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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Medical Equipment Repair

Majors Overview February 22, 2014

Individuals who want to put their mechanical skills to use in a lab, clinical, or hospital setting should look into an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program in medical equipment repair.

A.A. Programs in Medical Equipment Repair

Schools may offer Associate degrees in this field as biomedical engineering technology or biomedical equipment technology programs. By combining classroom learning and clinical or internship experiences, graduates of these programs are trained to seek entry-level jobs in which they would be required to adjust, maintain and repair equipment employed in the medical industry, including monitoring or diagnostic equipment, such as x-ray machines among others. They can also expect to become adept at installing new equipment as well as in testing equipment in order to ensure its proper and safe functioning.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. Students enrolled in some engineering technology or biomedical equipment programs are, however, required to obtain certification before they are allowed to advance to higher-level classes. Classes may include topic in areas such as digital circuits, integrated circuits and DC and AC circuits.

Coursework

Coursework usually focuses on topic areas related to the electronic and computerized components of biomedical equipment. Students may also be required to complete coursework in basic math and anatomy. Apart from the above coursework, participation in internships may be required of students enrolled in many degree programs. Coursework may commonly include topic areas such as:

•Microprocessors and controllers
•Algebra
•Safety protocols and first aid
•Biomedical electronic systems
•Digital equipment
•Biomedical instrumentation

Job and Wage Outlook

Those who successfully complete these programs can seek occupations as medical equipment repairers at medical repair companies, clinical labs, medical research facilities, and hospitals. They may also seek entry-level careers with medical equipment manufacturers. A job growth rate of 30% has been predicted for these professionals during the decade from 2012 to 2022 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). The optimistic projection is based on the assumption that an aging population is likely to lead to an increased use of advanced medical equipment. In May 2010, equipment repairers took home an average annual wage of $44,570.

Continuing Education Choices

Medical equipment repairers are required to hold a bachelor degree, if they want to work on advanced technology such as computed tomography (CT) scanners, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Bachelor degree programs in biomedical engineering technology are available, but rarely offered at colleges and universities. Students should consider enrolling in electrical or electronic engineering technology bachelor degree programs, which include coursework in computer programming, data analysis, and micro-controllers.

Repairers who want to stay abreast of new updates and technology to existing equipment need to obtain certification from professional organizations, such as the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. Medical equipment repairers who meet the educational requirements and work experience will have three different certification programs available to them, including the Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist (CLES), the Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET), and the Certified Radiology Equipment Specialist (CRES). Candidates who want to earn their certification are required to pass a written exam.

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