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Biomedical Technician Education Requirements and Career Info

Biomedical technicians require some formal education. Learn about the degree programs, job duties and certification requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

Biomedical technicians work in medical centers, hospitals, and clinics repairing and maintaining medical machines, such as x-rays and defibrillators. An associate's degree in biomedical engineering is often the minimum required to enter the field and certification is available for those interested in increasing their professional standing.

Essential Information

Biomedical technicians, also known as medical equipment repairers or biomedical equipment technicians, repair medical devices such as heart monitors, ventilators and electric wheelchairs. Technicians may be required to work around patients and must be comfortable doing so. These professionals generally hold associate's degrees in biomedical technology or biomedical engineering, and they generally gain hands-on experience during their studies. Voluntary certification is available to those who desire it.

Required Education Associate's degree in biomedical technology or biomedical engineering
Certification Voluntary certification available
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 5% for biological technicians
Median Salary (2015)* $41,650 annually for biological technicians

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements

Although prospective candidates with a high school diploma may be able to secure an entry-level job, those who have completed an associate's degree program in biomedical technology or biomedical engineering may have an easier time finding employment and may begin with a higher pay level. Coursework in an associate's degree program for this major consists of classroom lectures that focus on electronics and equipment troubleshooting. Students also complete hands-on laboratory work on equipment repair and preventative maintenance.

Certification

Biomedical technicians with some work experience may look to organizations like the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) in order to gain distinction in the field (www.aami.org). Candidates who have combined education and work experience may take the certification exam to earn the title of Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician. The exam consists of 150 questions, of which applicants must answer 105 correctly in order to pass.

Career Information

Biomedical technicians perform maintenance work and take preventive care measures on medical equipment from defibrillators to x-ray machines. They use a variety of tools, generally including wrenches, screwdrivers and soldering irons. Because many of these devices can malfunction at any time, biomedical technicians are often on 24-hour call and may be required to work overtime.

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that jobs for biological technicians were predicted to grow by 5% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). This growth can be attributed to the aging baby boomer generation and an overall increasing demand for healthcare services. These professionals may look for employment with equipment wholesalers, hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Salary Information

The BLS cites that the median annual wage for biological technicians was $41,650 in 2015. Salaries for most of these workers ranged between $26,610 and $69,180. Technicians in metropolitan areas averaged higher earnings than technicians in rural areas.

Biomedical technicians work at any time to repair medical machinery and ensure the machines continue to function smoothly. They must be comfortable using a variety of tools to diagnose and repair broken medical equipment. Once a biomedical technician has acquired the education and experience necessary in the field, they can sit for the biomedical technician certification exam.

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