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?

Instructor Meet and Greet 

Join us in-person every Wednesday from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at SouthWest Skill Center for a chance to meet with the instructors and learn more about the program!

• Check-in at the Southwest Skill Center Front Desk when you arrive.
• Please arrive early. Arrival more than 5 minutes late will result in not being permitted to attend.
• Sessions are not held when GateWay is closed for a holiday.

Please click here to pre-register.

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. 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.

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

Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the externship site. Students must be able to attend any of the clinical facilities used by the SWSC Programs. Students that are eligible for clinical externship placement are assigned to various healthcare agencies for externship. The time, preceptor, or clinical location will vary as determined by availability of sites, student placement within the program, and other considerations as decided by the Instructor.

Externship hours are non-compensated or non-paid (non-remuneration). During the externship, students will be supervised by a site-preceptor.

The Externship Department will make the final decision for student placement at each clinical facility. Students will be placed within the valley based on availability and once placed, externship location cannot be switched.

If a clinical agency refuses clinical experiences to a student based on a student’s misconduct, the SWSC will attempt to place the said student at another clinical facility. If, however, there are no clinical sites available, the student may be withdrawn from the program for incompleteness and have to wait until a site can be found. If the student fails externship after being placed at TWO different locations, the student will fail the course and not be allowed to return to the program indefinitely, or for a period of time, along with specific re-entry requirements determined by the Externship Department and Program Manager.

Program Locations

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.