5 Steps to Working as a Translator in the Healthcare Industry


Do you speak multiple languages? Being bilingual or even multilingual is a valuable skill in today’s workforce, especially in the healthcare industry. Every organization in this sector needs translators for various projects, from translating educational resources for public health initiatives to developing medication instructions in different languages. 

If you’re on the lookout for new opportunities in the healthcare field, turn to PharmaDiversity! Here are a few tips for launching your own business as a freelance translator, including establishing contracts, marketing yourself, and managing your small business.

Research Potential Jobs and Projects

First, take some time to research the different types of healthcare translation services that organizations in this industry need, and figure out which projects you’re best suited for. The Language Doctors state that many healthcare businesses and organizations need translators for marketing materials, academic documents, educational documents, training curriculum, and labels and instructions. If you’re also interested in interpreting, you may want to look into assisting with patient admissions and discharge. 

Set Up Strong Contracts

When you’re working on a freelance basis, you need to use contracts to protect your financial interests. Working without a contract could put you at risk of losing out on payments with no legal recourse. To easily create these documents, you can use a tool to design PDF contracts. This tool also lets you add a signature to a PDF and fill out any other information fields. This will allow you and your clients to set up contracts without having to print anything out. Once you e-sign the contract, you can securely share the PDF.

Market Your Services

You’ve decided which translation services you want to offer through your business – now, it’s time to start focusing on self-promotion! Language Drops recommends using social media, creating bilingual video content, and refining your pitch to demonstrate exactly how translation benefits businesses. If you speak any languages that are in particularly high demand with low competition, make sure to highlight this information prominently on your website and in any other marketing materials.

Land Your First Jobs

Landing your very first translation projects can seem tricky. Rather than cold-pitching healthcare and pharmaceutical businesses right away, try checking out freelance job boards for projects first. You may also want to look locally – find out if any hospitals, healthcare clinics, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, or larger pharmaceutical or medical device companies based in your area need translators. 

Finally, let your friends and relatives who work in the medical field know that you’re offering translation services. They might need your help with small personal projects, or they may be able to put you in touch with their employers, who might want your assistance with larger endeavors.

Manage Your Business

As a freelancer, applying smart business management strategies will help you save time and stay organized. Don’t hesitate to say “No” to projects that truly aren’t right for you, use project management software to keep track of your deliverables, and invest in accounting software so that you can stay on top of your finances.

Furthermore, make it a point to reevaluate your rates every few months to ensure that you’re charging what you’re worth! You don’t want to undercharge and sell yourself short. Research how much other freelance translators who work with the same languages charge, and make sure to price your own services comparably.

Working as a translator in the healthcare or pharmaceutical sector can be quite profitable. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction that comes with helping people every day! With these tips, you’ll be ready to draw up contracts, promote your services, and find your very first projects. 

Are you seeking full-time or contract work in the pharmaceutical industry? Start by searching on PharmaDiversity! Visit our website today to start your job hunt.

Photo via Pexels

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

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