Medical equipment repairers held about 53,800 jobs in 2018. The largest employers of medical equipment repairers were as follows:
|Professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers||25%|
|Electronic and precision equipment repair and maintenance||16|
|Hospitals; state, local, and private||14|
|Ambulatory healthcare services||9|
|Rental and leasing services||8|
Medical equipment repairers who work as contractors often have to travel—sometimes long distances—to perform needed repairs. Repairers often must work in a patient-caring environment, which has the potential to expose them to germs, diseases and other health risks.
Because repairing vital medical equipment is urgent, the work can be stressful. In addition, installing and repairing medical equipment often involves lifting and carrying heavy objects as well as working in tight spaces.
Although medical equipment repairers usually work during the day, they are sometimes expected to be on call, including evenings and weekends. Most medical equipment repairers work full time, but some repairers have variable schedules.
Employers generally prefer candidates who have an associate’s degree in biomedical technology or engineering. Depending on the area of specialization, repairers may need a bachelor’s degree, especially for advancement.
Education requirements for medical equipment repairers vary, depending on a worker’s experience and area of specialization. However, the most common education is an associate’s degree in biomedical equipment technology or engineering. Those who repair less-complicated equipment, such as hospital beds and electric wheelchairs, may learn entirely through on-the-job training, sometimes lasting up to 1 year. Repairers who work on more sophisticated equipment, such as CAT scanners and defibrillators, may need a bachelor’s degree.
New workers generally observe and help experienced repairers for 3 to 6 months to start. As they learn, workers gradually become more independent while still under supervision.
Each piece of equipment is different, so medical equipment repairers must learn each one separately. In some cases, this requires studying a machine’s technical specifications and operating manual. Medical device manufacturers also may provide technical training.
Medical equipment technology is rapidly evolving, and new devices are frequently introduced. Repairers must continually update their skills and knowledge of new technologies and equipment through seminars and self-study. The original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) may also offer training.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Although not mandatory, certification can demonstrate competence and professionalism, making candidates more attractive to employers. It can also increase a repairer’s opportunities for advancement. Most manufacturers and employers, particularly those in hospitals, often pay for their in-house medical repairers to become certified.
Some associations offer certifications for medical equipment repairers. For example, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) offers certification in three specialty areas—Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET), Certified Radiology Equipment Specialists (CRES), and Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist (CLES).
Medical equipment repairers typically have an interest in the Building, Thinking and Organizing interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Building interest area indicates a focus on working with tools and machines, and making or fixing practical things. The Thinking interest area indicates a focus on researching, investigating, and increasing the understanding of natural laws. The Organizing interest area indicates a focus on working with information and processes to keep things arranged in orderly systems.
If you are not sure whether you have a Building or Thinking or Organizing interest which might fit with a career as a medical equipment repairer, you can take a career test to measure your interests.
Medical equipment repairers should also possess the following specific qualities:
Communication skills. Medical equipment repairers must effectively communicate technical information by telephone, in writing, and in person when speaking to clients, supervisors, and co-workers.
Dexterity. Many tasks, such as connecting or attaching parts and using hand tools require a steady hand and good hand–eye coordination.
Mechanical skills. Medical equipment repairers must be familiar with medical components and systems and how they interact. Often, repairers must disassemble and reassemble major parts for repair.
Physical stamina. Standing, crouching, and bending in awkward positions are common when making repairs to equipment. Therefore, workers should be physically fit enough as to not tire.
Technical skills. Technicians use sophisticated diagnostic tools when working on complex medical equipment. They must be familiar with both the equipments’ internal parts and the appropriate tools needed to fix them.
Time-management skills. Because repairing vital medical equipment is urgent, workers must make good use of their time and perform repairs quickly.
Troubleshooting skills. As medical equipment becomes more intricate, problems become more difficult to identify. Therefore, repairers must be able to find and solve problems that are not immediately apparent.
The median annual wage for medical equipment repairers was $49,280 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,630, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $82,500.
In May 2019, the median annual wages for medical equipment repairers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
|Hospitals; state, local, and private||$59,500|
|Electronic and precision equipment repair and maintenance||50,360|
|Professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers||50,270|
|Ambulatory healthcare services||46,990|
|Rental and leasing services||35,320|
Although medical equipment repairers usually work during the day, they are sometimes expected to be on call, including evenings and weekends. Most work full time, but some repairers have variable schedules.
Employment of medical equipment repairers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations. These repairers will be needed to repair medical equipment in healthcare settings.
A significant factor in the greater demand for healthcare services is the aging population. As people age, they usually need more medical care. With the expected increase in the number of older adults and with people living longer, health professionals are prescribing more medical tests that use new, complex equipment. In addition, some medical facilities are increasingly purchasing refurbished medical equipment in order to save money. Medical equipment repairers will be needed to provide routine service to ensure the machines work properly.
A combination of industry growth and the need to replace workers who leave the occupation each year should result in good job opportunities over the coming decade.
Candidates who have an associate’s degree in biomedical equipment technology or engineering and professional certification should have the best job prospects.
For more information about medical equipment repairers, including a listing of schools offering related programs of study and information about certification, visit