Biomedical Equipment Technician Salary Guide
Whether you call them a biomedical technician, a biomedical equipment technician (BMET), or a medical equipment repairer, the fact is that this is in an increasingly important job in the healthcare sector. These professionals have a host of responsibilities that include everything from equipment installation and calibration to maintenance and repair. They also work on a variety of medical devices including X-ray machines, defibrillators, ventilators, CAT scanners, and heart monitors. If you’re considering a career in this up-and-coming field, this guide will give you the 411 on salary and the factors that affect it.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median yearly salary for a BMET was about $41,000. Entry level techs can expect to earn about $32,000, while top-level professionals can earn up to $65,000 or more. Here are just a few of the factors that will affect a biomedical equipment technician's salary.
The level of education can play an important factor in the salary range for these techs. For example, candidates who work on less complex equipment, like electric wheelchairs or hospital beds, may be able to get on-the-job training and avoid earning a specialized degree. Keep in mind that these techs will earn less than those who have higher education levels. Most employers prefer candidates with a minimum of an associate's degree in biomedical technology or engineering. For professionals working on the most complex technology, like defibrillators or MRI scanners, employers typically require a bachelor's degree. In addition, techs interested in earning a supervisory or management position should also consider a 4-year degree.
Typically, a biomedical equipment tech isn't required to maintain a professional certification. There are, however, voluntary programs that recognize techs who demonstrate commitment and expertise. These certificates, such as the Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician or CBET, require applicants to meet requirements regarding experience and education as well as pass an exam. Techs who want to make themselves more attractive to prospective employers should consider testing for a professional certification.
For a biomedical equipment technician, job prospects are also a factor when it comes to salary. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) projects an employee's market for the position. Over the next decade, the DOL predicts there will be more job openings than there are candidates to fill them, which means candidates may find themselves with the pick of positions. In addition, the agency notes that candidates who are willing to move will find the potential for job opportunities in out-of-the-way areas.
Growing need for healthcare
Healthcare is a big field. It was one of the country's biggest industries in 2008, responsible for providing nearly 15 million jobs. What's more, half of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S. are from this sector. Healthcare is getting even larger, too. As the American population continues to age, it's likely that healthcare providers will need to invest more money in medical equipment as well as the professionals with the know-how to repair and maintain it.
More specialized knowledge
Another factor that will affect salary is the ability to repair increasingly complex medical machines. It's reasonable to assume that the biomedical equipment technician who pursues continuing education and stays up-to-date on the latest technology will have the potential for a better salary than a professional stuck in the technology of 2010. Techs can find opportunities to continue their education through equipment manufacturers' workshops or seminars as well as through technical school courses. A few employers will even pay for the cost of continued education. Biomedical equipment techs have the potential to earn a good salary. In addition, The DOL expects the field to grow an astonishing 27%–a rate significantly higher than other occupations. This combination makes the medical technology field a smart choice. So what are you waiting for? Start investing in your biomedical technician education today.