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What is a Biomedical Repair Technician?

New medical equipment is constantly being invented, and changes and upgrades are also made to existing equipment on an ongoing basis. With this new equipment comes the need for repairs, which is where a biomedical repair technician comes in. These technicians are responsible for ensuring medical equipment operates smoothly so that people can receive the quality of health care they need.

Job Description

A biomedical repair technician is one who repairs, adjusts, maintains, calibrates and upgrades machines used in doctors’ offices, hospitals or other medical settings. This can include, but is not limited to, x-ray machines, laboratory testing equipment, heart monitors, electrocardiogram machines and ultrasound equipment. Some technicians may repair all the different types of equipment in a given clinic, while others specialize in maintaining only certain types of machines such as cardiology equipment.

Duties and Responsibilities

Biomedical repair technicians perform a wide range of duties, which can include troubleshooting defects, making repairs, calibrating equipment, performing inspections, and ordering parts. These technicians may also shut down equipment that is not operating properly, and then file the appropriate safety reports with management. Manufacturers sometimes call on them to test out new equipment before it becomes available to the public.

Skills needed to become One

Those who are interested in becoming a biomedical repair technician should have strong mechanical abilities, since he or she will likely be working on several different types of machinery. A strong work ethic is also required, since peoples’ lives may depend on the technician’s ability to perform work to standard. Excellent hand-eye coordination and above average manual dexterity is also needed to perform repairs in tight spaces. Standing for long periods of time and performing heavy lifting is also necessary in this line of work. Good math skills and a working knowledge of the human body are required as well.

Education and Training

A biomedical repair technician typically needs only an Associate’s degree in order to get started. Even so, some begin with only a high school diploma or equivalent, and then complete a rigid on-the-job training program in order to learn the ropes. Ongoing education will likely be needed to keep skills sharp. Manufacturers of certain equipment may also provide training to technicians in order to help them become familiar with new machines as soon as they come out. At this time, licensing is not required; however, that is subject to change as the requirements for this job are likely to become more stringent in the years to come.

Working Environment

Biomedical repair technician jobs are typically found in medical clinics, hospitals, laboratories or nursing homes, since this is where most medical equipment is located. As such, they may be exposed to patients who have a variety of illnesses, and may even come into contact with bodily fluids on occasion. The primary hazards associated with this line of work are light and noise, since medical settings tend to be brightly lit and full of activity at all times. Long hours could also be required, to include night, weekend and holiday work. Technicians tend to work alone most of the time, and may also need to drive long distances to make repairs or perform maintenance.

Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that biomedical repair technician jobs will grow by more than 30% in the next eight years. This number is much higher than average than the amount for all occupations. The Bureau claims that increased demand for medical services, along with new innovations in health care will be responsible for this job growth. Certain states such as Florida could experience more growth than others because of the large number of senior citizens living there.

Expected Salary

According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a biomedical repair (engineering) technician is approximately $57,725. Half of all workers make less than this amount, while the other half earn more. On average, biomedical repair (engineering) technicians can expect to earn somewhere between $46,199 and $70,501, depending on their experience, geographic location, and amount of education. This salary does not include benefits normally given to these workers such as a 401(k), paid time off, and health and dental insurance.

Working as a biomedical repair technician can be a rewarding experience, since the quality of health care people receive depends upon their work. This is one of the few careers that allow people to begin working in the field and earning a substantial living in only a short period of time.