Biomedicine Technician: Job Description and Career Advancement Info

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a biomedicine technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and prospects to find out if this is the career for you.

Biomedicine technicians test, service and repair sophisticated medical equipment. This position requires completion of a certificate program or an associate's degree. A bachelor's degree may be required for advanced positions.

Essential Information

Biomedicine technicians - more commonly known as biomedical technicians - maintain and repair the sophisticated equipment for diagnosing and treating medical conditions. They typically enter the job market with a technical school certificate and may advance with experience and additional education.

Required Education Associate's degree or technical school certificate for entry-level
Other Requirements Bachelor's degree in in biomedicine for advanced levels
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% for medical equipment repairers*
Median Salary (2015) $46,340 annually for medical equipment repairers*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description for a Biomedical Technician

Biomedical technicians - also known as biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) and medical-equipment repairers - make sure electronic/electro-mechanic and hydraulic medical equipment, from hospital beds to advanced scanning equipment, are functioning properly. They test the equipment, perform routine maintenance, and repair problems. Most technicians specialize in a particular type of biomedical equipment, such as medical imaging devices, defibrillators, and ultrasound equipment. Medical technicians also must be able to explain how to operate the equipment and how it interacts with patients.

Duties

Biomedical technician duties include testing the equipment using specialized software and hand tools. If problems are found, the technician uses other tools, such as soldering irons and electronic instruments, to repair the equipment. Because biomedical equipment must comply with strict performance and safety regulations, technicians are required to keep detailed written logs of all testing and repair work done on the machine.

Biomedical technicians typically work in a healthcare facility or for a company that provides technical service to hospitals and clinics. Because they repair critical equipment, they may be required to work at any time of the day or week. Also, since they work where patients are getting tested or treated, they must be able to communicate effectively with people and be willing to be exposed to illnesses.

Career Advancement Info for a Biomedical Technician

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expected opportunities for biomedical equipment technicians to be excellent in the decade 2014-2024, with a projected employment growth of 6%, which is about as fast as average. The BLS reported in May 2015 that the median salary for medical equipment repairers was $46,340 annually.

Education Requirements

Aspiring biomedical technicians can enter the field with a one-year certificate from a technical school, though most jobs require at least a two-year associate's degree. In most cases, those with only a certificate are employed by medical-equipment companies, where they work in product testing and development.

To work on biomedical equipment in the field, a two-year Associate in Applied Science degree is usually required. Technicians who work on highly sophisticated equipment or who manage and train other technicians often are expected to have a bachelor's degree in a field, such as biomedical or electrical engineering.

Because medical equipment is constantly changing, biomedical technologists are expected to continue updating their skills and knowledge throughout their careers. They may do this by enrolling in manufacturer courses, completing self-study, and earning certifications.

Career Path

Entry-level biomedical technicians are typically assigned to single piece of equipment and work under the close supervision of a more experienced technician. As they gain experience, they may advance to more complex pieces of equipment and from there, begin working independently. Additional advancement opportunities include training others and becoming a supervisor.

Biomedical technicians also advance in their careers by getting training and certification on new and more sophisticated biomedical equipment. Such training is often provided by industry organizations, such as the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation or individual equipment manufacturers. Testing may be required to be certified in specific pieces of equipment and may help biomedical technicians to enhance their job opportunities.

An associate's degree is the standard education required for biomedical techs, also known as medical equipment repairers. A bachelor's degree is sometimes required and can also lead to career advancement. Median earnings for biomedical technicians were roughly $46,000 as of 2015.


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