Medical Translator Jobs
Medical translators are language communication specialists who convert medical-related materials from one language to another.
Job Description: A Day in the Life of a Medical Translator
Although some medical translators work for hospitals or government agencies, many are self-employed and work from home. Most translators work in a computer using special translation software to speed up the process. Assignments are generally received and submitted electronically. Medical translators may translate a variety of documents including records from hospitals and other medical facilities and patient medical histories.
When a translator first receives a text for translation, he or she usually begins by reading the entire text to get a general idea of the content. As they translate, they must look up any unknown words; this is especially important in medical translation where complex medical terms may appear. Accurate translations are essential in the medical field. The mistranslation of a patient's allergy histories in a medical record could lead to a fatal situation. For this reason, it is important for medical translators to reread and edit their work.
General Requirements and Training
A good medical translator must have excellent writing, editing and communication skills. The most important requirement to become a medical interpreter or translator is fluency in at least two languages. In addition to basic language and computer skills, a bachelor's degree is often required to become a medical translator, ideally in a medical-related field. Many students go on to earn certificates or degrees in formal translation programs. A translation degree greatly improves job opportunities. In the field of medical translation, most employers also prefer certified translators. There are a variety of tests translators can take to gain certification, the most prominent being a written exam offered by the American Translators Association.
Salary, Benefits, and Opportunities for Advancement
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for translators and interpreters as a whole is $38,850 as of May 2008.
The mean wage for translators and interpreters employed by general medical and surgical hospitals is $42,400.
Payscale.com reports that a translator with one to four years of experience earns an average of $11.75 to $24.76 per hour, while a translator with twenty of more years of experience earns an average of $24.30 to $44.84 hourly. According to Salary.com a translator earns an average salary of $38,380 to $52,078 per year.