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Biomedical Technician Jobs Guide

Jun 07, 2010

Have you seen every episode of Mythbusters - twice? Did you plaster posters of Bill Nye, the Science Guy, on your bedroom wall? If you answered "yes," then you've likely taken the first steps toward a career as a biomedical technician. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about biomedical technician jobs.

The down and dirty on the duties

Okay, if you're paying even just a little attention you've figured out there's a huge technical aspect to this job. But what exactly is that? Biomedical technician jobs require these professionals to, quite simply, keep healthcare machinery running. The equipment could be as basic as a hospital bed or as complex as a diagnostic imaging machine. Duties may also require the ability to work with and repair the computer software that runs some of these medical devices.

Many biomedical techs can expect workdays to run from nine to five. However, remember that equipment doesn't consider the time when it breaks down. That means if the hospital CAT scan device goes kaput at 2 a.m., you could find yourself fixing a highly-sophisticated piece of life-saving equipment after you've had just 3 hours of sleep.

The skinny on school

Sure, you occasionally might hear of a person who snagged biomedical technician jobs through years of on-the job training. While that's still a possibility, the fact is that most employers—especially those paying higher salaries—expect candidates to have a post-secondary diploma. So if you want a job in this field and you haven't gone to school yet, you should head there ASAP.

Employers prefer techs have at least an electronics- or science-related associate's degree. If you want to get your hands on more complex equipment—think heart-lung machines—then you’ll be looking for a bachelor's degree program.

Do you have an eye on a management position? When you’ve completed a bachelor's degree you may find that potential employers may be more willing to move you to the top of the resume pile. Investing in that higher-level degree also gives you opportunities to train staff members as well as teach training programs in-house or through educational institutions.

And just because you got the degree doesn't mean you're done with school. Because technology constantly marches on, biomedical technician jobs typically require some form of continuing education. For example, if you're employed by a hospital that invests in an uber-complex piece of equipment, you may need to attend the manufacturer's training course or workshop as well as carefully study the technical manual.

Occupation certification

While there's no government-mandated certification process for biomedical technician jobs, some employers do require candidates to obtain and maintain certification in specific areas. The certificate, which would be awarded after you successfully satisfied a number of requirements, is given to candidates who meet educational and experience requirements. What's more, larger employers, such as hospitals, may offer certification opportunities to their on-staff repair technicians.

Several organizations offer certification in areas that include biomedical equipment, radiology instrumentation, and laboratory equipment. Earning one of these designations is an ideal way to make yourself a more valuable member of any team.

Where the jobs are

As far as industries go, healthcare is a monster. You'd have to look far to find another sector of the economy that offers job applicants so many different opportunities. For example, biomedical tech jobs can be found in number of settings, including:

  • Public and private hospitals
  • Professional and commercial equipment wholesalers
  • Consumer medical rentals
  • Healthcare stores
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Scientific research and development services

Biomedical technician jobs can provide a solid career path for people just like you. Don't wait any longer to take control of your career.

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