Are you passionate about medicine and technology and want to pursue a career where you leverage machinery and contribute to healthcare alike?
Let us introduce you to being a biomedical equipment technician, where you can utilize your passion for machinery and help improve patient outcomes. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects Biomedical equipment technicians, or BMETs, to grow 5% faster than other career options.
Are you interested in learning more? We have curated an extensive guide on the role of a biomedical equipment technician.
Understanding the Term: Biomedical Equipment Technician
Before starting, let’s understand the primary term. Who is a biomedical equipment technician? What role do they perform, and what is their need in the healthcare industry? Can the healthcare industry function without these engineers performing their routine tasks?
Imagine your clinic has purchased new healthcare equipment. Now? Which healthcare professional will you call? Who will install and manage the device and ensure its smooth working? The one-word answer is biomedical equipment technician.
A biomedical equipment technician is skilled in installing, maintaining, repairing, calibrating, and testing all medical equipment used in the healthcare industry. In short, all the tasks related to healthcare machinery is the duty of a BMET.
What are the Responsibilities of a Biomedical Technician?
If you are an inspiring biomedical equipment technician, have a look at their role and responsibilities:
- Installing, maintaining, and fixing medical equipment.
- Cleaning and adjusting medical devices.
- Testing and calibrating equipment components to identify repair or replacement needs.
- Ensuring new equipment meets regulations before approval.
- Demonstrating the use of biomedical equipment and providing training to others.
- Analyzing and collecting data and trends to prepare reports.
- Maintaining records of all maintenance and repairs.
- Offering technical guidance on operating medical equipment.
- Assessing service contracts.
- Replacing medical equipment as required.
- Utilizing computers, software, and electronic tools for medical equipment repairs.
- Updating skills through education, medical journals, and professional networking.
- Ensuring a safe work environment through safety tests, code compliance, and training.
- Maintaining confidentiality of patient information.
Are you feeling overwhelmed with these responsibilities? Dont worry! You can enhance your exceptional expertise and manage your responsibilities, like time management, enhancing your professional networking, broadening your knowledge base, etc.
What is an Engineer and a Biomedical Engineer?
Although a common terminology, let’s understand who an engineer is.
Engineers are responsible for creating, building, overseeing, operating, and upkeeping extensive systems or projects. Additionally, they optimize their scientific and technical expertise to resolve challenges in fields such as; transportation, energy, manufacturing, construction, and others.
Furthermore, engineers usually specialize in a particular domain like; civil engineering, mechanical engineering, or electrical engineering. They deploy various tools and software applications to design and evaluate their products or systems. While engineers primarily work in offices, sometimes, it switches to an on-site role to supervise the construction or implementation of their projects.
Additionally, engineering combined with a healthcare background resulted in biomedical engineers. Biomedical engineers apply engineering principles to design and develop new medical devices, improve existing technologies, and conduct research to advance healthcare solutions.
What is the Difference Between a Biomedical Engineer and a Biomedical Equipment Technician?
You might have heard the term biomedical engineer and wondered how they differ from biomedical equipment technician.
They both are distinct. You can think of this as a biomedical engineer originating the process by designing and developing new medical devices—afterward, the role of BMET starts, where he installs and manages all the equipment-related tasks.
The common aspect of being a biomedical engineer and a biomedical equipment technician is working for medical devices to help improve patient experience and outcomes.
However, they differ in many aspects:
Biomedical engineers optimize plans for carrying out solutions to deteriorate problems ongoing in the healthcare industry. They devise new and innovative technologies to improve patient care and manifest the best outcome to serve humanity.
On the other hand, BMET installs and maintains medical equipment like X-Ray machines, ventilators, and other patient-centered equipment. METs specialize in medical equipment which depends on the workspace, like surgery suites, hospitals, radiology, or dental setup.
As for the job roles, the qualification requirements vary greatly. BMETs require an associate’s degree in biomedical engineering or technology. However, a bachelor’s degree is preferable for more specialized equipment. Moreover, having a bachelor’s degree increases your chance of advancement in your field.
