Should I Become a Biomedical Equipment Technician?
Biomedical equipment technicians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing medical devices and equipment, such as defibrillators or medical imaging machines. Specific duties include calibrating parts, repairing broken parts, performing regular maintenance, demonstrating operation, and keeping record of repairs.
The majority of medical equipment techs work full-time during the day, although some may be required to be on-call for particular repairs. Because there is urgency for some repair work, the job can occasionally be stressful. Workers usually have to travel to the location of the machines, regardless of whether they are installing, repairing, or maintaining them. Most of these locations are medically-oriented and carry the risk of exposure to diseases.
|Degree Level||Associate's degree|
|Degree Name||Biomedical equipment technology|
|Experience||Training period of 3-6 months may be necessary|
|Certification||Available and may be preferred|
|Key Skills||Troubleshooting and mechanical skills, as well as manual dexterity to make repairs, knowledge of complicated medical devices|
|Salary (2014)||$45,660 per year (Median salary for all biomedical equipment technicians)|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monster.com
Step 1: Earn an Associate's Degree
An associate's degree in biomedical equipment technology combines general education requirements with core courses in this field. This program covers subjects involving electronics and technical repair. Students also learn about computer hardware, DC/AC electronics, soldering, network technologies and safety. Additional courses include medical circuits, ultrasound imaging systems, physiological instrumentation and troubleshooting. Students work on various medical devices and equipment and learn how to work in a healthcare setting.
Step 2: Participate in an Internship
An internship may be offered as part of a degree program or may be sought independently during the summer break or after graduation. Participants will have the opportunity to gain real-world experience working with biomedical equipment and apply what they have learned in the classroom. Generally, interns will work under the supervision of an experienced biomedical engineering technician.
Step 3: Obtain Certification
Biomedical equipment technicians may want to consider obtaining certification to demonstrate their competency to work with medical devices and equipment, as well as advance their careers in the field. The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) offers the Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET) designation. To be eligible for certification, biomedical technicians must have an associate's degree and two years of experience. Certification requires that individuals pass an exam to earn this designation.