Biomedical Electronics Technician: Education Requirements & Career Info
A biomedical electronics technician, or BMET, is responsible for developing, installing and repairing machines integral to providing medical care in hospitals or other healthcare facilities. These machines include life support systems, clinical laboratory equipment and emergency breathing apparatuses. Becoming a biomedical electronics technician may require a degree and professional certification.
Educational Requirements for Biomedical Electronics Technicians
The most common educational requirement for biomedical electronics technicians is an associate's degree in biomedical technology from a community, vocational or junior college. Technicians who work with more complex biomedical equipment may be required to hold a bachelor's degree.
Coursework in biomedical technology programs can include bioengineering, instrumentation systems, signal processing and microprocessors. Programs typically include hands-on training using current biomedical machines and biomedical computer software.
A graduate of one of these programs can further their education in a specialized field, such as radiographic and fluoroscopic x-ray technology, nuclear medicine technology and medical imaging. Biomedical equipment manufacturers may also offer workshops or classes for those interested in specializing in a specific type of equipment.
According to the 2008 data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the largest employers of medical equipment technicians were equipment suppliers and hospitals (www.bls.gov). The employment of technicians that installed and repaired medical equipment was expected to rise by 27% between 2008-2018. This growth was attributed to the growing demand for healthcare services due to an aging population and to more healthcare facilities adding sophisticated medical equipment.
The BLS reported that the 2008 median annual income for this field was $41,520. Technicians who worked in hospitals tended to earn the highest salaries at $45,990 a year, while those that worked at medical equipment rental companies brought in significantly less at $29,020.
Many biomedical electronics technicians seek advancement opportunities by becoming certified by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). Requirements for certification applicants include graduation from an accredited biomedical or electronics technology program and 2-3 years of work experience or 4 years of experience working with biomedical machinery (www.aami.org).
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