Earning a certificate in biomedical equipment technology usually takes one or two years, while earning an associate's degree in the same field usually takes two years for full-time students. A high school diploma or its equivalent is required for admission. Graduates of these programs are prepared for entry-level jobs, and can apply to take the exam to become a Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET) after gaining two years of qualified BET work experience.
Certificate in Biomedical Equipment Technology
This program teaches the fundamentals of electronics, hydraulics and mechanics. Students learn to repair everything from defibrillators to ophthalmic equipment - all the diagnostic equipment that helps doctors provide better, more efficient care to patients in settings ranging from dentists' offices to trauma centers. Work in this field is extremely hands-on, and biomedical repair technicians are expected to have an aptitude for troubleshooting and fixing mechanical problems.
Future biomedical equipment technicians study the mechanical and electrical workings of machines like voice-controlled operating tables, ultrasound equipment and patient monitors. Fields of study include:
- Biomedical regulations
- Electronic circuitry
- Medical terminology
- Wireless communication
Associate in Applied Science in Biomedical Equipment Technology
Students in AAS programs in this field learn about the applications of computerized equipment in the medical field. They learn how to make hospitals and health centers more efficient by fixing and calibrating medical imaging equipment, nurse call buttons and electric wheelchairs. As with any mechanical repair program, training in this field is very hands-on.
The program's curriculum combines core coursework with general education. Students learn to use specialized software programs in addition to hand tools, like soldering irons, to diagnose and repair problems in high-tech medical equipment. Topics of study include:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Computer circuits
- Medical vocabulary
Popular Career Options
Popular jobs for new graduates of certificate programs in biomedical equipment technology include:
- Biomedical electronics technician
- Clinical engineer
- Field service engineer
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015, most medical equipment repair employees worked in commercial equipment wholesale companies, hospitals and the electronic equipment repair industry (www.bls.gov). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of medical equipment repair was anticipated to grow 6% for the years 2014-2024. There were 41,060 medical equipment repairers employed across various fields as of May 2015. The median annual wage for these workers was $46,340 in the same year, according to the BLS.
Even though there are no programs offered specifically in biomedical equipment maintenance, students can get training in the field by earning a certificate or an AAS in Biomedical Equipment Technology.