Biomedical Device Technician Jobs
Research what it takes to become a biomedical device technician. Learn about education requirements, certification, job duties and salary to find out if this is the career for you.
What Is a Biomedical Device Technician?
A biomedical device technician repairs, assembles, and assists in the operation of biomedical devices like artificial heart valves, catheters, and hip implants. These professionals will be responsible for routine maintenance that goes into the upkeep for these devices, and must keep thorough and accurate records of any work done on them. In situations where maintenance is performed while a device is in use by a patient, technicians must be careful not to disturb or injure them. Additionally, some professionals may choose to specialize in a certain kind of equipment.
The chart below provides an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.
|Degree Required||Entry level: associate's degree; advanced: bachelor's degree|
|Education Field of Study||Biomedical technology, engineering, electronics|
|Key Skills||Maintain, repair, and problem-solve for complex medical devices|
|Certification Required||Optional certification available|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)||4% growth (for medical equipment repairers)*|
|Average Salary (2018)||$52,710 (for medical equipment repairers)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Do I Need to Study to Become a Biomedical Device Technician?
To become a biomedical device technician, you'll need at least an associate's degree in an area such as biomedical technology, engineering, or electronics. With a 2-year degree and on-the-job training, you can begin your career repairing equipment such as electric hospital beds or wheelchairs. To work on more complex biomedical equipment, including defibrillators or CAT (computerized axial tomography) scan machines, and to seek career advancement, you'll need to obtain a bachelor's degree in a similar field.
Be sure the associate's degree program you enroll in offers courses in electricity, digital processors, network systems, physiology and anatomy, circuit analysis, and trigonometry. Other courses that may help include technical writing, microbiology, and medical terminology. If you decide to pursue a bachelor's degree program, you'll take classes such as healthcare information systems, electronic troubleshooting, and biomedical equipment laboratory.
What Other Qualifications Do I Need?
To do your job effectively, you'll need to possess keen mechanical and technical ability, and problem-solving skills. Certification isn't required, but having one can help demonstrate your proficiency in this job. The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) offers this certification. The AAMI offers credentials as a laboratory equipment specialist, radiology equipment specialist or biomedical equipment technician.
What Will I Do?
As a biomedical device technician, you'll repair and operate technology that assists people with health problems or other concerns. Your job requires you to troubleshoot problems and determine the safety of biomedical devices. You'll regularly perform routine maintenance, repair, and adjustments to equipment.
What will I Earn?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that in May 2018, the average salary for medical equipment repairers, including biomedical device technicians, was $52,710 (www.bls.gov). During the same month, individuals employed by hospitals averaged $58,330 a year, while those working for electronic equipment repair companies averaged $54,570. The BLS also noted that top-paying states in this occupation were Alaska, at $79,090 a year, and Delaware, at $66,360 a year, followed by Minnesota, Oregon, and Nebraska.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Medical laboratory technologists and medical laboratory technicians perform lab tests on samples of biological material, analyzing whatever substances they are provided (tissue samples, blood, urine, etc.) to identify medical issues or features like blood type. They must be comfortable using technical medical equipment and need to keep logs of tests performed as well as results. These professionals will need at least a bachelor's degree in order to find work.