Biomedical engineering technologists maintain and repair biomedical equipment such as positron emission tomography scanners or magnetic resonance imagining devices to ensure they function properly. Entry-level positions in this field require a postsecondary degree in a related ABET-accredited program, while more advanced positions often require work experience combined with specific certification.
Biomedical engineering is the integration and application of biology into medical practice. Biomedical engineering technologists (BMETs) oversee the care and maintenance of the biomedical equipment used in treating and diagnosing various illnesses, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) instruments. A two- or four-year degree is typically required to enter into the workforce; certification is often necessary in order to advance in this field.
|Required Education||Associate's or bachelor's degree in biomedical equipment technology from an ABET-accredited program|
|Other Requirements||Voluntary certification from the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI)|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||6% for medical equipment repairers*|
|Average Salary (May 2015)||$49,400 for medical equipment repairers*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Medical equipment repairers, including biomedical engineering technologists, made an estimated annual median salary of $49,400 in May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Additionally, annual median wages may vary depending on industry. For example, medical equipment repairers in general medical and surgical hospitals earned an average annual wage of $54,100, while those working for consumer goods rental earned an annual wage of $35,720, according to the BLS.
BMETs operate, maintain and repair biomedical equipment such as MRI, positron emission tomography (PET) and computer tomography (CT) scanners. Additionally, biomedical technologists may design and implement strategies to prevent accidents and errors from occurring with the equipment. As technologists gain more experience, they also gain more responsibilities such as writing reports, maintaining records and coordinating outside repairs on biomedical equipment. The BLS projected an average growth of 6% for medical equipment repairers from 2014-2024.
The importance of effectively diagnosing illnesses using biomedical equipment has led to some specific career requirements. Educationally, an associate's or bachelor's degree in an ABET-accredited biomedical equipment technology program is frequently required for employment as a low-level BMET. Coursework typically includes physics, human biology, technical calculus, circuit analysis and biomedical electrical systems.
While an associate's degree allows prospective BMETs to enter the entry-level workforce, any higher position will require special professional certification and experience. An organization that offers certification is the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). The AAMI offers a Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET) designation that may satisfy job requirements.
The salary of biomedical engineering technologists can vary greatly depending on the industry. The responsibilities in this role tend to increase with experience, and some technologists are additionally tasked with developing measures to prevent equipment malfunctions and preparing reports. A degree and certification is required, and common coursework includes studies in human biology, circuit analysis and technical calculus.