California Occupational Guides

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Detailed Guide for

Medical Equipment Repairers in California

May also be called: Biomedical Technicians; Biomedical Engineering Technicians; Biomedical Equipment Technicians; Biomedical Repair Technicians; Field Service Engineers; Field Service Technicians; and Service Technicians

What Would I Do?

Medical Equipment Repairers, also known as Biomedical Equipment Technicians (BMETs), maintain, adjust, calibrate, and repair electronic, electromechanical, and hydraulic equipment used in hospitals and other medical environments .They work on equipment such as defibrillators, heart monitors, medical imaging equipment (X-rays, CAT scanners, and ultrasound equipment), voice-controlled operating tables, and electric wheelchairs. In addition, Medical Equipment Repairers must maintain careful, detailed logs of all maintenance and repair that they perform on each piece of equipment.

A Medical Equipment Repairer communicates with hospital personnel and patients on a regular basis. Training staff on the proper use of equipment and discussions with staff about malfunctioning equipment is likely to be a part of the Medical Equipment Repairer's work activities. Because most equipment repairs take place within a hospital, Medical Equipment Repairers must be comfortable working around patients. In some cases, repairs may take place while equipment is being used. When this is the case, the Repairer must take great care to make sure that repairs do not disturb the patient.

Tools and Technology

Medical Equipment Repairers use hand tools, soldering irons, and other electronic tools to repair and adjust equipment. Technology used by Repairers includes multimeters, specialized software, and computers designed to communicate with specific pieces of hardware.

Important Tasks and Related Skills

Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.

View the skill definitions
TaskSkill Used in this Task
Test or calibrate components or equipment, following manufacturers' manuals and troubleshooting techniques, using hand tools, power tools, or measuring devices.Finger Dexterity
Inspect and test malfunctioning medical or related equipment, following manufacturers' specifications and using test and analysis instruments.Troubleshooting
Disassemble malfunctioning equipment and remove, repair, or replace defective parts, such as motors, clutches, or transformers.Repairing
Perform preventive maintenance or service, such as cleaning, lubricating, or adjusting equipment.Equipment Maintenance
Test, evaluate, and classify excess or in-use medical equipment and determine serviceability, condition, and disposition, in accordance with regulations.Problem Sensitivity
Keep records of maintenance, repair, and required updates of equipment.Written Expression
Examine medical equipment or facility's structural environment and check for proper use of equipment to protect patients and staff from electrical or mechanical hazards and to ensure compliance with safety regulations.Operation Monitoring
Study technical manuals or attend training sessions provided by equipment manufacturers to maintain current knowledge.Written Comprehension
Solder loose connections, using soldering iron.Computers and Electronics
Explain or demonstrate correct operation or preventive maintenance of medical equipment to personnel.Speech Clarity
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Working Conditions

Medical Equipment Repairers typically work in a patient environment, which has the potential to expose them to diseases and other health risks, but occupational injuries are relatively uncommon. Most Medical Equipment Repairers work a standard 40-hour week, but are often expected to be on call. Still, like other hospital employees, some Repairers work irregular hours. For those Repairers employed by a medical equipment manufacturer or independent medical equipment servicing company, travel will likely be required.

Many Medical Equipment Repairers belong to the International Union of Operating Engineers.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Medical Equipment Repairer may appeal to those who enjoy work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. This occupation may also appeal to those who like searching for facts and figuring out problems. A Medical Equipment Repairer's work involves following set procedures and routines and can include working with data and details more than with ideas. It requires personal characteristics such as attention to detail, dependability, a high stress tolerance, concern for others, and persistence when working on a particularly challenging repair.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

Wages

The median wage in 2016 for Medical Equipment Repairers in California is $50,213 annually, or $24.14 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2016Low
(25th percentile)
Median
(50th percentile)
High
(75th percentile)
California$37,632$50,213$64,827
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2016 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Benefits

Medical Equipment Repairers typically receive benefit packages including health and life insurance, vacation and sick leave, and retirement plans. Those who own their own medical equipment repair company will need to pay for their own insurance and retirement plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

With the increasing demand for medical services as the population ages and the growing complexity of equipment used in hospitals and clinics, additional opportunities are expected for Medical Equipment Repairers. Those who have a strong understanding of software and electronics should be in demand, as many new medical devices are increasingly reliant on computers.

Projections of Employment

In California, the number of Medical Equipment Repairers is expected to grow much faster than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Medical Equipment Repairers are expected to increase by 24.4 percent, or 1,100 jobs between 2012 and 2022.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth
Medical Equipment Repairers
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Estimated
Employment
Projected
Employment
Numeric
Change
Percent
Change
Additional Openings
Due to Net
Replacements
California
(2012-2022)
4,5005,6001,10024.41,300
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Projected Growth for All Areas

Annual Job Openings

In California, an average of 110 new job openings per year is expected for Medical Equipment Repairers, plus an additional 130 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 240 job openings.

