IMIA Salary Survey to provide key insight into the medical interpreting profession

A new 2009 IMIA Salary Survey will offer key insight into the medical interpreting profession. The strongest participation ever is anticipated, based on trends in this fast-emerging profession. Last year, more than 400 interpreters and managers from forty-two states participated in the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA) Annual Salary Survey; that participation was significantly higher than in the previous year. This 2009 survey promises to provide the data needed to start looking at profession trends, and to be a research tool that interpreters and managers can use to make decisions related to medical interpreter wages.

The 2009 survey promises to yield the strongest data yet, thanks to improved research technologies provided by Cvent, a robust survey software, which will better assess the aggregate data.

"The compensation rates reflect the current standards of recruitment, training and hiring of medical interpreters. National certification will ensure competency and therefore ensure patient safety and equal access to health care in diverse populations," explained Izabel Arocha, IMIA president. "Certified ASL interpreters earn higher wages than spoken language interpreters, who are not nationally certified. This will change soon with national certification becoming available for medical interpreters. As awareness for minimum competency increases, the profession will become more attractive for those that are looking to enter a credentialed profession." Demand for qualified medical interpreters continues to grow at a higher rate than in other professions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Abbott Thayer, operations manager of the IMIA who worked to develop the 2009 survey, reflected, "We encourage everyone committed to language access and cultural competence to participate, to quantify the working conditions of medical interpreters. The results of this survey will paint a picture of our profession, with the type of strong, factual data that is foundational for the advancement of the profession worldwide."

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