Biomedical Technician Education Requirements and Career Info
Biomedical technicians, also known as medical equipment repairers or biomedical equipment technicians, repair medical devices such as heart monitors, ventilators and electric wheelchairs. Technicians may be required to work around patients and must be comfortable doing so.
Although prospective candidates with a high school diploma may be able to secure an entry-level job, those who have completed an associate's degree program in biomedical technology or biomedical engineering may have an easier time finding employment and may begin with a higher pay level. Coursework in an associate's degree program for this major consists of classroom lectures that focus on electronics and equipment troubleshooting. Students also complete hands-on laboratory work on equipment repair and preventative maintenance.
Biomedical technicians with some work experience may look to organizations like the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) in order to gain distinction in the field (www.aami.org). Candidates who have combined education and work experience may take the certification exam to earn the title of Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician. The exam consists of 150 questions, of which applicants must answer 105 correctly in order to pass.
Biomedical technicians perform maintenance work and take preventive care measures on medical equipment from defibrillators to x-ray machines. They use a variety of tools, generally including wrenches, screwdrivers and soldering irons. Because many of these devices can malfunction at any time, biomedical technicians are often on 24-hour call and may be required to work overtime.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that jobs for biomedical technicians were predicted to grow by 31% between 2010 and 2020 (www.bls.gov). This growth can be attributed to the aging baby boomer generation and an overall increasing demand for healthcare services. These professionals may look for employment with equipment wholesalers, hospitals and healthcare facilities.
The BLS cites that the average annual wage for biomedical technicians was $46,910 in 2012. The middle half earned between $33,420 and $58,300. Technicians in metropolitan areas averaged higher earnings than do technicians in rural areas.
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