Exciting Careers in Medical Translation

by | Oct 7, 2014 | Translation

Medical careers are the hottest careers going today. And, with the population getting older, medical careers can be expected to continue to be in demand.

Even in these challenging economic times, the medical field is still hiring at an amazingly rapid rate. The medical industry is anticipated to grow faster than any other – an estimated 3.2 million new jobs, (22% increase) by the year 2018.

One of the medical careers you may not have considered is medical translation. Roughly 26% the medical translators whom are currently working in the field are self-employed. Although, the overall industry workforce numbers are difficult to pinpoint; many workers are freelancers or part-time/piece work employees. Employment is expected to mirror the industry at large although, of course, employment potential varies by subject and language – it’s simply the nature of the business. For example, translators of French should produce more job opportunities because of expected increases in the Quebecois population in Canada.

With a current deficiency of translators meeting the required expertise and proficiency of employers, they will continue to have favorable occupation projections. Conversely, competition is anticipated for all translator positions – largely due to the publicized growth potential.

So, do you love language? Maybe you want to help care for people, but are not too sure how to go about it?

Medical translators use their language skills to ensure that medical procedures and explanations are properly translated from one language to another. This may be a match for you!

With that said, let’s take a look at what it takes to become a medical translator. Careers usually go to those who have a solid background in foreign languages. Then, that background is combined with training in the medical field to ensure that the translator also has an in-depth understanding of medical terms, so that translation is correct. As you might imagine, there is no room for translation errors when you’re translating illnesses, procedures or treatments.

To study for a medical translation career, you must have proficiency in at least two languages. In the US, the most sought after medical translators are fluent in Spanish and English. Though it is not necessarily a requirement, it can be helpful to take a class in medical terminology. In addition, a bachelor’s degree is most always required. There are a few colleges that offer a class specifically designed to prepare medical translators for the medical terms they will encounter.

Some offices use the term medical translator interchangeably with the term medical interpreter. However, in reality, a medical interpreter typically works with non-English speaking patients as a translator for the doctor and patient. A medical translator focuses on translating medical documents, rather than spoken interpretation.

A career in medical translation is a great way for anyone with proficient foreign language skills to find a job in the medical field. This field offers another way that people can find their niche in the medical field, which will offer great opportunity over the next several decades. It’s also a way that people with good foreign language skills can use those skills in a somewhat unexpected avenue.