Undergraduate certificate programs teach students how medical devices are designed, produced and function, as well as about regulations that cover this industry. Bachelor's degrees may be in biomedical or medical engineering and include courses in the development of medical devices, while graduate certificates delve into regulations and standards. Some programs may include a co-op opportunity or internship.
Students can specialize in quality issues, patents, and copyrights. All program levels require a high school diploma or GED to enroll, and there is online availability. Graduate certificates do require possession of an undergraduate degree to apply for admission.
Certificate Programs in Medical Device Technology
A few certificate training programs in medical device technology or medical device manufacturing are offered at the undergraduate level. These programs prepare students for careers in the production of and equipment maintenance for medical device manufacturers. Students may be required to demonstrate competence in English, writing and math before enrolling in these programs.
The curriculum covers manufacturing technology, general machine maintenance, manufacturing properties of materials used in medical devices and quality control. Courses might include:
- Medical device industry overview
- Medical device regulations
- Manufacturing materials
- Computer-aided design
- Quality assurance
Bachelor's Degree Programs in Medical Engineering
Students interested in a bachelor's degree related to medical devices might consider pursuing a degree in medical engineering or biomedical engineering. Some of these programs offer specialized tracks in medical device technology, preparing graduates for careers in medical device design, testing, manufacturing and sales.
Programs might require or recommend college preparatory coursework in English, math, chemistry and physics.
Students learn engineering theories, concepts and methods and how to apply them directly to the medical device field. Many programs require students to participate in a work co-op or internship. Topics of study include:
- Engineering statistics
- Biomedical measurement and instrumentation
- Quality standards and measurements
- Material properties and selection
- Regulation of medical devices
Graduate Certificate Programs in Medical Device Technology
Graduate certificate programs related to medical device technology are designed to increase professionals' knowledge of the medical device industry, focusing on regulations and standards. Programs are designed for those seeking leadership positions within the industry. Some programs require a bachelor's degree in a science-related field.
Programs cover the design and production of medical devices as well as quality issues, federal or state regulations, patents and copyrights and business management principles. Courses topics include:
- Medical device development
- Medical device industry trends and developments
- Medical device commercialization
- Medical device regulations
- Emerging markets
Popular Career Options
Students who complete a certificate program may find jobs with manufacturers and distributors of medical devices. Some popular job titles include:
- Medical device machining technician
- Medical device electrical technician
- Equipment maintenance technician
- Medical engineering technician
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Biomedical engineers are positioned to see incredible job growth over the 2014-2024 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Growth is predicted at a rate of 23% during that period, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The growing elderly population, along with an increased demand for sophisticated medical equipment, is fueling this growth. The median salary for biomedical engineers in 2015 was $86,220 annually, according to the BLS.
Licensing and Continuing Education
Students who complete a certificate program might consider transferring to a degree program, such as a bachelor's degree program in biomedical engineering. Some schools have transfer agreements with other schools allowing applicable credits from a certificate program to apply towards the bachelor's degree.
Graduates need to check with their state licensing boards regarding licensing requirements for medical engineers. To become licensed, graduates of an accredited engineering program need to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, complete several years of work experience and then pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam. Opportunities for continuing education are available through professional organizations, such as the Biomedical Engineering Society.
As in any field that relies heavily on technology and innovation, continuing education can be essential for keeping up with changes and trends. Industry-specific organizations, such as the Medical Device Manufacturers Association, provide continuing education opportunities and resources.
By earning a certificate or degree in medical device technology, students gain access to a career field with rapid job growth. In addition to obtaining licensure by taking the FE or PE exam, students can make their resume even more marketable by seeking out additional training offered by the Biomedical Engineering Society or the Medical Device Manufacturers Association.