What Does a Medical Instrument Technician Do?

Medical instrument technicians operate diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical equipment. Read on to learn more about what you could do as a medical instrument technician. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Definition

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management defines medical instrument technicians as healthcare workers who operate and maintain the medical equipment used for therapeutic treatments, imaging bodily structures, monitoring organs, or surgical support (www.opm.gov). Most such positions require basic knowledge of anatomy and physiology as well as a thorough understanding of a particular piece of equipment or medical procedure.

Important Facts About Medical Instrument Technician Careers

Medical Sonographer Cardiovascular Technologist Surgical Technologist
Required Education Associate's or bachelor's degree Associate's or bachelor's degree Post-secondary diploma or certificate
Licensure Not required in most states Registration may be required by state Not required in most states
Professional Certification Available from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers Cardiovascular Credentialing International offers certification Voluntary certification is available
Median Salary (2015) $45,000 $52,693 $40,620
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 26% 22% 15%

Sources: PayScale.com, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Specializations

While it is possible to train in the use of more than one type of medical instrument, all medical instrument technicians do not necessarily know how to operate and maintain a wide variety of instruments. Most job openings will require that you possess knowledge of a specific type of medical instrument. You could choose to specialize in the use of medical technologies that include the following:

  • Electrocardiograph (EKG)
  • Electroencephalograph (EEG)
  • Electromyograph (EMG)
  • Exercise tolerance testing system or stress test
  • Ultrasound
  • Spirometer
  • Arterial blood gas analyzer
  • Dialyzer

Job Duties

In general, as a medical instrument technician, you'll clean, maintain, and test medical instruments. You may also operate equipment while under the direction of a physician and perform a test or procedure. Your job will likely require frequent patient contact and you'll need to have excellent communication skills. You may be responsible for positioning the patient, explaining procedures, and ensuring a patient's comfort during testing. Depending on the procedure, you may be called upon to monitor a patient for a long period of time. For example, while performing hemodialysis, the dialyzer may need to function for hours before the filtering process is complete.

Education

The level of education you'll need to complete will depend on the area of specialization that you'd like to pursue. Most medical instrument technicians are required to have at least a year of experience, either through previous employment or an accredited training program. Other positions may require an associate's or bachelor's degree in a field like surgical technology or cardiovascular technology. Most jobs in this field also require you to know how to perform basic life support techniques, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • College of Health Care Professions

    College of Health Care Professions responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at College of Health Care Professions:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Austin, Houston, San Antonio
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »