Biomedical Technician: Job Outlook & Career Info

Learn about the work responsibilities of a bio-medical technician. Explore educational and certification options as well as salary and employment outlook to determine if this is the right career choice.

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Career Definition for a Bio-medical Technician

Bio-medical technicians are also known as medical equipment repairers or bio-medical equipment technicians. These professionals are responsible for repairing, calibrating and maintaining medical equipment and instruments used in the health care industry. Technicians also install the medical equipment used for diagnosing and treating patients. Examples of equipment that a bio-medical technician could work on include x-ray machines, MRI machines, radiological equipment, electrocardiographs and dental equipment.

Some technicians specialize in a specific area or type of equipment, while others handle all types of machinery. They can work in a variety of health industries, such as hospitals, doctor's offices, manufacturing facilities or repair shops. Because this equipment is critical, technicians, especially those who work at hospitals or other places with direct access to patients, need to be prepared to restore them to working order in a timely manner. Some bio-medical technicians could be required to be on call, responding to emergencies at night and on weekends.

Education Varies, but an associate's or bachelor's degree in bio-medical equipment technology and certification may be required
Job Skills Work experience
Median Salary (2015)* $46,340 (for medical equipment repairers)
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% (for medical equipment repairers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements

Requirements for this career depend on the type of equipment a technician will be repairing. It might be possible to work on less-sophisticated equipment such as wheelchairs with just on-the-job training. However, at least an associate's degree in bio-medical equipment technology or a related field is often required for more advanced equipment repair and installation. Some employers want technicians who have earned bachelor's degrees. Degree programs in this field prepare students for this career with courses in troubleshooting, patient safety, electricity and electronics, medical terminology and chemistry.

Required Certification

While not required, aspiring technicians can earn certification through the International Certification Commission for Bio-Medical Equipment Technicians. To become a certified biomedical equipment technician, applicants need an associate's degree and two years of work experience, although other experience and education combinations might be acceptable. An exam is required.

Career Outlook

Healthcare is a growing field, and these technicians could see 6% employment growth in this field from 2014 to 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. Job opportunities are expected to be strong, and those who want to enter this field can expect to find jobs easier if they're interested in relocating to rural areas. Those with training at the associate's-degree level will also see strong job opportunities. These workers made a median annual salary of $46,340 in 2015, the BLS reported.

Alternative Careers

The following careers are similar to bio-medical technicians:

Computer Repairer

For those interested in fixing technical equipment and machines, a career in computer repair might be the right option. Computer repairers not only troubleshoot issues and make necessary repairs, they also assist in the installation of new equipment, run performance tests and provide maintenance.

Although a high school diploma and some electronics knowledge may be all that's necessary to work in this profession, most computer repairers take some additional courses in electronics, engineering and computer technology. Optional certification is also available for those seeking a competitive advantage in the hiring process. Although the BLS does not offer specific job projections for computer repairers, it does report that computer support specialists will see employment growth of 12% between 2014 and 2024, which is faster than average. In May of 2015, the BLS determined that computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers received a median yearly wage of $36,840.

Medical Laboratory Technician

If a career running tests and operating medical equipment in a lab sounds appealing, consider becoming a medical laboratory technician. These lab techs prepare and evaluate samples of human tissue, urine and blood using high-tech machines. They also analyze results and compile the information into reports for physician review.

An associate degree in clinical laboratory science is usually necessary to enter this field, but those with a health background, such as nursing, can complete a certificate program to gain the necessary skills. Laboratory workers must also be licensed in many states. BLS figures from 2015 estimate the median salary of medical lab techs at $38,970 per year. The BLS also expects job opportunities for clinical and medical lab technicians to grow by 16% during the 2014-2024 decade.

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