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Top Freelance Interpreter/Translator Certifications For Your Career In 2021

Certifications can be a powerful tool to show employers you know your stuff. However, not all certifications are created equal.

We've compiled a list of the most common certifications for freelance interpreter/translators. Not only will obtaining these certifications give you a leg up for job hunting, they will also increase your overall value.

Most Common Certifications For Freelance Interpreter/Translator

We have compiled a detailed list of certifications for freelance interpreter/translators, along with certification requirements and information on how to earn them. This list is based on how often freelance interpreter/translators earned these certifications and how they typically list them in their resumes.

1. Certified Translator

ATA has established a certification program to enable individual translators to demonstrate that they meet professional standards. Translators who pass a written examination are certified by ATA in a specific language pair and direction (from or into English).

ATA has established a certification program to enable individual translators to demonstrate that they meet professional standards. Translators who pass a written examination are certified by ATA in a specific language pair and direction (from or into English).

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 3 year(s)
Certifying Website
Certified Translator
Certifying Organization
American Translators Association
2. Certified Medical Interpreter (CMI)

To be granted a CMI credential individuals must meet all of the eligibility prerequisites and pass BOTH the written and oral examinations. The CMI credential is awarded in the specific language(s) for which the oral exam is passed (for example CMI-Spanish). The National Board only awards the CMI credential to individuals who meet the eligibility criteria and successfully complete the written and oral examinations.

To be granted a CMI credential individuals must meet all of the eligibility prerequisites and pass BOTH the written and oral examinations. The CMI credential is awarded in the specific language(s) for which the oral exam is passed (for example CMI-Spanish). The National Board only awards the CMI credential to individuals who meet the eligibility criteria and successfully complete the written and oral examinations.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 5 year(s)
Certifying Organization
The National Board of...
3. National Interpreter Certification (NIC)

Individuals achieving certification at the NIC, NIC Advanced or NIC Master level are all professionally certified interpreters. The National Interpreter Certification (NIC) exam tests interpreting skills and knowledge in three critical domains: General knowledge of the field of interpreting through the NIC Knowledge exam Ethical decision making through the interview portion of the NIC Performance test Interpreting and transliterating skills through the performance portion of the test. In all three domains, certificate holders must demonstrate professional knowledge and skills that meet or exceed the minimum professional standards necessary to perform in a broad range of interpretation and transliteration assignments.

Individuals achieving certification at the NIC, NIC Advanced or NIC Master level are all professionally certified interpreters. The National Interpreter Certification (NIC) exam tests interpreting skills and knowledge in three critical domains: General knowledge of the field of interpreting through the NIC Knowledge exam Ethical decision making through the interview portion of the NIC Performance test Interpreting and transliterating skills through the performance portion of the test. In all three domains, certificate holders must demonstrate professional knowledge and skills that meet or exceed the minimum professional standards necessary to perform in a broad range of interpretation and transliteration assignments.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 4 year(s)
4. Certified Interpreter

Certified interpreters have passed the Administrative Office certification examination. To date, certification programs have been developed for Spanish, Navajo and Haitian Creole. In these languages, the courts will select interpreters who have met the Administrative Office's criteria for certification if the judge determines that certified interpreters are reasonably available.

Certified interpreters have passed the Administrative Office certification examination. To date, certification programs have been developed for Spanish, Navajo and Haitian Creole. In these languages, the courts will select interpreters who have met the Administrative Office's criteria for certification if the judge determines that certified interpreters are reasonably available.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? 
Certifying Website
Certified Interpreter
Certifying Organization
Administrative Office of the...
5. Certified Healthcare Interpreter (CHI)

CCHI Certified Healthcare Interpreter™ certification consists of a two part examination that covers the basics of healthcare interpreting and a demonstration of interpreting skills in both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting.

