Medical Translation Certificate and Training Programs

Learn what a medical translator does and the courses available to prepare you for this career. Get information about career options as well as employment outlook. Schools offering Applied Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are The Requirements For Medical Translation Certificate and Training Programs?

If you're seeking a career in medical translation, you can find certificate and training programs in either medical translation or interpretation. Admission to these programs requires fluency in both English and another language. Prior to the start of the program, you'll be required to take a written entrance exam or submit writing samples to demonstrate your level of proficiency in the English language and the language you choose to translate.

Admission RequirementsFluency in both English and second language, writing samples, written entrance exams
Common Course TopicsHealthcare interpreting techniques, translation in medical specialty areas, correct terminology, intercultural communication
Online AvailabilityOnline programs are available
Job Outlook (2016-2026)18% growth (for interpreters and translators)*
Median Salary (2018)$49,930 (for interpreters and translators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will My Courses Be Like?

Medical translation programs focus mainly on texts, while interpretation programs are more involved in translating speech; however, both oral and written communications are generally covered in each type of program. Your courses will depend on the language you choose as your specialty, such as Spanish, Chinese, German or Portuguese, among others. You may also be required to complete a practicum or optional internship. Topics of study may include:

  • Correct terminology as it relates to translation
  • Frequently used medical terms
  • Intercultural communication
  • Using translation for medical procedures and interviews
  • Need for healthcare interpreting
  • Translation in medical specialty areas
  • Sight translation techniques

Are Medical Translation Programs Offered Online?

Some schools offer medical translation certificate and training programs completely through distance learning. You'll get the same courses as an online student as you'd have if you attended on campus. You'll need a computer with Internet access and an e-mail account for correspondence. You can log in asynchronously to view lectures and coursework from an interactive course delivery platform such as Moodle.

What Are My Career Options?

Upon completion of a medical translation certificate or training program, you'll have career opportunities in various settings, including hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities. You could also own your own translation company or perform freelance translation work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), translators and interpreters should see an employment growth of up to 18% from 2016-2026 ( The BLS also stated employment growth would vary by language and specialty; medical translators - particularly those fluent in Spanish - should experience excellent employment opportunities.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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