Deciding to take a certification exam is a huge leap in any interpreter’s or translator’s career. With this decision comes a lot of excitement and preparation. However, before you think about how difficult the exam will be or how your career will benefit after becoming certified, you should first determine whether you’re eligible to take the exam and how to meet eligibility requirements.
If you’re a legal interpreter who is seeking state certification, find your state court website here. Once on the website, search for the page dedicated to interpreter services and find out what the eligibility requirements are for taking the certification exam. Requirements vary state by state. For example, some states require you to pass an oral proficiency test before taking a certification exam while others do not. To take the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Exam, however, there are currently no specific requirements.
Medical interpreters can be certified through CCHI and NBCMI and each has different prerequisites candidates must meet before they can take a certification exam. Some states, such as Oregon and Washington, offer certification to healthcare interpreters and have their own eligibility requirements as well.
Certification and licensure for ASL interpreters is available through individual states. Each state has different guidelines, so be sure to check your state for more information National certification is available through RID. RID offers different types of certification programs and each program has its own set of eligibility requirements.
In addition to being an ATA member, translators must also meet a list of other eligibility requirements before they can take the ATA certification exam. That list can be found here.
Before applying to take a certification exam, it’s a good idea to make a check list of all the things you must do beforehand. In some cases, you may have to take some training, show proof of language proficiency, or meet other requirements.