Estimated Average Annual Job Openings
Medical Equipment Repairers
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-
Projected Year)
Jobs From GrowthJobs Due to
Net Replacements
Total Annual
Job Openings
California
(2012-2022)
110130240
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Data for All Areas

How Do I Qualify?

Education, Training, and Other Requirements

Training to be a Medical Equipment Repairer may include on-the-job training, equipment manufacturer training classes, and an associate degree program. While an associate degree in electronics, engineering, or medical technology is generally required, training varies by specialty. For those with a background in electronics, on-the-job training is more common for workers repairing less electronically sophisticated equipment, such as hospital beds or electric wheelchairs. An associate or even a bachelor’s degree, often in medical technology or engineering, and a passing grade on a certification exam is likely to be required of persons repairing more complicated equipment, such as CAT scanners and defibrillators. Many Repairers receive training and experience in the military. Newly employed Repairers begin by observing and assisting an experienced worker over a period of three to six months, learning a single piece of equipment at a time. Gradually, they begin working independently, while still under close supervision.

Early Career Planning

High school preparation classes in science, mathematics, computer technology, English, and public speaking are helpful for students interested in a medical equipment repair occupation.

Certification

Some employers may require certification on specific equipment or devices as a condition of employment. Professional associations offer certificates related to medical equipment repair, such as the Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician. A number of medical equipment manufacturers provide training and certification for their products.

Continuing Education

Continuing education is an important part of a Medical Equipment Repairer's career. Self-study or college classes add to the Repairer's knowledge and skill level. In addition, many employers may provide financial assistance to encourage continuing education and training of their BMETs. For more information, go to the U.S. Department of Labor's Career InfoNet Web site and scroll down to "Career Tools." Click on "Certification Finder" and follow the instructions to locate certification programs.

Where Can I Find Training?

There are two ways to search for training information:

  • Search by Field of Study to find what programs are available and what schools offer those programs. You may use keywords such as: Biomedical, Electronics, Engineering, and Technician.
  • Search by Training Provider to find schools by name, type of school, or location.

Contact the schools you are interested in to learn about the classes available, tuition and fees, and any prerequisite course work.

Where Would I Work?

The largest industries employing Medical Equipment Repairers are as follows:

Industry TitlePercent of Total Employment for Occupation in California
Commercial Goods Merchant Wholesalers 22.1%
Outpatient Care Centers 9.0%
Management of Companies and Enterprises 3.8%
Employment Services 2.9%
Electronic Instrument Manufacturing 1.9%
Source: EDD/LMID Staffing Patterns

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Jobs may also be found through Internet job listings, college placement centers, classified advertisements, and private placement providers. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Yellow Page Headings

You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Medical Equipment Repairers.

  • Dental Clinics
  • Dental Equipment Repair
  • Dental Equipment Supply
  • Health Care
  • Hospitals
  • Medical Equipment Manufacturers
  • Medical Equipment Repair
  • Medical Equipment Services
  • Medical Equipment Supplies

Find Possible Employers

To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:

  • Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
  • Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
  • Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
  • Contact the employer for possible employment.

Where Could This Job Lead?

Advancement usually requires several years of hands-on experience with a variety of medical equipment. For self-employed Repairers, advancement may mean the ability to charge more for their services. For workers who are employed by firms, supervisory opportunities are available. In both cases, an experienced worker may become a mentor to someone who is new to the field.

Related Occupations

Below is a list of occupations related to Medical Equipment Repairers with links to more information.

OccupationOccupational
Guide
Industry
Report
Occupational
Profile
Camera and Photographic Equipment RepairersProfile
Computer, Automated Teller, and Office Machine RepairersProfile
Electric Motor, Power Tool, and Related RepairersProfile
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and RelayProfile
Home Appliance RepairersProfile

Other Sources

  • Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI)
         www.aami.org
  • California Medical Instrumentation Association (CMIA)
         www.cmia.org
  • International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE)
         www.iuoestateunit12.org
  • Medical Equipment & Technology Association (META)
         www.mymeta.org

These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.

For the Career Professional

The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.

SystemCode
SOC - Standard Occupational Classification49-9062
O*NET - Occupational Information Network
   Medical Equipment Repairers49-9062.00
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)RIC
CIP - Classification of Instructional Programs
   Biomedical Technology/Technician 150401
TOP - Taxonomy of Programs (California Community Colleges)
   Biotechnology and Biomedical Technology043000
   Biomedical Instrumentation093460