports that the median salary of a medical interpreter is $38,581 in the United States as of May 2011.
Salary.com also reports that the 10th percentile of medical interpreters earn up to $32,101, and that the 25th percentile earn up to $35,189 per year. The 75th percentile make up to $42,569, and the 90th percentile earn $46,199 or more per year.
The job prospects for medical interpreters are good as immigrants continue to enter the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the need for healthcare interpreters is strong as the complexity of the material involved must be thoroughly understood by patients and their families.