What Does a Biomedical Equipment Technician Do?

A biomedical equipment technician plays an important role in hospitals and clinics by maintaining the equipment. A person pursuing a career as a biomedical equipment technician should have a strong background in computers, mathematics, and the engineering sciences. Schools offering Biomedical Engineering Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

A biomedical equipment technician is trained to repair and calibrate medical equipment such as heart monitors, ventilators, and oxygen systems. With today's modern technology, a biomedical equipment technician may work on robotic radiosurgery units or combined PET/CT scanners.

Important Facts About Biomedical Equipment Technicians

Key Skills Troubleshooting, communication, technical, time-management skills; dexterity and physical stamina
Work Environment Hospital or lab setting, often self employed and travel is often necessary
Professional Certification Voluntarily offered by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation
Similar Occupations Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics, industrial machinery mechanics, general maintenance and repair workers

Degree Requirements

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), educational requirements for specific jobs vary, but most employers require an associate's degree in biomedical technology or engineering fields. Bachelor's degrees in those fields are often needed for career advancement. However, occasionally biomedical equipment technicians are hired without a degree, and can learn the skills needed entirely through on-the-job training usually lasting one year.

Levels of Responsibility

A biomedical equipment technician receiving on-the-job training works on equipment that is less electronically sophisticated, such as hospital beds or electric wheelchairs. A person holding an associate's or bachelor's degree in medical technology or engineering, and certification, works on more complicated equipment such as defibrillators and CAT scanners. Biomedical equipment technicians need continuing education due to new technologies and equipment entering the medical scene.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS reports that the employment of medical equipment repairers is expected to increase 4% between 2016 and 2026. This increase is predicted because of increased demand for medical services and the complexity of the equipment used in clinics and hospitals. The BLS also reported that these professionals made a median annual income of $49,210 in 2018.

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