Biomedical technicians repair, maintain and inspect medical equipment. In addition to an associate degree, employers are more likely to consider candidates with voluntary certifications and related work experience.
Biomedical technicians, also called biomedical equipment technicians or medical equipment repairers, are instrumental in the functioning of crucial medical equipment. They inspect and maintain medical equipment used in hospitals or other healthcare facilities, such as defibrillators, infusion pumps and medical imaging equipment. Individuals interested in this profession can typically qualify with an associate's degree and may consider professional certification. This career would appeal to those interested in the technical and support aspects of the medical field.
|Required Education||Associate's degree|
|Other Requirements||Optional certifications|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||6% for medical equipment repairers|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$46,340 for medical equipment repairers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Biomedical Technician Career Information
According to O*Net Online, biomedical technicians typically explain and demonstrate the proper use of medical equipment to medical staff and other personnel (www.onetonline.org). They observe how the equipment is being used and identify potential safety hazards. The instruments used on the job range from simple hand tools to computer software. These professionals must also keep abreast of technological changes in the field so that they can service and repair new equipment. Biomedical technicians find employment in many types of settings, including healthcare organization or a maintenance company that provides equipment repair services.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment for medical equipment repairers was expected to increase 6% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). This projection was due to the growing U.S. population and the expanding healthcare industry. As medical needs advance, new technologies continue to be introduced, and qualified technicians will be needed to maintain them.
As of May 2015, the BLS reported that the median salary for medical equipment repairers was $46,340 annually. The majority of these professionals worked for wholesale suppliers, though other main employers included hospitals, repair companies and health care retail stores. However, higher salaries were reported from semiconductor manufacturing companies, private corporations and federal agencies.
The BLS stated that employers usually look for applicants with some formal education, such as an associate degree program in biomedical technology. The curricula for these programs include coursework in computer systems, electric circuits and electronics specific to the biomedical industry, including instruments and imaging technology. Some programs require experience through a practicum or internship. General education requirements relevant to the field include calculus and physics.
Biomedical technicians can consider optional certification through professional organizations. The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) offers certification for biomedical equipment technicians, radiology equipment specialists and laboratory equipment specialists (www.aami.org). To qualify for these certifications, candidates must meet work experience and education requirements. Each certification has its own respective examination that covers topics in safety, equipment functioning and electronics.
If you have a love of technology and a passion for healthcare then becoming a biomedical technician may just be your dream job. Make sure to take a close look at career information like work environment and salary statistics to determine if this is the right career for you.