Biomedical Training Programs and Requirements

Essential Information

Training programs for biomedical professionals target the needs of each career level in biomedicine. Biomedical equipment technicians are typically required to have an associate's or bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering. Associate's programs cover how to test, calibrate, and repair advanced medical products, like medical imaging hardware. A bachelor's degree provides advanced courses on biomedical equipment development, engineering concepts, and medical applications for engineering devices. Master's programs focus on research and explore advanced biomedical engineering skills.

Associate's Degree in Biomedical Technology

Biomedical technology associate's degree programs are designed for entry-level positions for technicians. These 2-year programs provide students with basic biomedical and engineering coursework and teach students how to perform basic biomedical equipment repair and troubleshooting. Students are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent in order to apply. Programs typically include courses in:

  • Medical terminology
  • Biology and chemistry
  • Engineering principles in medical technology
  • Computer applications
  • Biomedical electronics
  • Biomedical instrumentation

Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Engineering

A bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering is a four year entry-level degree for biomedical engineers, though some biomedical technicians who want to strengthen their academic qualifications may also pursue a bachelor's degree. You must have completed a high school diploma or GED in order to apply. Programs require four years of study and commonly offer courses in:

  • Advanced bioinstrumentation
  • Biomedical equipment design
  • Wireless telemetry
  • Biomedical equipment support and maintenance
  • Semiconductor medical devices
  • Biomechanics and bioelectronics

Master's Degree in Biomedical Engineering

A two year master's degree is required for advanced biomedical engineering positions. Graduate students focus on research studies in biomedical technology and typically conduct independent research in the field. A thesis statement may be required to demonstrate overall competency in biomedical engineering technology, and clinical research is often included as part of the curriculum. Programs usually involve two years of study and include courses in:

  • Advanced bioengineering
  • Biomedical microprocessor interfacing
  • Biomedical science theories
  • Biomedical diagnostic techniques
  • Research and development in biotechnology

Job Experience

Biomedical equipment technicians are typically required to have at least 2-5 years of experience, though entry-level employment may be available to technicians with less than two years of experience. Employers generally prefer to hire biomedical engineers with no less than five years of experience, with advanced research positions requiring 7-10 years of biomedical technology experience, some of which may be gained while earning a degree.

Workshops and Seminars

Biomedical technology workshops are commonly offered by colleges and universities. These workshops address topics like ethics in biomedical technology, biomedical electronic devices and clinical engineering in medical technology. Employers may offer short orientation seminars for newly hired or entry-level biomedical professionals. The Biomedical Engineering Society also holds annual conferences for biomedical professionals, researchers and educators. The conferences are held in different cities each year and offer guest speakers, meetings, continuing education seminars, and information on biomedical devices and practices.

Additional Professional Development and Certification

Biomedical professionals can find continuing education and development opportunities with AAMI, BMES and the Medical Equipment and Technology Association (META). These three organizations provide workers in biomedical technology with job boards and career centers, student and scholarship information, research trends in biomedical technology and multiple publications and industry journals.

The AAMI publishes the Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology journal and multiple newsletters. The BMES publishes the Annals of Biomedical Engineering journal and META provides research articles on biomedical studies. Biomedical professionals can also pursue graduate certificates or a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering to advance knowledge of the field and career prospects.

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) offers optional certification for biomedical equipment technicians who meet specific educational and professional requirements. Technicians must pass an exam before obtaining Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET), Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist (CLEB) or Certified Radiologist Equipment Specialist (CRES) credentials.

Licensure is required for engineers who offer services to the public. Because many biomedical engineers work for private research and medical companies, however, licensure is not typically required by employers. There is not a specific license for biomedical engineers, so those who do seek licensure must obtain a general engineering license, which addresses engineering topics beyond biomedical technology.

Training programs for biomedical technicians and engineers teach students the skills needed to develop, operate, and repair advanced medical equipment. Depending on your educational and career goals, you can study at the undergraduate or graduate level as well as work towards certification or licensure.

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