Biomedical equipment technicians are trained to work on and repair highly specialized pieces of medical equipment. Those who are seeking a degree in this field must understand that the career involves considerable knowledge of delicate and intricate machinery. This includes an ability to read and decipher blue prints and schematics as well as perform specialized duties such as diagnostic, repair, and general maintenance. Biomedical equipment technicians should be flexible and show great aptitude with sensitive equipment.
Biomedical Equipment Technician Job Responsibilities
Biomedical equipment technicians have many duties and are responsible for a wide array of items and instruments. Their most basic responsibilities involve the day to day upkeep of medical equipment. This equipment includes everything that is used in medical diagnosis and patient care. This means that a biomedical equipment technician could work on MRI machines, ventilators, and to defibrillators. While some technicians choose to specialize in one area such as imaging technology most choose to work on various machinery and equipment. A skilled biomedical equipment technician is able to work in various environments from hospitals to veterinarian clinics and on various instruments and equipment.
A competent technician will be able to work closely with the medical staff and address any questions or concerns about the machinery and equipment. Other duties and responsibilities include running diagnostic tests, calibrate machinery, and perform necessary upkeep routines.
Biomedical Equipment Technician Training and Education Requirements
The majority of biomedical equipment technicians have received a two year Associates Degree in this field. Others choose to complete a four year bachelor’s degree specializing in engineering or in the biomedical equipment technology. However, there are several vocational schools and training programs that offer certification in the biomedical equipment technician field.
Employers will be more apt to hire a technician that has undergone a certain amount of training since this field does require highly specialized knowledge with a strong background in math and computer systems. Some companies will even offer on the job training or prospective technicians. These companies are usually manufacturers of the medical equipment.
No matter the education students that wish to pursue this field should keep in mind that this is a specialized career. An ability to focus on details, mathematics, engineering, and computer skills are needed as well as an understanding of anatomy and patient care.
Biomedical Equipment Technician Salary and Wages
It is projected that the biomedical equipment technician career field is going to keep growing in order to meet the increased demand of healthcare. Starting pay in this field is dependent upon two factors; experience and specialization.
For a technician just starting out in the career the average salary will average anywhere from $22 to $27 with the ability to make about $60,000 a year. A technician with more experience or even with a sturdier foundation in education and training can expect to earn more.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Biomedical equipment technicians that are specialized in a certain instruments and certainly numerous fields will find that their wages and salary will increase. Wages and salaries may also vary state to state and hospital to hospital.
Biomedical Equipment Technician Certifications
Certification in the biomedical equipment technician field is an important step in insuring continued employment as well as guaranteeing an increase in wages. Certification means that the technician has been proven to understand the theory and practical knowledge necessary in the field. Certification can be granted to only those applicants that demonstrate such understanding. Through a series of exams and hands on demonstrations an applicant who successfully proves a mastery of skills will be granted certification through the Board of Examiners and Biomedical Equipment Technicians.
After certification the technician will be required to demonstrate their skills and knowledge every three years. This insures the continued quality and ability of the technician.
Biomedical Equipment Technician Professional Association
There are several professional associations for biomedical equipment technicians that are designed to promote continued excellence in this field. Commonly a technician will be a member of at least one of these associations which provide continued education, certification, and other important information.
The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation is one such professional association. This organization aims to further the effectiveness and efficiency of medical technologies as well as the ability for technicians to work on and understand them. A non-profit organization the AAMI continues to be the leading resource for the medical instrument field.
While the biomedical equipment technician is a career path that promises only growth potential students should be aware of the time and dedication required. This is a specialized field and requires a detail oriented and logical mind with the capability of working in public settings around very sensitive equipment.