The technicians engaged to repair malfunctioning dental equipment must be trained to a level commensurate with the exacting specifications to which the equipment is manufactured. They train not only in electronics, hydraulics and electromechanical equipment maintenance and repair, but also in several biomedical issues. There are several options for learning dental equipment repair, including traditional academic institutions, franchises, the military, and dedicated for-profit schools. Employers generally prefer candidates with an associate degree, although intensive training programs are also available.
Community colleges, technical schools and universities all offer courses in medical equipment repair. Some of these are stand-alone certificate courses, while others are elements of a curriculum leading to an associate or bachelor’s degree. In addition to courses in such topics as biomedical electrical circuits and biomedical instruments, take courses such as medical terminology, biomedical studies, computer troubleshooting and performance analysis. These will enhance your understanding of the field and enable you to take more advanced coursework later.
Dedicated Training Enterprises
Some companies offer intensive training seminars that teach the basics of dental equipment repair as well as the basics of starting a business in dental equipment repair and sales. In addition to classroom and hands-on training, these seminars generally offer training materials, reference manuals, and tool sets.
Join the Military
The Army, or any other branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, trains individuals in biomedical equipment repair. During your service in the military you would work in the field; upon your discharge, you’d have sufficient training and experience to join any established firm or open your own. If you take this route, you should get a written commitment from the military to train you for this MOS and assign you to an appropriate position before you sign anything.
Buy a Franchise
When you buy a franchise, you join a national firm that offers you a broad range of support in terms of training, advertising, promotion and other sales support, equipment, tools, and technical support. Prior to your opening your franchise, the company will train you in all aspects of dental equipment repair.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that medical equipment repairers, a broad category that includes dental equipment repair technicians, can look forward to a significant increase in employment opportunities over the next several years -- with an increase of about 30 percent by 2022, a growth rate much faster than average. Working conditions are usually comfortable, although the job can be stressful if the equipment being repaired is vital to the client’s practice. In 2012, the median annual pay was $44,570.
2016 Salary Information for Medical Equipment Repairers
Medical equipment repairers earned a median annual salary of $48,070 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, medical equipment repairers earned a 25th percentile salary of $36,160, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $62,370, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 47,100 people were employed in the U.S. as medical equipment repairers.