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Medical interpretation rates
Thread poster: ArabInk
ArabInk
Local time: 17:36
English to Arabic
+ ...
Sep 6, 2003

I'm to start doing medical interpretation (Arabic English) soon. Given the way of the world these days, I would have thought the pay would be quite good, but the starting rate is only $15/hour. Seems a bit low for such a rare skill. On the other hand, they guarantee 2 hours' pay for just showing up, and apparently the patients frequently don't show at all, which comes out to a very handsome $30 for no work at all. Does this compensation structure seem par for the course? BTW, this is freelance work for an agency.

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Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:36
English
+ ...
low end of the range Sep 7, 2003

This is the low/lower end of the range, i see prices for work like this ranging from 10USD(!!!) up to 40USD, but the guaranteed two hour minimum is a definite plus, not everyone offers this option. Good luck.
arabink wrote:

I'm to start doing medical interpretation (Arabic English) soon. Given the way of the world these days, I would have thought the pay would be quite good, but the starting rate is only $15/hour. Seems a bit low for such a rare skill. On the other hand, they guarantee 2 hours' pay for just showing up, and apparently the patients frequently don't show at all, which comes out to a very handsome $30 for no work at all. Does this compensation structure seem par for the course? BTW, this is freelance work for an agency.


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Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:36
English to Chinese
+ ...
This is too low Sep 7, 2003

arabink wrote:

I'm to start doing medical interpretation (Arabic English) soon. Given the way of the world these days, I would have thought the pay would be quite good, but the starting rate is only $15/hour. Seems a bit low for such a rare skill. On the other hand, they guarantee 2 hours' pay for just showing up, and apparently the patients frequently don't show at all, which comes out to a very handsome $30 for no work at all. Does this compensation structure seem par for the course? BTW, this is freelance work for an agency.


Ask for at least $80 per assignment.


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
For the most common language pair Sep 7, 2003

(English Spanish) agencies pay me $50 an hour, minimum two hours, plus mileage/transportation, plus meals (if necessary).

Your pair should probably pay more.


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Maria Riegger  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dyran is on the mark Sep 8, 2003

I would also think that it depends where in the US you are located in order to adjust the payment to your standard of living. My mom interprets for the local courts in DC as a freelance Spanish-English interpreter and is paid $75 an hour, with a 2-hour minimum. I realize that this is not hospital interpreting (she has also done hospital interpreting but as a part-time job, not freelance) but the rates mentioned ($50-75) should be more or less in the ballpark of what you should ask for.

My two cents.


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Gaelle Chevalier
Canada
Local time: 18:36
English to French
+ ...
think twice! Sep 9, 2003

I don't know the rate but I think it shoul be higher than $15/hour. Sounds way too low to me.

On the other hand, they guarantee 2 hours' pay for just showing up, and apparently the patients frequently don't show at all, which comes out to a very handsome $30 for no work at all.


When you really think of it, it might be $30 for 2 hours without having to work, but it's still 2 hours you don't spend on something else, such as working on another project that pays you correctly, or market yourself to better clients.
I would think of it this way: are you worth $15/hour or less or more?

I certainly think I'm worth more than that


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