Advances in technology have led to an increase in requirements for complex medical equipment over the past few years. As such, there has also been an increase in the number of biomedical engineering technicians needed in order to repair and maintain this equipment. Becoming a biomedical engineering technician can be exciting and rewarding as a career opportunity, and here are some things you should know if you are interested in becoming one.
What is a Biomedical Engineering Technician?
A biomedical engineering technician is someone who maintains and repairs certain medical equipment such as x-ray machines, dialysis machines, and ultrasound equipment. This person may work for a medical clinic, hospital, nursing home or a company that specializes in repairing medical equipment. Some specialists will be certified in repairing and maintaining only specific types of medical equipment, while others will perform repairs on a variety of different machines.
Skills and Abilities
Certain skills and abilities are needed in order to become a successful biomedical engineering technician. Candidates should have excellent math skills, and should also be mechanically inclined. Good manual dexterity is also required, since technicians will often work in very tight spaces. The ability to sit, stand, kneel and stoop repeatedly is also important, since repair workers may need to access equipment that is placed in unusual locations. Medical equipment repairers must also be able to work under pressure, and perform their official duties without supervision.
Duties and Responsibilities
In addition to repairing and maintaining medical equipment, a biomedical engineering technician might also perform routine inspections on equipment to ensure it is functioning properly. They could also keep logs of the preventative maintenance service checks they performed for future protection against liability suits. Some technicians will also act as consultants whenever it is time for medical firms to purchase new equipment. These individuals sometimes provide training for medical workers on how to use or maintain different machines, or can even assist with the actual operation of them in some cases as well.
Biomedical engineering technicians tend to work indoors in a medical setting such as a hospital or medical clinic. They are frequently exposed to bright lights and loud noise during the course of their workday. Most are employed full time; however, their working hours could consists of a combination of day, night, evening, weekend and holiday work. In fact, unusual working hours are par for the course in this career field, with many finding themselves needing to be on call to respond to emergencies as they occur.
Many times, a biomedical engineering technician can get started after earning as Associate’s degree in medical equipment repair or a similar discipline from a vocational or trade school. Even so, many workers elect to earn a Bachelor’s degree before seeking employment in this field. A certain amount of on-the-job training will also be required in order to ensure the technician is familiar with the company’s practices. Continuing educational credits are required in certain states if one is to remain employed as a medical equipment repair specialist.
The median annual biomedical engineering technician salary in the United States is approximately $57,725 each year. This means that half the people working in this field make more than that amount, while the other 50% earn less. Those on the lower end of the pay scale can expect to earn approximately $46,199, while those on the higher end of the pay scale can make as much as $70,501 annually. Factors that will affect how much a person makes include experience, geographic location, and type of establishment one is employed in. In addition to this salary, most also earn a lucrative benefits package that includes health and dental insurance, paid vacation and sick time, and a 401(k).
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for biomedical engineering technicians is expected to grow by more than 30% by the year 2022. This is much faster than average for all occupations across the board. The reason for the increase will largely be due to an increase in demand for medical services, as well as an increase in the number and type of complex medical equipment being used to treat different illnesses.
Biomedical engineering technicians work behind the scenes to ensure that healthcare providers are able to provide valuable services to their patients at all times. As technology continues to evolve, the work of these professionals is likely to become even more important to the health care industry in the years to come.