Biomedical Engineering Technology Degree Program Information
Biomedical engineering technology degree programs may be suitable for individuals who are interested in manufacturing, installing, calibrating and repairing the machines used in healthcare facilities. The degrees available in the field include an Associate of Applied Science in Biomedical Engineering Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering Technology.
Associate of Applied Science in Biomedical Engineering Technology
Associate's degrees in biomedical engineering technology are not to be confused with degrees in biomedical engineering. The 2-year degree programs focusing on technology are designed for aspiring medical equipment repairers and technicians while 4-year programs in biomedical engineering are designed for individuals who seek to apply engineering principles towards medical problems.
Students enrolled in an associate's degree program in biomedical engineering technology first gain a solid background in mathematics, science, technology and engineering. They then go on to apply these principles in practical training experiences, working with actual pieces of biomedical equipment. They learn about the techniques, skills, operating procedures and tools used in the manufacture, installation and repair of biomedical equipment.
Students who are interested in enrolling in an associate's degree program in biomedical engineering technology are encouraged to have strong grades in the fields of mathematics and physical science. Some schools also require incoming students to take placement tests in literacy and mathematics before they can begin core coursework.
Foundational courses included within an associate's degree program in biomedical engineering technology provide students with an understanding of circuits and systems while advanced courses cover the design and operation of biomedical equipment. Some examples of courses are listed below:
- Introduction to biomedical technology
- Computer applications
- Electric circuits
- Technical mathematics
- Communication systems
- Biomedical instrumentation
- Biomedical equipment design
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
More than 34,000 individuals were employed as medical equipment repairers in 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Most of these individuals were working for equipment and supplies wholesalers, individual hospitals and healthcare facilities or specialized repair and maintenance companies. They earned a median annual salary of roughly $42,000 in 2009. The top-paying industry in the field in that year was the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry.
Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering Technology
Bachelor's degree programs in biomedical engineering technology are not as common as associate's degrees in the field, but they are available at some 4-year colleges and universities. Such programs often include advanced training sessions and classroom lectures, providing graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary to work with complicated patient care and diagnostic equipment in the medical field. Students are also required to complete general education courses in communication, chemistry, calculus and engineering.
Bachelor's degree programs in biomedical engineering technology are entry-level programs. Students who choose a biomedical engineering technology major are often required to pass courses in physics, calculus, chemistry and statistics before they can go on to core bioinstrumentation courses.
The courses not only provide students with a basic understanding of how medical equipment operates, but also provides them with the means to create, install, calibrate, repair, maintain and replace equipment. Some core courses might include the following:
- Medical equipment materials
- Digital electronics
- Biomedical informatics
- Healthcare technology
- Medical imaging equipment
- Clinical laboratory equipment
- Development of medical devices
Popular Career Options
Having a degree in biomedical equipment technology can prepare graduates for different types of positions in the field of medical equipment manufacture and repair. Some of these might include:
- Biomedical equipment technician
- Radiology equipment specialist
- Laboratory equipment specialist
- Medical equipment manufacturing technician
- Medical equipment repair manager
Certification in the field of medical equipment repair is completely voluntary. Some organizations do offer certifications for professionals who are eager to gain a credential and prove their competence to potential employers. One such organization is the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), which offers certifications in the field for general biomedical equipment technicians as well as technicians specializing in a particular type of biomedical equipment.
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