Also called a medical equipment repairer, he or she may work on equipment that is as simple as an electric wheelchair, or as sophisticated as a CAT scanner, depending on his or her training and experience. He or she is indispensable to any healthcare facility as it is this person who keeps patient monitors, diagnostic equipment, voice-controlled operating tables, wheelchairs and gurneys functioning. A biomedical equipment technician, in addition to making repairs, also performs regular maintenance, to ensure that equipment continues to function well.
Someone who is new to this field will spend a few months working under the supervision of an experienced biomedical equipment technician before he or she is deemed ready to work independently. The training doesn't stop there however. As technology advances and new equipment is developed, biomedical equipment technicians must constantly keep up with these changes. They do this by attending seminars and engaging in self study.
There are certain skills people who work in this field should have and most cannot be taught. First good manual dexterity and eye-hand coordination will allow you to assemble and disassemble machines. Good time management skills will help you manage your workload. Biomedical equipment technicians can be very busy. You should have a great deal of stamina because you could end up standing or bending in an awkward position while fixing equipment. Good troubleshooting skills are necessary since the source of many problems won't be obvious.
The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) offers certification to biomedical equipment technicians who desire it. Becoming certified isn't required, but it can make someone a more desirable job candidate. Those who want to move into supervisory roles may need to become certified. AAMI offers the following certifications: Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET), Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist (CLEB) and Certified Radiology Equipment Specialist (CRES). Requirements for certification include earning an associate degree or completing training in the armed forces and working for two to three years. Candidates must take and pass an exam. Many employers will pay for certification.
Use the Salary Wizard at Salary.com to find out how much a biomedical equipment technician currently earns in your city.
A Day in a Biomedical Equipment Technician's Life:
On a typical day a biomedical equipment technician's tasks might include:
- repairing malfunctioning equipment by fixing or replacing broken parts
- performing maintenance on equipment in order to keep it in working order
- testing and callibrating equipment
- reading manuals and attending training seminars
- teaching others to properly use equipment
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Medical Equipment Repairers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/medical-equipment-repairers.htm (visited August 6, 2012).
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Medical Equipment Repairers, on the Internet at http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/49-9062.00 (visited August 6, 2012).