Through a combination of coursework and internship or clinical experience, students in associate of medical equipment repair programs can prepare for careers that involve adjusting, maintaining and repairing equipment used in the medical industry, such as x-ray machines and other diagnostic or monitoring equipment.
Associate's degree programs typically take 2 years to complete. Prerequisites for the associate's degree program include possession of a high school diploma or equivalent. For some biomedical equipment or engineering technology programs, students may be required to earn a certificate before advancing to upper-level coursework.
Students may also learn to install new equipment, as well as testing equipment to ensure that it's functioning properly and safely. After students graduate and accumulate some job experience, they may pursue professional certifications in various types of equipment. Another way to advance your career is to pursue a bachelor's degree in electronic or electrical engineering technology.
Associate of Medical Equipment Repair Degree
Most course topics cover the electronic and computerized components of biomedical equipment. Courses in anatomy and basic math can also be included. Additionally, many degree programs require students to participate in internships. Common coursework can include the following topics:
- Digital equipment
- Biomedical electronic systems
- Microprocessors and controllers
- Biomedical instrumentation
- Safety protocols and first aid
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Graduates of these programs can work as medical equipment repairers at hospitals, medical research facilities, clinical laboratories and medical repair companies. They may also find employment with medical equipment manufacturers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for these professionals were expected to increase 4% between 2018 and 2028, due to the growing elderly population and the increasing use of advanced medical equipment (www.bls.gov). As of May 2018, these equipment repairers earned a median annual salary of $49,210.
Continuing Education Information
According to the BLS, medical equipment repairers will need a bachelor's degree if they want to work on more advanced technology, such as computed tomography (CT) scanners. While there are 4-year biomedical engineering technology programs available, these are rare. Students might want to consider enrolling in electronic or electrical engineering technology bachelor's degree programs that include coursework in microcontrollers, data analysis and computer programming.
Repairers who want to stay abreast of new technology or updates to existing equipment can earn certification through professional organizations, such as the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (www.aami.org). Three different certification programs are available to medical equipment repairers who meet work experience and education requirements, including the Certified Radiology Equipment Specialist (CRES), Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET) and Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist (CLES) designations. Certification candidates must also pass a written exam.
Completing an associate's degree will open up career opportunities as a medical equipment repairer, a field projected to grow by 4% over the next decade. Earning a professional certification such as the CRES, CBET, and CLES will help you advance your career.