CCHI Certified Healthcare Interpreter™ certification consists of a two part examination that covers the basics of healthcare interpreting and a demonstration of interpreting skills in both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 4 year(s)
6. Certified Medical Interpreter - Spanish (CMI)

The mission of the National Board is to foster improved healthcare outcomes, patient safety and patient/provider communication, by elevating the standards for and quality of medical interpreting through a nationally recognized and accredited certification for medical interpreters.

The mission of the National Board is to foster improved healthcare outcomes, patient safety and patient/provider communication, by elevating the standards for and quality of medical interpreting through a nationally recognized and accredited certification for medical interpreters.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 5 year(s)
Course That Help You To Prepare For Certification
Medical Interpreter (Spanish/English)
ed2go
7. Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI)

Holders of this certification are interpreters who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and who have completed at least eight hours of training on the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct; eight hours of training on the role and function of an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing; and have passed a comprehensive combination of written and performance tests. Holders of this certificate are recommended for a broad range of assignments where an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing would be beneficial. This test is currently available.

Holders of this certification are interpreters who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and who have completed at least eight hours of training on the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct; eight hours of training on the role and function of an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing; and have passed a comprehensive combination of written and performance tests. Holders of this certificate are recommended for a broad range of assignments where an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing would be beneficial. This test is currently available.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 4 year(s)
Certifying Website
Certified Deaf Interpreter
Certifying Organization
Registry of Interpreters for...
8. Medical Assistant

The medical assistant job description varies depending on the employer's needs. A medical assistant is a multi-skilled professional and an asset to a physician.

The medical assistant job description varies depending on the employer's needs. A medical assistant is a multi-skilled professional and an asset to a physician.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 1 year(s)
Certifying Website
Medical Assistant
Certifying Organization
American Society of Phlebotomy...
9. Core Certification Healthcare Interpreter (CCHI)

The CHI Core Healthcare Interpreter Examination is a computer-based, 100-question, multiple-choice exam in English that covers the basics of healthcare interpreting.

The CHI Core Healthcare Interpreter Examination is a computer-based, 100-question, multiple-choice exam in English that covers the basics of healthcare interpreting.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 4 year(s)
10. Master Level Sign Language

Certified teachers have met the requirements according to standards established by the ASLTA. The teacher, certified at the Professional level, has demonstrated the highest level of knowledge and skills in teaching ASL. These include knowledge of curriculum development, evaluation, linguistics, and theoretical and contemporary issues in the field of ASL teaching.

Certified teachers have met the requirements according to standards established by the ASLTA. The teacher, certified at the Professional level, has demonstrated the highest level of knowledge and skills in teaching ASL. These include knowledge of curriculum development, evaluation, linguistics, and theoretical and contemporary issues in the field of ASL teaching.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 8 year(s)
Certifying Website
Master Level Sign Language
Certifying Organization
American Sign Language Teachers...
11. Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS)

A Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) primarily focuses on converting a medical procedure, diagnosis, or symptom into specific codes to submit a claim for reimbursement.

A Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) primarily focuses on converting a medical procedure, diagnosis, or symptom into specific codes to submit a claim for reimbursement.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 2 year(s)

Freelance Interpreter/Translator Jobs You Might Like

Freelance Interpreter/Translator Jobs

What is the best certification for a Freelance Interpreter/Translator?

The Certified Translator certification is most common among freelance interpreter/translators. This certification is awarded by the American Translators Association. The advanced certification is for more experienced employees as it often requires some work experience to acquire. To become a certified freelance interpreter/translator with Certified Translator, you need to pass the exam. This certificate requires more than two years of work experience. Renew certification every 3 year.

Freelance interpreter/translators are most likely to hold a combination of the following certifications: Certified Translator, Certified Medical Interpreter (CMI), and Certified Interpreter.

Most Popular Certifications by Industries

Senior And Mid Level Jobs For Freelance Interpreter/Translator

online courses for Freelance Interpreter/Translators that you may like

If you are not ready to pass the certification program but still want to improve your skills, these online courses may help.

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Updated April 6, 2021