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Biomedical Tech: Job Duties and Career Training Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a biomedical technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training and degree programs, job duties, and optional certification to find out if this is the career for you.

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A biomedical technician works in medical settings repairing and maintaining specialized equipment like scanning devices and defibrillators, or basic equipment like wheelchairs and hospital beds. Most techs need an associate's degree, and voluntary certification is available for graduates of those programs.

Essential Information

A biomedical equipment technician repairs, maintains and calibrates medical machinery. The job is highly technical and constantly evolving due to the fact that equipment technology expands rapidly. The basic educational requirement for a biomedical equipment technician is an associate's degree. Additional training and experience are gained on-the-job.

Required Education Variable; a high school diploma and on-the-job training or an associate's degree in engineering or biomedical equipment technology
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% (for medical equipment repairers)*
Median Annual Salary (May 2015) $46,340 (for medical equipment repairers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties of a Biomedical Tech

A biomedical technician, or biomedical equipment technician, works on a variety of equipment used in medical facilities. The technician might maintain, readjust or repair electronic or hydraulic machines used in the medical field, such as defibrillators, MRI tunnels, CT scanning devices, wheelchairs or ultrasound equipment. Computers, specialized software and hand tools are used by technicians to make the repairs.

Routine maintenance is an important part of the job, as all medical equipment is subject to calibration, repair or both. When working in a hospital setting, technicians might have to work around patients while the equipment is being used. In some cases, technicians work on an on-call basis to make emergency repairs. Unless they're employed at a specific hospital, technicians might have to travel from facility to facility to do the required work.

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Educational Requirements

Biomedical equipment technicians can receive training on-the-job for basic equipment, like wheelchairs or hospital beds. Those who work on highly sophisticated machinery must have at least an associate's degree in engineering or biomedical equipment technology from a community college or vocational school.

When a biomedical equipment technician begins to work, they're generally observed by experienced technicians for the first 3-6 months. Further training is sometimes provided by medical equipment manufacturers for their particular pieces of equipment.

Certification Information

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) certifies equipment technicians in three areas, including the Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET), Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist (CLES) and Certified Radiology Equipment Specialist (CRES). To gain certification, the AAMI requires that certain education and work experience be gained by the technician.

Certification can provide a biomedical technician with an added credential to compete in the job market. Continuing study and current knowledge is necessary for technicians because equipment technology evolves quickly.

Biomedical technicians typically need at least an associate's degree in biomedical equipment technology. Because of the nature of their work and continuous advancement in the industry, biomedical technicians require ongoing training to stay on top of their field.

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