Bureau of Labor Statistics

Medical Equipment Repairers

medical equipment repairers image
Medical equipment repairers adjust and repair medical equipment.
Quick Facts: Medical Equipment Repairers
2020 Median Pay $51,610 per year
$24.81 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Associate's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Moderate-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2019 53,900
Job Outlook, 2019-29 5% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2019-29 2,800

Summary

What Medical Equipment Repairers Do

Medical equipment repairers install, maintain, and repair patient care equipment.

Work Environment

Although medical equipment repairers usually work during the day, they are sometimes expected to be on call, including evenings and weekends. Because repairing vital medical equipment is urgent, the work is sometimes stressful. Those who work in a patient-caring environment are potentially exposed to germs, diseases, and other health risks.

How to Become a Medical Equipment Repairer

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.

Pay

The median annual wage for medical equipment repairers was $51,610 in May 2020.

Job Outlook

Employment of medical equipment repairers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for medical equipment repairers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of medical equipment repairers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about medical equipment repairers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Medical Equipment Repairers Do

Medical equipment repairers
Medical equipment repairers often test and calibrate equipment.

Medical equipment repairers install, maintain, and repair patient care equipment.

Duties    

Medical equipment repairers typically do the following:

  • Install medical equipment
  • Test and calibrate parts and equipment
  • Repair and replace parts
  • Perform preventive maintenance and service
  • Keep records of maintenance and repairs
  • Review technical manuals and regularly attend training sessions
  • Explain and demonstrate how to operate medical equipment
  • Manage replacement of medical equipment

Medical equipment repairers, also known as biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs), repair a wide range of electronic, electromechanical, and hydraulic equipment used in hospitals and health practitioners’ offices. They may work on patient monitors, defibrillators, ventilators, anesthesia machines, and other life-supporting equipment. They also may work on medical imaging equipment (x rays, CAT scanners, and ultrasound equipment), voice-controlled operating tables, and electric wheelchairs. In addition, they repair medical equipment that dentists and eye doctors use.

If a machine has problems or is not functioning to its potential, repairers first diagnose the problem. They then adjust the mechanical, electronic, or hydraulic parts or modify the software in order to recalibrate the equipment and fix the issue.

Medical equipment repairers use a variety of tools. Most use hand tools, such as screwdrivers, wrenches, and soldering irons. Others use electronic tools, such as multimeters (an electronic measuring device that combines several measures) and computers. Much of the equipment that they maintain and repair uses specialized test-equipment software. Repairers use this software to calibrate the machines.

Many doctors, particularly specialty practitioners, rely on complex medical devices to run tests and diagnose patients, and they must be confident that the readings are accurate. Therefore, medical equipment repairers sometimes perform routine scheduled maintenance to ensure that sophisticated equipment, such as x-ray machines and CAT scanners, are in good working order. For less complicated equipment, such as electric hospital beds, workers make repairs as needed.

In a hospital setting, medical equipment repairers must be comfortable working around patients because repairs occasionally must take place while equipment is being used. When this is the case, the repairer must take great care to ensure that their work activities do not disturb patients.

Although some medical equipment repairers are trained to fix a variety of equipment, others specialize in repairing one or a small number of machines.

Work Environment

Medical equipment repairers
Medical equipment repairers often must work in a patient-caring environment.

Medical equipment repairers held about 53,900 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of medical equipment repairers were as follows:

Professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers 26%
Hospitals; state, local, and private 14
Rental and leasing services 9
Ambulatory healthcare services 9
Health and personal care stores 5

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.

Work Schedules

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.

How to Become a Medical Equipment Repairer

Medical equipment repairers
Medical equipment repairers need good technical skills in order to diagnose problems and fix equipment.

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

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.

Training

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).

Important 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.

Technical skills. Technicians use sophisticated diagnostic tools when working on complex medical equipment. They must be familiar with both the equipment’s 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.

Pay

Medical Equipment Repairers

Median annual wages, May 2020

Medical equipment repairers

$51,610

Other installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

$46,290

Total, all occupations

$41,950

 

The median annual wage for medical equipment repairers was $51,610 in May 2020. 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 $31,180, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $84,720.

In May 2020, the median annual wages for medical equipment repairers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Hospitals; state, local, and private $62,440
Professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers 52,270
Ambulatory healthcare services 49,890
Health and personal care stores 40,540
Rental and leasing services 37,230

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.

Job Outlook

Medical Equipment Repairers

Percent change in employment, projected 2019-29

Medical equipment repairers

5%

Other installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

5%

Total, all occupations

4%

 

Employment of medical equipment repairers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than 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.

Job Prospects

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.

Employment projections data for medical equipment repairers, 2019-29

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Occupational Title

Medical equipment repairers

SOC Code49-9062
Employment, 201953,900
Projected Employment, 202956,700
Percent Change, 2019-295
Numeric Change, 2019-292,800
Employment by IndustryGet data

State & Area Data

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of medical equipment repairers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2020 MEDIAN PAY
Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians

Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians

Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians repair and perform scheduled maintenance on aircraft.

See How to Become One $66,680
General maintenance and repair workers

General Maintenance and Repair Workers

General maintenance and repair workers fix and maintain machines, mechanical equipment, and buildings.

High school diploma or equivalent $40,850
Industrial machinery mechanics and maintenance workers

Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Machinery Maintenance Workers, and Millwrights

Industrial machinery mechanics, machinery maintenance workers, and millwrights install, maintain, and repair factory equipment and other industrial machinery.

High school diploma or equivalent $54,920
Medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians

Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians

Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

Bachelor's degree $54,180
Dental laboratory technicians

Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians and Medical Appliance Technicians

Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians construct, fit, or repair medical appliances and devices.

High school diploma or equivalent $38,620

Contacts for More Info

Last Modified Date: Friday, April 9, 2021

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Equipment Repairers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/medical-equipment-repairers.htm (visited June 06, 2021).

Telephone: 1-202-691-5700 www.bls.gov/ooh Contact OOH

View this page on regular www.bls.gov

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