Medical Equipment Repairers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more
- Education Required
- Education requirements for medical equipment repairers vary, depending on a worker’s experience and area of specialization. However, the most common education is an associate’s degree in biomedical equipment technology or engineering. Those who repair less-complicated equipment, such as hospital beds and electric wheelchairs, may learn entirely through on-the-job training, sometimes lasting up to 1 year. Repairers who work on more sophisticated equipment, such as CAT scanners and defibrillators, may need a bachelor’s degree.
- Training Required
- New workers generally observe and help experienced repairers for 3 to 6 months to start. As they learn, workers gradually become more independent while still under supervision.
- Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 5% (As fast as average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
- Although not mandatory, certification can demonstrate competence and professionalism, making candidates more attractive to employers. It can also increase a repairer’s opportunities for advancement. Most manufacturers and employers, particularly those in hospitals, often pay for their in-house medical repairers to become certified.
- Median pay: How much do Medical Equipment Repairers make?
- $48,070 Annual Salary
- $23.11 per hour
Medical equipment repairers install, maintain, and repair patient care equipment.
Medical equipment repairers typically do the following:
- Install medical equipment
- Test and calibrate parts and equipment
- Repair and replace parts
- Perform preventive maintenance and service
- Keep records of maintenance and repairs
- Review technical manuals and regularly attend training sessions
- Explain and demonstrate how to operate medical equipment
- Manage replacement of medical equipment
Medical equipment repairers, also known as biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs), repair a wide range of electronic, electromechanical, and hydraulic equipment used in hospitals and health practitioners’ offices. They may work on patient monitors, defibrillators, ventilators, anesthesia machines, and other life-supporting equipment. They also may work on medical imaging equipment (x rays, CAT scanners, and ultrasound equipment), voice-controlled operating tables, and electric wheelchairs. In addition, they repair medical equipment that dentists and eye doctors use.
If a machine has problems or is not functioning to its potential, repairers first diagnose the problem. They then adjust the mechanical, electronic, or hydraulic parts or modify the software in order to recalibrate the equipment and fix the issue.
Medical equipment repairers use a variety of tools. Most use hand tools, such as screwdrivers, wrenches, and soldering irons. Others use electronic tools, such as multimeters (an electronic measuring device that combines several measures) and computers. Much of the equipment that they maintain and repair uses specialized test-equipment software. Repairers use this software to calibrate the machines.
Many doctors, particularly specialty practitioners, rely on complex medical devices to run tests and diagnose patients, and they must be confident that the readings are accurate. Therefore, medical equipment repairers sometimes perform routine scheduled maintenance to ensure that sophisticated equipment, such as x-ray machines and CAT scanners, are in good working order. For less complicated equipment, such as electric hospital beds, workers make repairs as needed.
In a hospital setting, medical equipment repairers must be comfortable working around patients because repairs occasionally must take place while equipment is being used. When this is the case, the repairer must take great care to ensure that their work activities do not disturb patients.
Although some medical equipment repairers are trained to fix a variety of equipment, others specialize in repairing one or a small number of machines.
Careers for Medical Equipment Repairers
- Biomedical electronics technicians
- Biomedical equipment technicians
- Certified biomedical equipment technicians
- Dental equipment mechanics
- Dental equipment repairers
- Durable medical equipment repairers
- Electromedical equipment technicians
- Radiology equipment servicers
- Surgical instrument mechanics
- Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians
- Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians and Medical Appliance Technicians
- General Maintenance and Repair Workers
- Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Machinery Maintenance Workers, and Millwrights
- Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians