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How to Become a Certified Spanish Interpreter

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Becoming a certified Spanish interpreter can open the door to a variety of exciting career paths, from working in a hospital or office setting, to working in a court of law or a classroom. There are several types of Spanish interpreting certification programs, some specializing in a particular type of interpreting or particular setting, and others covering general interpreting skills. Choosing the right program to fit your needs and passing the examination can impress potential employers and get you on your way to a new career.

Become A Certified Spanish Interpreter

Become fluent in Spanish and another language if you are not already. Taking university-level language classes, reading books in your target language, and socializing with a community that speaks the target language are good ways to increase fluency.

Decide what type of interpreting you would like to do. Many interpreters have broad certification that allows their job assignments to be varied. However, if you're interested in legal or medical interpreting, specific training is necessary; consider specializing in one type of interpretation to gain a focused skill set.

Find an interpreter certification program that fits your needs. Search for a program that specializes in legal or medical interpreting if you'd like to specialize in either. Do not choose a specialized program if you want to work as a freelance interpreter or if you are interested in becoming a conference or more generalized interpreter.

Research the requirements and the process to be certified by your chosen organization. Some programs require that specific classes be taken, while others administer dual language exams, require membership with the organization or require proof of education. The American Translator's Association (ATA) is the most common organization for translator certification in the United States. The organization offers certification tests in various language pairs and requires that you become an ATA member, satisfy the eligibility requirements by providing proof of a combination of education and work experience, and that you register for an exam that it administers.

Fulfill the requirements for your program to become certified. If you fulfill all requirements to the standards of the organization, you will receive certification.