Medical devices such as electric wheelchairs, ventilators and heart monitors are normally repaired by professionals called biomedical technicians who are also known as biomedical equipment technicians or medical equipment repairers. The nature of their duties may often require these professionals to work around patients.
Holding a high school diploma could be sufficient to seek an entry level assignment in the field. An associate degree in biomedical engineering or biomedical technology may make it easier for candidates to find employment along with higher starting salary. An associate degree in the subject will likely involve coursework that covers equipment troubleshooting and electronics along with topics such as preventative maintenance and equipment repair that is taught via hands-on training in a laboratory environment.
The Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) is one of the organizations that award certification in the field to biomedical technicians who have prior work experience (source: www.aami.org). Candidates who satisfied education and experience norms may sit for the certification examination that will earn them the title of Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician. In order to get a passing score, applicants are required to answer correctly to at least 105 out of the 150 questions asked in the exam.
Biomedical technicians are expected to do maintenance work and preventive care work on medical equipment ranging from x-ray machines to defibrillators. Various tools are used by these professionals in the performance of their work; these include soldering irons, screwdrivers and wrenches. Most of these equipments are capable of malfunctioning over time, so biomedical technicians need to be on call 24/7 and may have to work overtime.
Job growth of twenty-seven percent has been projected for biomedical technicians during the decade from 2008 to 2018 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov)). An overall increase in the demand for healthcare services and the graying of the baby boom generation are attributed causes for the optimistic projection. Healthcare facilities, hospitals and equipment wholesalers are the most likely employers of biomedical technicians.
In 2010, biomedical technicians earned an average annual salary of $46,380. The annual median salary for intermediate level professionals in the field ranged between $33,170 and $57,550. Technicians in metropolitan areas recorded higher average salaries than their counterparts in rural areas.