A promising job: medical interpreter (Dr. Jenny Park, President of LA Translation and Interpretation)
When people immigrate to the U.S., they would usually find jobs lower in status than in their original country due to lack of proficiency in English. However, there is a job that provides you high and stable income in the U.S. because you are bilingual in Mandarin and English because no American can speak Mandarin as well as you do. And that is the medical interpreter job.
“Become a medical certified interpreter. It is easier than becoming a court certified interpreter, and provides a stable job.” Compare to court interpreting test, medical interpreter certification test is easier because it does not have simultaneous interpreting and sight translation is only for English into Mandarin. Currently, there is a shortage of certified interpreters. Especially, the state of California adopted “Language Access Plan” in 2015 which recommended providing court certified interpreters free of charge not only in criminal but also in civil cases. It has been implemented for 2 years, but due to the shortage of certified court interpreters, currently they are assigned to priority cases only such as TRO, child custody, eviction, guardianship and conservatorship, and elderly abuse.
The situation is worse with medical certified interpreters. The law provides that a medical certified interpreter should be provided free of charge to all the patients with limited English proficiency, but there are only 25 National Board certified medical interpreters in California. “There should be at least 30 more interpreters to meet the demand for now,” says Dr. Park.
LA translation provides a Certificate in 40-hour training in medical interpreting which is required to take written and oral tests to become certified by the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters. The school is approved by the state government to provide the program.
“If you are bilingual, you should make a challenge to become a certified interpreter, “ says Dr. Park. “Once you are certified, you have it till you die. You can work efficiently as interpreter long time after retirement. You can work as freelancer, or be employed by a hospital or a court, speak for and listen for those who are not proficient in English, and you can always learn new things and promote self development.” Further, for such a good job, the only investment acquired is “my native language and English proficiency” and “a small amount of tuition for the training.” 213-368-0700. firstname.lastname@example.org.