20 Feb


I subscribe to Interpreter Education Online www.interpretereducationonline. Today they provided the answer to a question I hear each week: “How do I become a certified interpreter?” Please consider joining this group and read below for simple answers to the question. I haven’t used IEO’s training materials so I can’t speak to them. I became a certified in legal and medical through work as a telephone interpreter, Holly Mikkelson’s training materials www.acebo.com and a MA in Translation from the Institute for Applied Linguistics at Kent State University http://appling.kent.edu. Plus a passion for language and learning. Remember interpreters follow the path as teachers – we learn along the way, not in a two-day workshop. Those serve as a starting point.


Here’s IEO’s take on the question.


One of the most common questions we receive at IEO is, “How do I become a certified interpreter?” The answer to that depends on whether you’re a medical or legal interpreter.

There are three ways legal interpreters can become certified:

1.)  Consortium for Language Access in the Courts

The Consortium for Language Access in the Courts is a division of the National Center for State Courts. The Consortium offers certification examinations that are recognized by many state court systems. You can find the specific state certification requirements of Consortium members by visiting the Consortium’s webpage.

2.) Federal Court Interpreter Certification

Federal court certification is granted by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts through its federal court interpreter examination. While federal certification is available for interpreters of Spanish, Navajo, and Haitian Creole, only Spanish interpreters are currently being tested.

3.) NAJIT Court Interpreter Certification Program

The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters & Translators (NAJIT) provides a certification in Spanish that is recognized by many states. Written and oral examinations are offered periodically.

For medical interpreters, certification can be obtained two ways:

1.)  The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI)

2.) The National Board of Certification for Medical InterpretersNBCMI)

Both of these organizations oversee the certification process for medical interpreters. CCHI and NBCMI are similar in their training requirements that candidates must follow before sitting for an exam. However, they differ slightly in their testing. Be sure to check out CCHI’s Candidate Examination Handbook and NBCMI’s Prerequisites page for more information.

Whether you’re a legal or medical interpreter, Interpreter Education Online’s courses can help prepare you for your certification exam. IEO also has training options for ASL interpreters looking to become certified or who need to  fulfill continuing education requirements.


Interpreter Education Online

3141 Caniff St., Hamtramck, MI 48212

Phone (313) 481-4985

Fax     (855) 225-3100




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