Biomedical Technician Careers: Salary Info & Job Description

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What are the pros and cons of a career as a biomedical technician? Get real job descriptions, career prospects and salary info to see if becoming a biomedical technician is right for you.
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The Pros and Cons of a Biomedical Technician Career

Biomedical technicians repair and maintain equipment used in doctors' offices, hospitals and other medical settings. Check out the following pros and cons to decide if this career is for you.

Pros of a Biomedical Technician Career
Excellent career prospects, with 5%-8% job growth expected*
On-the-job training is available for some entry-level positions*
Excellent job benefits**
Opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment***

Cons of a Biomedical Technician Career
Possibility of exposure to infectious disease*
Job can be very stressful*
Technicians must be available 24 hours a day for emergencies*
Continuing education is required*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **University of Utah, ***U.S. News and World Report.

Essential Career Information

Job Duties

Biomedical technicians perform preventive maintenance and inspect, test and repair medical equipment. In order to assure proper patient diagnosis and treatment, biomedical equipment must be capable of producing accurate readings, so biomedical technicians calibrate equipment by adjusting software and mechanical components. To perform these tasks they must use a variety of tools and equipment, such as soldering irons, specialized software and computers, multimeters and hand tools.

Biomedical technicians sometimes have direct contact with patients when a machine to which the patient is connected malfunctions. Sometimes the machine is helping keep the patient alive, so this occupation can be stressful.

Salary and Job Outlook

The median annual wage of a biomedical technician is around $45,000, and technicians experienced in certain specialties can earn much more. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, career prospects for biomedical technicians are excellent. Jobs in this field are projected to increase by at least 5%-8% from 2014-2024, which is much higher than average.

What Are the Requirements?

An associate's degree in biomedical technology is generally required, although some employers accept candidates with degrees in electronics. Courses required for an associate's degree program in biomedical technology typically include anatomy, electronics, circuit analysis, medical terminology and digital logic. Higher education is usually needed for career advancement. Bachelor's degree programs in the field and certificate programs in various specializations are available. Medical technology is constantly evolving, so continuing education is vital in order to keep current with medical advances.

Skills needed for this occupation include:

  • Problem solving
  • Manual dexterity
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Critical thinking
  • Near vision
  • Reading and written comprehension
  • Arm-hand steadiness
  • Active learning

Job Postings from Real Employers

Employers who hire biomedical technicians typically offer competitive wages and excellent benefits. Since travel may be involved, a current driver's license and good driving record are sometimes required in addition to education and experience in the field.

  • A university medical center in Chicago, IL, looked for a full-time biomedical technician to maintain and repair electrically-powered equipment used to diagnose, monitor and treat patients. An associate's degree or higher in biomedical equipment technology and ten years of experience were required, along with comprehensive knowledge of the following: patient ethics, electrical device theory and design, medical equipment safety codes and performance standards, and digital and linear electronic equipment. The work schedule is 8:00-5:00 Monday through Friday.
  • A hospital in St. Cloud, MN, sought a biomedical technician to maintain and repair therapeutic and diagnostic equipment while following patient safety standards. Requirements included completion of an accredited biomedical technician program and detailed knowledge of electronics used in the biomedical field. The preferred candidate would have two or more years of experience. The posting stated that a valid Minnesota driver's license and a clean driving record were mandatory, experience in a specialization may be required and competitive pay was offered, along with excellent benefits.
  • A charitable organization in Lansing, MI, wanted to hire a biomedical technician to assemble, maintain and repair biomedical equipment to ensure proper operation. The candidate would interface with equipment manufacturers, calibrate equipment, perform complex repairs, train less-experienced technicians and assign other repairs to the junior technicians. Requirements included an associate's degree in electronics with a minimum of two years of electronic repair experience. The preferred candidate would possess comprehensive knowledge of tools, service manuals, test equipment and circuitry.

How to Stand Out in the Field

Since most biomedical technicians enter the field with an associate's degree, obtaining a bachelor's degree in the field could put you ahead of much of the competition. Many universities offer a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering (BSEE) program, and some of these programs also provide a concentration in biomedical technology.

Another way to stand out from the competition is to join a professional society, such as the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, the Biomedical Engineering Society, or the American Society for Healthcare Engineering. You can receive the following benefits by joining a professional organization:

  • Career services and job postings
  • Discounts on various services
  • Subscriptions to journals and other publications
  • Networking opportunities
  • Opportunity to earn awards
  • Educational opportunities

Some professional societies offer certification programs in various specialties. A few of the certifications available are Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist, Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician and Certified Radiology Equipment Specialist. Some employers require certification in a specialty, and this can increase your chances of receiving a higher salary.

Other Careers to Consider

Medical Laboratory Technician

If you would like a career in the healthcare industry but don't want to come into contact with patients, you may be more suited to a job as a medical laboratory technician. Medical laboratory technicians prepare and analyze blood and tissue specimens and perform tests needed to diagnose and treat disease. They set up, operate and maintain laboratory equipment, keep records and issue reports. The median annual wage for a medical laboratory technician was $37,000 in May 2011, and the career outlook is very good, with jobs in the field projected to increase faster than average, by around 15% from 2010-2020.

Computer, Automated Teller and Office Machine Repairer

If you're a 'people person' and would like a job that involves a lot of travel, a career repairing computers, automated teller machines and office machinery may be right for you. Computer, automated teller and office machine repairers travel to the locations where repairs are needed and interact with customers to learn the details about the malfunctioning equipment. They perform repairs, adjust settings and reinstall software. Other duties include setting up new equipment and advising customers how to use it. In May 2011, computer, automated teller and office machine repairers earned a median annual wage of $37,000, about the same as medical laboratory technicians, but the growth in the field is only expected to be average at 7% from 2010-2020.

Popular Schools

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    1. The George Washington University

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The George Washington University

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  • MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology
  • Dual Degree: BSHS/MSHS in Clinical Research Administration
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Purdue University Global

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Penn Foster High School

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Fortis College

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