I have a friend that is very fluent in Spanish but due to some financial issues at the company she works for has had her hours cut. She is looking at trying to make a go on her own as a medical Interpreter. She is not Internet savy and told her I'd ask you all for advice and guidance.

How would one get started? Is there any certification she should get? I did some research am not sure what is legit and not a waste of time and $$$.

Thanks in advance.


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Chad, I don't know of any certification that is required. Typically the interpreter needs to be fluent in the language AND in medical terminology.


I would recommend that your friend get set up with Skype, a 1-800 number and a basic word press website.


I would then have them start making contact with hospitals (not only in your area but nationally). E-mails, brochures and lots and lots of phone calls.


I know we used interpreters often at UAB. They were paid an hourly rate (sometimes with a minimum) for their assistance.

Ah, never thought about a Skype account. That would be perfect. I'll let my friend know and help her get the Skype account set up and a wordpress site.
She should also check with the local courthouse.  A senior citizen I know is a translator for the court; she translates both the questions to and answers from the witness.  She enjoys it.
I talked with a lady several years ago and encouraged her to the this exact thing.  And she did.  She spent $10 on business cards that had her name in English on one side and in Spanish on the other and simply said: Lisa Brown, translator.  Then we went to 5 or 6 medical and legal firms and booked herself solid - at $50/hr.  She spent a lot of that time just being available in hospitals or courtrooms.  She had a high school degree and thought she was stuck with a $10/hr job.

The courts is a great idea. I did see this was one of your 48 business ideas only after I posted this question here. Thanks again for the great advice.


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