Biomedical instrumentation (sometimes known as bioinstrumentation) training programs and courses cover the repair, maintenance and operation of medical electronic equipment. While stand-alone programs in this field are not common, biomedical instrumentation can also be studied within other related programs. For instance, at the certificate level, prospective students can find biomedical electronics technology certificates and biomedical electronics certificates.
Training in biomedical instrumentation can also be found within associate's degree programs in biomedical equipment technology or electronics technology. Courses within these programs often include hands-on training, and credits may transfer to a bachelor's degree program. There are also some biomedical engineering bachelor's degree programs that include a concentration or track in biomedical instrumentation for students who wish to learn more about the design and development of medical electronic equipment. Online programs are commonly available at the associate's level and higher.
Certificates Covering Biomedical Instrumentation
Training in biomedical instrumentation is often found as part of electronics engineering technology or biomedical electronics technology programs. Because of the hands-on nature of the repair field, distance learning is generally not available at the certificate level. Commonly, these 1- to 2-semester certificate programs require applicants to have graduated high school. Some certificate programs are designed to train associate degree holders who have some experience in the electrical field in medical terminology and the application of electrical knowledge to the biomedical field.
Budding biomedical instrumentation technicians learn how the application of electronic equipment - like monitoring devices - to the medical field impacts healthcare professionals and patient care. Learning to fix medical equipment malfunctions can require training in:
- Alternating and direct current circuits
- Digital signal processing
- Fundamentals of robotics
- Structure of the human body
- Test equipment
Associate Degrees Covering Biomedical Instrumentation
Students in these Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science degree programs in biomedical equipment technology or biomedical instrumentation electronics learn to fix specialized electrical equipment. These 2-year programs incorporate both hands-on training and classroom instruction of theory. Applicants are required to have graduated high school or earned the equivalent.
These students apply theoretical math and physics concepts to problems in the design and repair of electrical circuits in the biomedical field. Coursework in this discipline commonly includes:
- Alternating and direct currents
- Computer-aided drafting
- Integrated circuits
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Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering
Some Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering programs offer specific bioinstrumentation tracks, while others simply offer relevant coursework. Students in these 4-year programs learn how to apply theoretical concepts to hands-on experiments. They may also take ethics courses that train them in professional conduct so that they can responsibly perform research and protect human subjects. Applicants are required to have graduated high school.
As an interdisciplinary field of study, bioinstrumentation students can learn about mechanics, electricity, computing, engineering and cell biology. Training available to these students may include:
- Data processing
- Electrical safety
- Engineering software
- Human physiology
Popular Career Options
According to the BLS, advancement in the medical equipment repair field often requires a bachelor's degree. Graduates of bachelor's degree programs have been qualified to find employment as:
- Applications engineers
- Design engineers
- Manufacturing engineers
- Plant engineers
- Sales engineers
Continuing Education Information
Graduates interested in careers in research, academia or medicine are prepared to apply for medical school or graduate programs in biomedical engineering. Graduate training in bioinstrumentation is available through bioengineering programs at the graduate certificate, master's and doctoral levels.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that medical equipment repair professionals are only required to have a high school education, employers may prefer applicants with associate degrees (www.bls.gov). According to the BLS, medical equipment repairers are expected to see a 6% growth in employment opportunities from 2014 to 2024. As of the May 2015 BLS report, these 41,060 employed professionals earned a median annual salary of $46,340.
There are three undergraduate-level program options for students who want to learn about biomedical instrumentation. Certificate programs tend to provide focused instruction in the field, while the topic is usually discussed alongside a broad range of related subjects in associate's and bachelor's degree programs.