A 2-year associate's degree in biomedical equipment technology is a standard career requirement for this field, but some organizations require a bachelor's degree. Both programs help students learn how to maintain and fix medical equipment, though bachelor's programs are often more in-depth and include more general academic coursework. Hands-on training with medical equipment is an essential component of both programs. Online courses are rare, but do exist at a select number of schools.
Associate's Degree in Biomedical Electronics Technology
In an associate's degree program, biomedical electronics students gain a foundation in physics and technical mathematics and learn about digital and solid state electronics. Students learn how to maintain various pieces of medical equipment. Common coursework includes:
- Alternating and direct currents
- Computer systems
Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Engineering Technology
Students who decide to major in biomedical engineering complete advanced classes in various types of medical equipment, including imaging, vitals monitoring and therapeutic support machinery. They also study anatomy, physiology and biomechanics. Some course topics might include:
- Signal processing
- Microprocessor interfacing
- Intro to bioengineering
- Computer techniques in medical imaging
- Biomedical instrumentation systems
Biomedical equipment technician training programs are offered at the associate and bachelor's degree level. Learn what courses you will take for both degree programs, as well as information about career prospects and licensure.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Medical equipment repairers made a mean annual wage of $49,400 as of May 2015, according to the BLS. It also reported that the number of jobs in this field is expected to grow 6% from 2014-2024, which is an average growth rate compared to all other occupations.
Licenses and Certifications
Many employers prefer hiring technicians who possess voluntary certifications, such as the Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician credential offered by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (www.aami.org). Other certifications, including the Certified Radiology Equipment Specialist and the Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist, are also granted by the organization.
In order to earn these certifications, applicants must meet education and experience requirements and pass separate exams for each credential. Certification is good for three years, but certified professionals need to participate in continuing education programs to maintain certification.
Workshops and Seminars
National industry organizations often sponsor special events throughout the year, which typically last for 2-5 days. During this time, attendees can network, participate in seminars, learn about new technologies and network with medical equipment manufacturers. Colleges often sponsor seminars on a smaller scale that can last from a few hours to a full day. Additionally, organizational websites may offer virtual seminars.
Biomedical equipment technicians can participate in a number of everyday enrichment opportunities, such as signing up for relevant e-newsletters or subscribing to printed periodicals. The Internet is home to many biomedical industry blogs and discussion forums.
Depending on your career goals, students interested in becoming a biomedical equipment technician can pursue degrees at both the associate and bachelor's degree level. Upon completion of a biomedical equipment technician program, voluntary certification is often preferred by employers, and can help prospective technicians standout in a field expected to yield a 6% increase in growth from 2014-2024.