Biomedical Engineering Technician: Job Duties & Career Info

Oct 20, 2021

Career Definition for a Biomedical Engineering Technician

Biomedical engineering technicians repair and maintain medical equipment used in hospitals, nursing homes and doctors' offices. Also known as biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs), they may perform preventive maintenance, repair electronic and hydraulic devices, perform installations and calibrate equipment. They often keep computerized service logs and report service issues to supervisors to ensure that equipment is maintained in accordance with compliance standards. Biomedical engineering technicians are employed by hospitals, medical suppliers and facilities management companies throughout the United States.

Education Associate's or bachelor's degree in medical or electronics technology
Job Skills Knowledge of equipment, able to learn new skills, detail-oriented, good communication skills, and strong problem-solving ability
Median Salary (2019)* $49,280 (for medical equipment repairers)
Job Growth (2019-2029)* 5% (for medical equipment repairers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

Biomedical engineering technology positions generally require an associate or bachelor's degree in electronics or medical technology, with coursework in biomedical equipment repair; however, some employers will train applicants who have equivalent military training or related work experience in electronics or computer technology. Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET) certification offered through the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) may enhance job prospects for biomedical engineering technology professionals (www.aami.org).

Skill Requirements

To test and repair equipment, biomedical engineering technicians must be able to use devices ranging from hand tools and soldering irons to computers and multimeters. In order to repair precision equipment, such as CAT scanners and heart monitors, BMETs must be committed to learning new skills and keeping up with rapidly changing biomedical engineering technology. In addition to being detail-oriented with strong problem-solving ability, technicians must also have solid communication, word processing and data entry skills. Senior-level technicians should be able to read mechanical drawings and technical documentation.

Economic Forecast and Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) predicts a slower than average increase of 5% in job growth for medical equipment repairers, including biomedical equipment technicians, for the years 2019 through 2029. They made an annual median salary of $49,280 in May 2019.

Alternate Career Options

Similar careers to a biomedical engineering technician include:

Clinical Laboratory Technician

Clinical lab technicians usually earn an associate's degree in clinical laboratory science, or a 1-year certificate if they already have a healthcare degree like nursing. Clinical lab technicians are responsible for performing routine lab tests. From 2019-2029, medical and clinical lab technicians were projected to see job growth of 7%. As of May 2019, medical and clinical lab technologists and technicians earned an annual median wage of $53,120.

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologist

Technologists normally need a bachelor's degree in life sciences or medical technology. These jobs involve collecting, testing and analyzing substances such as tissue and body fluid samples. Technologists often complete the more complicated procedures and tests, and they sometimes supervise technicians. During the 2019-2029 decade, the BLS predicted 7% job growth for medical and clinical lab technologists. In May 2019, medical and clinical lab technologists and technicians earned median annual wages of $53,120, according to the BLS.

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