Right now, I am thinking that obtaining certification would benefit me overall. If I were a PM searching for a medical interpreter, I would probably lean towards someone who is certified. He or she would appear more competent and trustworthy, and therefore more likely to get offers of assignments.
I recently returned to substitute teaching to fill in the finanical gaps. In some Connecticut school districts, certified teachers are paid at a higher daily rate and I wouldn't be surprised if they were called before non-certfied substitutes.
The same idea could apply to interpreters (and translators). Certified interpreters and translators seem to get preference because PMs assume they are more competent and trustworthy.
Conclusion: I would probably seem more competent and trustworthy overall, which would lead to more offers and therefore more work.
Alexandra Goldburt wrote:
The certification process, the job market, and even the existence of medical certification for interpreters vary greatly from state to state.
In California, to be a Certified Medical Interpreter is definitely worth it. It practically guarantees you will be in demand and will work almost full time if you want to.
But I don't know how things are in Connecticut. Hopefully, somebody from your state can answer this question. If not, this is what you can do: call a few interpreting agencies (preferably those with whom you already established good working relationship) and tell them something like "I need your help here. I'm pursuing Medical Interpreting Certification, and I'm working very hard on it. You can help me by giving me some additional motivation. Would you say, based on your experience, that Certified Medical Interpreters are in demand? How busy do you think you can keep me once I am certified?"
This call might also serve as indirect marketing. The agency might be impressed with your efforts and start calling you more often. Just make sure that "I'm working hard on it" is the truth!
Good luck, Sara.