The equipment being used in the health care field is becoming increasingly complex. The biomedical technician, or biomedical equipment technician, helps health care providers diagnose and treat patients by completing quality inspections, and by installing, testing and repairing instrumentation and systems used for medical purposes. Biomedical technicians are in high demand.
Consider whether you have the interests and skills required for this work. Individuals must be organized and detail-oriented, enjoy working with their hands and work well under pressure. Troubleshooting is also a requirement. Since biomedical technicians often work with projects from the implementation to utilization stages, stamina is important, as well. While you are in high school, go to local health care centers and talk with people about the pros and cons of entering this field. Also see whether you can get a volunteer internship or, at least, shadow a technician during work.
Pursue, at a minimum, an Associate of Applied Science degree, military training as a biomedical technician, or a two-year degree in electronics, in addition to on-the-job training. Increasing numbers of employers are requesting bachelor's degrees. If you wish to move up the ladder in your career, the more education you have, the better your future opportunities. Many schools offer this degree, and some will prepare you better than others. Currently, there is no agreement among local, state or federal agencies for the license, certificates or registration required to work as a biomedical technician. Rather, employers who hire biomedical technicians usually set their own educational standards.
Join the Medical Equipment and Technology Association, or META, as soon as possible. This organization is doing all it can to standardize jobs in this field. For example, although biomed programs differ considerably, the biomed I, II, III and specialist positions are becoming more universally accepted by companies. META offers job, networking and educational support.
Look for jobs under many different names because of the lack of standardization. Although META members have voted that "biomed" is the best name for this position, you also will find it listed with organizations under such titles as BMET, biomedical engineer, electronics technician and biomed engineering technician.
Contact health care facilities and precision instrument companies for available jobs, in addition to looking online and in newspapers with large classified ad sections. A number of individuals also decide to work on their own and become consultants. Get further information from the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation on conferences, employment and contacts with other biomeds.
Get certification in your specific area of technology. Certification for Biomedical Equipment Technicians offers recognition by the International Certification Commission for Clinical Engineering and Biomedical Technology that you demonstrate excellence in principles of biomedical equipment technology. This will put you ahead for job openings.