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Be a Biomedical Equipment Repair Technician: Career Roadmap

Learn how to become a biomedical equipment repair technician. Research the job duties and education requirements, and find out how to start a career in biomedical equipment repair. View article »

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Video Transcript

Biomedical Equipment Repair Technician

Also known as biomedical engineering technicians, biomedical equipment repair technicians specialize in installing and maintaining such medical equipment as ultrasound devices, X-rays, patient monitors, and operating tables. In addition to repairing and replacing parts, technicians test and calibrate equipment on a regular basis. They also stay up-to-date on the latest technological advances.

The majority of biomedical equipment repair technicians work full-time, primarily during the day. Some evening and weekend hours might be required for emergency repairs. Technicians typically travel to the location of medical equipment machines, which might expose them to illnesses found in hospitals and/or doctors' offices.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Associate's degree is standard
Degree Field Biomedical equipment technology, engineering, or a related field
Certification Voluntary certification is available from such professional organizations as the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation
Experience Varies by employer; 0-5 years of experience could be required
Key Skills Manual dexterity and time-management skills; the ability to anticipate problems and troubleshoot equipment; familiarity with such diagnostic equipment as voltage meters, pressure gauges, and ventilator analyzers
Median Salary (2015)* $46,340 (for all medical equipment repairers)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monster.com job postings (September 2012), Occupational Information Network

Steps to Getting Into This Career

Now let's check out the steps you can take to get into this career.

Step 1: Complete an Associate's Degree Program

Aspiring biomedical equipment repair technicians can prepare for this career by earning an associate's degree. Curricula for these 2-year programs teach students how work with electronic circuits and computer software. They can also cover topics in mathematics, computer science, and medical instrumentation.

To get the most out of your education, participate in an internship. Some associate's degree programs offer opportunities for students to work with labs, hospitals, or equipment manufacturers. These experiences can familiarize students with equipment and documentation procedures used when calibrating and repairing medical devices.

Step 2: Get Work Experience

Biomedical equipment repair technicians can work in settings that range from hospitals to commercial and wholesale medical equipment suppliers. They can also find career opportunities with equipment repair companies and ambulatory health care services. Entry-level positions usually require technicians to work under the supervision of more experienced personnel for up to 6 months. During this time, they may work on projects with an increasing degree of independence.

Step 3: Consider Earning a Bachelor's Degree

In order to work on more complex medical equipment, biomedical equipment repair technicians might need a bachelor's degree in a field such as biomedical engineering technology. These programs cover advanced topics in electronic circuit design and radiography systems. Computer programming and networking courses might also be included in program curricula. In some cases, credits earned in an associate's degree program can be applied toward credit hour requirements for this 4-year degree.

Step 4: Acquire Certification

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation offers 3 voluntary certifications to biomedical equipment repair technicians who're looking to advance in the field. These include the Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET), Certified Radiology Equipment Specialist (CRES), and Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist (CLES) designations.

Biomedical equipment repair technicians who've completed a biomedical associate's degree program need to accrue 2 years of full-time work experience to be eligible for the CBET and CRES examinations. Applicants with an associate's degree in electronics technology can also qualify, provided they've completed an additional year of work experience. The CLES designation requires 2-3 years of work experience, depending on whether applicants have earned an associate's or bachelor's degree in medical laboratory technology.

To get the most out of certification, remember to fulfill continuing education requirements. In order to renew their credentials every 3 years, biomedical equipment repair technicians will need to earn enough continuing education credits. These requirements are to ensure these professionals' skills remain up-to-date.

To recap, with an associate's degree and on-the-job training as well as possible certification, biomedical equipment repair technicians can earn about $46,000 a year to install, maintain, test, and calibrate medical equipment, like ultrasound devices, X-rays, patient monitors, and operating tables.

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