How to Train to Be a Medical Equipment Repair Technician

Medical technicians can specialize in biomedical, electromedical, radiological or dental equipment.

Medical technicians can specialize in biomedical, electromedical, radiological or dental equipment.

Medical repair technicians, also known as biomedical equipment technicians (BMET), test, calibrate, maintain and repair the medical equipment used in hospitals and health practitioners’ offices. They may work on everything from electric wheelchairs and operating tables to defibrillators and medical imaging equipment. Trained medical repair technicians are in demand due to changes in technology and the rising need for health care services. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities in this occupation are expected to grow much faster than average in the coming years. With the right education and certification, you could be well-positioned to join this rapidly growing field.

Earn an associate degree in biomedical technology, electronics technology or engineering. Although some employers provide on-the-job training, most prefer to hire candidates who have at least an associate degree. Other education options include a one-year certificate or diploma in medical repair technology or a bachelor's degree in biomedical technology or engineering.

Study product and repair manuals. Every piece of medical equipment is different, which means they all have their own technical specifications. You may need to study specific product manuals to learn how to repair a particular type of device. In addition to self-study, many technicians learn to maintain and repair specific equipment through seminars and other training programs.

Get certified through the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, AAMI. This organization offers three certification options for medical repair technicians: Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET), Certified Radiology Equipment Specialists (CRES), and Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist (CLEB). Each certification option requires a separate application and passage of an examination. Minimum eligibility requirements for certification include an associate degree from a biomedical academic program plus two years work experience; completion of a U.S. military biomedical equipment technology program plus two years experience; an associate degree in electronics technology plus three years work experience; or four years work experience.

Tips

  • Minimum education requirements are often dependent on the type of equipment you will be repairing. For example, on-the-job training may be acceptable for repairers who will be working with simple equipment, such as electric wheelchairs and hospital beds. Individuals who will be repairing more complicated equipment, such as CAT scanners or MRI machines, may need a bachelor's degree.
  • Professional certification is optional for medical repair technicians, but can be beneficial because it demonstrates competency, making your resume more attractive to employers.
  • Some employers are willing to pay the fees associated with certification. (Reference 2)
 

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