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Biomedical Equipment Technician Jobs Duties and Career Opportunities

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a biomedical equipment technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

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Biomedical equipment technicians inspect, install, and repair medical devices in hospitals and other medical settings. These positions usually require an associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs are also available for those seeking supervisory positions or career advancement.

Essential Information

Biomedical equipment technicians or medical equipment repairers troubleshoot, install, and maintain medical devices used in patient treatment and diagnosis. Projections show that employment opportunities in this field will be average in the coming years. The majority of medical equipment repairers hold at least a 2-year associate's degree in biomedical technology, although a 4-year bachelor's degree may be needed for career advancement.

Required Education Associate's or bachelor's degree in biomedical technology or biomedical equipment engineering
Other Requirements Voluntary certification available through the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% for all medical equipment repairers*
Median Salary (2015) $46,340 for all medical equipment repairers*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Job Duties of Biomedical Equipment Technicians

Also called medical equipment repairers, biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) may repair anything from hospital beds and wheelchairs to blood-gas analyzers, spectrophotometers and electrocardiographic devices. They use specialized software, digital and electronic devices, hand tools and soldering irons. BMETs need to understand computerized, electronic, hydraulic and mechanical systems, any of which may be critical to the workings of a piece of equipment. They are often responsible for routine maintenance as well as repairs, and they must be able to guarantee the accuracy of equipment used to perform critical medical tests.

Employment

Some BMETs are employed by medical-equipment repair firms, some in hospitals. They may work irregular hours and are often on call. Some have generalized skills, while others specialize in particular types of equipment.

When they work in hospitals, BMETs may need to work near patients without disturbing them. Hospital work also exposes technicians to some risk from communicable disease. No matter where they're employed, BMETs' work can be life-saving.

Career Opportunities

Most employers look for applicants with, at minimum, a 2-year associate degree in biomedical technology or biomedical equipment engineering. A 4-year bachelor's degree helps those who want to advance to supervisory or management positions.

Employment for BMETs during the decade 2014-2024 was expected to grow 6%, about average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS noted that this was in part due to the increasing age of the American population and rising demand for healthcare services.

Certification

Most states don't require certification for biomedical equipment technicians. However, voluntary certification provides recognition of demonstrated excellence and career commitment. Information on becoming a Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET) can be found at the website of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (www.aami.org). CBET applicants must meet education and experience qualifications and pass an exam.

Biomedical equipment technicians require formal education and can pursue voluntary certification to enhance career prospects. Employment is expected to grow about as fast as the job market as a whole. The median salary for this position is around $46,000 per year.

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