Medical Interpreter

Program Overview

If you are fluent in Spanish and English and love helping others, there is a need to fill Spanish medical interpreter jobs in the healthcare field. With the Hispanic population consistently growing, this valuable skillset will continue to be very much in demand.

Our Medical Interpreter program will prepare you for a rewarding career in healthcare as an advocate for patients and providers and teach you the necessary skills to become proficient as an English-Spanish interpreter. You will practice three types of interpreting: consecutive interpreting requires you to go back and forth between listening to someone and then translating a few sentences; simultaneous interpreting involves continuously translating at the same time the person is speaking; and sight translation has you orally interpret a written document.

The Medical Interpreter program will also teach you medical terminology, body systems, legal issues, ethics, standards of practice, and cultural awareness involving both languages.

Spanish medical interpreter jobs need competent bilingual speakers now. Start your journey to a new career and make it happen by enrolling in the Medical Interpreter program today!

Students at any Maricopa Community College may need to complete courses at more than one of our colleges.

Why GateWay Community College?

The Medical Interpreting programs at GateWay are the only ones available in the Maricopa Community Colleges. This training program is considered a clock hour program, which is a training program that provides skills for quick entry into the workforce. The clock hour programs have specific year-round start dates.

Our instructors work as certified professional healthcare interpreters outside of teaching courses here, providing real life experiences to share and build into practice scenarios during each session.

Interpreting is a value-added skill that enhances bilingual healthcare communication and requires extreme professionalism. According to the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care, an interpreter renders a message into another language while abiding by a professional code of ethics.

Students must pass a free oral Spanish/English exam to assess fluency and knowledge of the structure and content of the English and Spanish languages, including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar, with some basic medical vocabulary prior to starting the admissions process into the program. This test may be done by appointment or walk-in basis at the testing center in Komatke Hall. The oral Spanish/English exam is conducted through live remote proctoring with an instructor. Students can schedule their oral exam by emailing

Graduates of the program will receive a Certificate of Competency and are prepared to sit for the Certified Healthcare Interpreter (CHI) exam, also conducted through live remote proctoring with an instructor. 

Virtual Pre-Enrollment Sessions 

If you are interested in this Healthcare program, you will be required to attend a Virtual Information/Advising Session that will provide in-depth information and enrollment guidance.

Enrollment Session: Thursdays from 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. 

Click Here To Get Your Virtual Meeting Link

Watch video to learn more about Medical Interpreting at GateWay Community College. 

Externship Site Placement

Due to COVID-19, externship placements are now being conducted through in-person simulation with certified medical interpreters and instructors. 

The SWSC  became the only testing center in Arizona to offer the national certification exam for Health Care Interpreters in the languages of Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and Arabic through the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI). All administration fees go toward student scholarship funds.

This program offers a unique two-day industry driven Interpreter Conference which brings students, alumni, interpreters, managers, recruiters and expert guest speakers together to promote collaboration and establish connections necessary to be successful in the profession of Healthcare Interpreting.  

Students will receive 72 hours of practice in this program.

Program Locations

18th Street Location (Night/Weekend)
SouthWest Skill Center

Program Cost Estimates*

Medical Interpreter - Spanish:  $1,101  | 200 hours/5-9 months
Spanish Interpreting for Healthcare Professionals:  $675  |  120 hours/5 months

*Months based on the program meeting 6 or 12 hours a week/4 weeks a month. Actual completion times may vary. Costs include tuition, lab and estimated book fees. Amount based on current estimates and will vary. A separate $15 Registration Fee will be charged per academic year.