According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the medical equipment repair field is expected to grow by 27 percent from 2008 to 2018. This is because the need and demand for medical equipment is growing as the percentage of people over the age of 65 increases. Hospitals, doctor’s offices, outpatient facilities and private practices all need medical items to ensure the wellbeing of their patients.
As a medical repair technician (also referred to as a biomedical technician) you will repair, install, maintain and service medical equipment used in a variety of medical settings, including CAT scans, X-ray machines, electric wheelchairs, dental equipment, respirators and more. This job is both financially and emotionally fulfilling.
The first thing that you will need to do is to complete a two-year education program to receive your associate’s degree. More companies want employees who at least have an associate’s degree because it shows that they are properly trained. Enroll in a college or university in your area that offers degrees in biomedical equipment technology, engineering or biomedical engineering electronics. You can perform a search easily by logging onto the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (also known as AAMI) website. You can also earn a bachelor’s degree in these programs too.
Acquire relevant work experience by enrolling as an intern. You can start out by working on simple medical items, including electronic wheelchairs, canes and hospital beds to gain real world experience. You can also spend three to six months enrolled as an assistant to another biomedical technician. Shadow them and watch them work on the different medical items to learn how to properly handle and use them. It is wise to get specific training on equipment or a variety of equipment. You can also attend manufacturers training courses. These will help to beef up your resume and impress future employers.
Obtain the proper certification. AAMI offers certifications in three different areas, including certified biomedical equipment technician (CBET), certified laboratory equipment specialist (CLES) and certified radiology equipment specialist (CRES). You can download the handbooks for any of these three specialized areas which include details and information about the process for scheduling, taking and passing the required exams to obtain your certification.
After you get the proper amount of training, you can start applying for jobs. Look in the paper or online for jobs in the medical equipment repair field. You can also ask the doctors who you worked with at your internship if they know of any openings in your area.