Alternatively, a biomedical engineer requires a bachelor’s degree in any relevant medical field, like biomedical science or engineering. Later on, you can pursue a Masters or Ph.D. degree in biomedical engineering.
Biomedical technicians work in diverse work settings. While some perform their duties in hospitals, others work in medical equipment retail centers or wholesalers, focusing on the supply aspect of the profession. Equipment repair businesses and ambulatory healthcare services also cater to the jobs of biomedical equipment technicians. Those working directly in the medical field may be required to be on-call during nights and weekends.
On the other hand, as a bio-medical engineer, your work settings might vary. For instance, biomedical engineers usually work indoors, in labs or offices. They may work in research laboratories, manufacturing and production facilities, academic institutions, fieldwork, etc.
While the BMETs and biomedical engineers differ in their skill set requirements, problem-solving capabilities are the go-to skills required by both. Biomedical technicians handle the troubleshooting issues with medical devices and equipment. Alternatively, biomedical engineers assess the ongoing problems in society and design products to fill the void.
BMETs require technical skills, such as advanced mathematics, circuit designs, electrical schematics, linear systems, and analysis.
Contrary to this, a biomedical engineer requires technical skills and advanced knowledge of the mechanics of different electrical systems.
Although professionals differ in skill sets, they need to follow safety protocols. It is because they have to deal with dangerous equipment during their course of work.
A biomedical engineer should possess the communication skills essential while interacting with other engineers, tailoring reports of the research, or developing blueprints for their upcoming biomedical product. However, they do not deal with the customers directly.
On the other hand, a BMET should possess interpersonal skills as they have to interact with the customers to solve their protracted problems.
How to Become a Biomedical Equipment Technician?
If you want to pursue a career as a biomedical equipment technician, here is a comprehensive road map. We have outlined the educational and certification requisites to get started.
Gain an Associate Degree
First, you need a two-year associate’s degree in engineering technology, biomedical equipment technology, etc. This two-year journey will induce the skills and knowledge essential to excel in this field. You might learn about clinical instrumentation, computers, networks, biomedical electronic systems, etc. Just make sure to opt for an accredited program, as they are more credible for landing a job.
Climbing up the stairs requires advanced education. Therefore, consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree to advance to a supervisor role to improve your chances.
You need certification to prove your dedication and competency in the field. Furthermore, it showcases that you are up-to-date with the latest technologies and equipment penetrating the healthcare industry. You can opt for a Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET) for better career opportunities.
Search for Career Options
Now that you know the primary education, certification, and training requisites, it is time to find job postings. Being a biomedical equipment technician has a bright career outlook, with multiple jobs dispersed over the internet. You can find the right career opportunity at the right time by looking at the right job board.
Are you an industry beginner and looking for a job? Here are a few secrets that every healthcare professional must know.
Biomedical Equipment Technician- Average Salary
One big question arises: what is the salary structure for a biomedical equipment technician?
Working as a BMET, the average salary would be around $65,167 in the United States. However, the salary range may differ based on the work setting, expertise, and other factors.
In conclusion, the role of a Biomedical Equipment Technician (BMET) is essential in healthcare technology management. BMETs are crucial in ensuring the proper functioning and maintenance of biomedical equipment, enabling healthcare professionals to provide accurate diagnoses and effective treatment to patients. Their responsibilities revolve around equipment installation, calibration, repair, and preventive maintenance, all of which contribute to the safety and reliability of medical devices.
While biomedical equipment technicians and biomedical engineers work within the biomedical field, there are distinct in their roles. Biomedical Engineers focus on designing, developing, and innovating medical devices and technologies. They are involved in research, testing, and implementing new solutions to address complex medical challenges.
HealthCareTalentLink (HCTL) is a professional platform that links biomedical equipment technicians and engineers with the right opportunity. Here, professionals can find career opportunities based on their preference and promote their freelance services in the service marketplace as well.