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How to Become A Medical Interpreter In The UK?

Posted by Ethan N. on July 28, 2023.

Do you speak English fluently and have a passion for medicine? 

Medical interpretation can be financially rewarding as well as satisfying in terms of work. We’ve looked at the requirements for national healthcare associations in several nations as well as fundamentals like an interpreter definition to see what’s involved in medical interpreter certification. Continue reading to learn how to work as a medical interpreter in the UK! 

1. Understanding the Role of a Medical Interpreter


There are numerous benefits that a medical facility and its patients would receive from using an interpreter’s services.  First and foremost, in order to properly diagnose a patient and provide treatment, clinicians must fully comprehend both the patient’s medical history and current symptoms. However, a language barrier may make it difficult for doctors and patients to communicate effectively.   In addition, medical terminology is frequently complex, making it challenging for patients who lack a comprehensive command of the English language to understand crucial details about their diagnosis, available treatments, care instructions, or prescription information.

2.  Language Proficiency and Education Requirements

No specific education is required, but a degree or postgraduate degree in languages or interpreting is strongly advised if you wish to work as a medical interpreter in the UK. 

It’s now time to pursue a professional degree, the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI), with that information in hand. The DPSI evaluates an interpreter’s linguistic abilities, subject-matter expertise, interpreting methods, and ethical stance. It is offered by the Chartered Institute of Linguists and several UK universities. 


A medical interpreter in the UK who holds a DPSI is well-positioned to apply for medical interpreting employment across the UK, utilizing their certification as proof of their expertise. This can also be used to show off one’s skills by those seeking to pursue a certified languages worldwide approach. 

3. Training and Certification Programs

Medical interpreters in the UK are required to be fluent in either their target language or English on both the written and oral sides. You must complete a minimum of 40 hours of medical interpreter training in order to be certified as competent. 

Your training must come from approved universities or programs, per the certification bodies’ requirements. So, to make sure you get qualified, you must be careful about where you choose to do your medical interpreting training. 

Checking the official websites of the CCHI and NBCMI is the best approach to make sure that the training you are receiving is from a recognized school or program. They will provide you with a list of available accredited programs. 

You can move on to the additional examinations necessary for certification once you have enrolled in these programs and finished the 40 hours of instruction. This is a demanding procedure that is intended to provide you the abilities and information needed to excel in the rewarding vocation you have chosen. 

The high potential compensation is the first practical factor that elevates a profession as a medical interpreter in the UK to good status. According to Indeed, the hourly fee for a licensed medical interpreter is $20 on average (it may be up to $26.50 in the US). 

In addition to the potential income, the great degree of demand for this kind of career around the world also indicates that you might have no trouble finding employment. Worldwide demand for simpler, more effective communication is being driven by globalization. People who can speak and understand several languages can act as a bridge. Due to a lack of qualified interpreters to fill open positions within the healthcare system, there is always a demand for careers in medical interpretation. 


4. Gaining Practical Experience

Utilizing your interpretation abilities in real-world situations will help you hone them and acquire worthwhile experience for your resume. Think about doing freelance translation or being a medical interpreter in the UK for medical topics, teaching foreign languages, or doing volunteer interpreting for charity. Your experience will be relevant to your long-term job aspirations if you develop your language skills. Then, you can highlight this experience on your resume to dazzle potential employers and show off your demonstrated capacity as a proficient interpreter.

Studying and working abroad are two options to consider if you wish to develop your language abilities. Many colleges offer exchange programs and positions as language assistant teachers that will enable you to fully immerse yourself in a language. One-of-a-kind experience that can be as helpful to an interpreter as earning a degree is living, working, and conversing in another country and language on a daily basis. 

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5. Securing Employment as a Medical Interpreter

Once you’ve earned a degree or certification as a medical interpreter in the UK, you can apply for jobs and use your credential to work as a community interpreter. Your job search can be done largely from the convenience of your home, just like it can in any business. When you’re ready, go to Google and LinkedIn to start looking at your resume and cover letter. It essentially just requires entering your working language(s), location, and “interpreting.” An extensive list of organizations and/or people you can contact should then be displayed to you. The term “Language Service Providers” is another search term you can use to find agencies. 

It’s important to be persistent and patient because there may be times when you’ll hear that your resume will be kept on file, that there are no open positions, or maybe nothing at all. As a result, you should cast a wide net, apply to as many agencies that need medical interpreter in the UK as you can, and follow up with any agency that expresses interest afterwards. Never say never and don’t give up too easily because it’s common to receive job offers only 12 to 18 months after submitting your resume.


6. GTE Localize provides the best medical interpreter in UK

GTE Localize is aware that an interpreter’s skill level has a big impact on the service they offer. Since our medical translation services have translators and interpreters with years of medical knowledge, they are able to effectively translate information between healthcare professionals and patients in more than 35 different languages. But more than that, they are able to communicate the words’ true meaning because they have a profound awareness of the culture and background.


To find out more about the impact a medical interpreter in the UK may have on providing patients with quality care, get in touch with us.