Number of Jobs
|This Job is Ranked in|
|Best Health Care Jobs||#25|
|The 100 Best Jobs||#47|
When a CAT scanner, MRI scanner or other piece of important medical equipment breaks down, medical equipment repairers are the people who troubleshoot the problem and make the fix. Some biomedical equipment technicians use screwdrivers and soldering irons to make physical adjustments to the devices, while others need to update specialized computer software used to calibrate the machines. Medical equipment repairers might come into contact with patients in a hospital setting as they update an X-ray or ultrasound. Some technicians specialize in repairing a specific type of medical equipment, while others are trained to maintain a variety of complex medical devices. In addition to making important repairs on a deadline, medical equipment repairers perform maintenance and replace outdated machinery.
The need for individuals who can repair medical equipment is expected to grow 30.3 percent between 2012 and 2022, driven largely by an aging population that requires additional health care services and doctors who are increasingly using medical tests to make diagnoses and treatment plans. There should be more than 12,800 new positions created by 2022, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics projections.
Medical equipment repairers earned a median salary of $44,570 in 2012, or approximately $21.43 per hour, according to the BLS. The best-paid earned more than $72,080, while the lowest-paid earned less than $26,550. Areas of the industry that pay well include physicians’ offices and the federal government. Cities with the highest compensation include Camden, N.J., San Jose, Calif., and Salt Lake City.
Technicians need an associate degree in biomedical technology or engineering. A bachelor’s degree may be required for some specializations and is essential for advancement. Repairers must learn how to use and troubleshoot each piece of medical equipment, often through technical training provided by medical device manufacturers. Additional education is required as new technologies are introduced. “Continuing education is very much a part of these positions,” says Karen Waninger, director of clinical engineering at the Community Health Network in Indianapolis. “Specialized training is almost always available when there is a need for it.”
When interviewing, highlight the medical devices you know how to repair, and point out examples of successful fixes you have made. “They need to have the technical ability to fix the equipment and do it well, and do it in a financially efficient manner,” Waninger says. “They need to be able to think and problem-solve under pressure.” Also highlight your willingness and ability to adapt to new technologies. “We help do a lot of equipment planning and prepurchase evaluations of the equipment,” Waninger says. “I need someone who is self-motivated and personally accountable.”
|Upward Mobility||good Above Average|
|Stress Level||poor Above Average|
|Flexibility||poor Below Average|
Last updated by Emily Brandon.