Biomedical equipment technicians -- also known as BMETs or biomedical engineering technologists -- provide maintenance, support and overhauls of medical equipment. As of 2013, employers of entry-level BMET techs accept graduates of either associate or bachelor's BMET degree programs, because there were very few existing BMET bachelor's degree programs. Salaries below the managerial level are determined by years of experience, certifications and skills. If you want a promotion to a supervisory position and higher pay, you will need either a BMET bachelor's degree or a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as biomedical engineering.
Your four-year bachelor's degree program may include classes in biology, chemistry, physics, calculus, electrical circuits analysis, patient care technology, imaging equipment and health care computer networks. After completing your degree, you will interview for BMET I tech jobs in hospitals, biological laboratories, large medical centers and medical equipment manufacturing companies.
Entry-Level BMET I Jobs
As a BMET I tech, you work under close supervision, performing preventive maintenance, repair and safety tasks. After two years of employment, you are eligible to take a national Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician examination. A 2012 survey of 1,149 biomedical equipment technicians reported by "24X7 Mag" found that BMET I techs living in Pacific Coast states earned the highest average salary, $60,195 per year, while BMET I techs working in some Southern states earned much less -- an average salary of $36,711 per year.
Mid-Level BMET II Positions
After four years working as a BMET I tech, you may apply for BMET II tech positions. As a BMET II tech, you write reports, keep records, read schematic diagrams and bring in repair technicians from outside of your organization when necessary. You may carry out repair and maintenance work without supervision. BMET II techs reported that those living in the Pacific Coast states brought home the highest average annual salary, at $62,882 per year. BMET II techs working in the South earned the lowest average salaries of $43,391 to $45,154 per year.
BMET III Tech Jobs
When you've completed four years as a BMET II tech, you may seek promotion to a BMET III tech position. Average salaries for BMET III techs ranged from $52,935 per year in some areas of the South to $74,892 in the Pacific Coast states. BMET III techs who acquired certification as radiology equipment specialists earned average annual salaries that were lowest in the Midwest -- $69,475 -- and highest in New England -- $93,250.
After working four or five years as a BMET III tech, you may apply for a BMET supervisor position. Managers oversee other BMET techs and continue to make highly skilled repairs. BMET managers' salaries are lowest in some areas of the South, where they earned an average of $68,629 per year, in contrast to the $86,163 per year average salary they earned in the Pacific Coast states. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor estimated that biomedical equipment technician jobs will increase by 29 percent between 2010 and 2020, much faster than average.
- California Medical Instrumentation Association: BMETs Are Known by Many Titles
- Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis: What is Healthcare Engineering Technology Management?
- Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Engineering and Technology: B.S. Biomedical Engineering Technology
- 24 X 7 Magazine: 2012 Compensation Survey
- U.S. Department of Labor O*Net Online: Summary Report for: 49-9062.00 -- Medical Equipment Repairers
- East Tennessee State University: Engineering Technology Major, B.S. (Biomedical Engineering Technology Concentration)
- DeVry University: Biomedical Engineering Technology Degree Program
- Creating Engineers and Products for the Health Care Industry: List of Schools Offering BMET Programs
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Medical Equipment Repairers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012 49-9062 Medical Equipment Repairers
- Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth: Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs: Health Careers in Michigan: Biomedical Equipment Technician
- National University: Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering Technology
Robin Elizabeth Margolis is a freelance writer in the Washington, D.C., area. She has been writing about health care, science, nutrition, fitness and law since 1988, and served as the editor of a health law newsletter. Margolis holds a bachelor of arts degree in biology, a master's degree in counseling and a paralegal certificate.