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Medical Equipment Repairer

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Career Overview

Much like the rest of the world, modern medicine relies heavily on medical technology and machines. But while doctors are using them to save lives, what happens when these machines don't work properly or just stop working completely? In many hospitals and healthcare centers, medical equipment repairers are called in to fix broken machines and repair malfunctioning equipment.As a medical equipment repairer, you have to know and repair a large variety of different things. It could be as small or simple as patient monitors or electric wheelchairs to bigger, more complicated things like x rays or CAT scanners. To do this, you'll have your own set of tools and resources to help you get the job done. You'll have all the standard tools like screwdrivers and wrenches at your disposal, but you'll also have other specialized tools that are specific to a certain kind of repair. In some cases, you might have to use special electronic tools like a multimeter to test equipment, or a computer to recalibrate a machine's software. Whatever the case may be, you'll have to be ready to repair whatever comes your way.In some cases, it isn't always as simple as the machines breaking. A machine might not be functioning the way it's supposed to or giving inaccurate readings. As soon as someone notices a malfunction, you'll have to figure out the cause and determine the best way to fix it as quickly as possible. If you don't, it could become very dangerous for the patient. The doctor might not know the machine is inaccurate, and end up giving them the wrong diagnosis or treatment. It is absolutely critical to repair these machines and help get the doctors back on track.It isn't easy learning and understanding how these complicated machines work. After all, you can't really fix something if you have no idea what it is or how it works. When you fix these machines, you're helping doctors treat patients and save lives, which in a way means you're also saving lives. You might even consider medical equipment repairers to be the unsung heroes of the healthcare system. It just goes to show that being a doctor isn't the only way to save lives.

Salaries and Job Outlook*

2013 Median Annual Pay
Number of Jobs in 2013
Projected Growth Rate
National
$48,820
43,670
5.3 %
Virginia
$49,770
1,150
 

Education and Training

Degrees Required:
Associate's Degree in Biomedical Technology or Engineering

For the most part, employers look for people with at least an associate's degree if you're going to be repairing the basic stuff, like wheelchairs or beds. In some rare cases, you might even be able to just learn everything through on-the-job training. But if you're looking to advance or repair more complicated machines like a CAT scanner or a defibrillator, then you'll definitely need to earn your bachelor's degree. Whichever education path you choose, you'll have to keep learning all the new equipment and technology in order to keep up.

 
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Valued Traits & Abilities

Analytical Skills
Communication Skills
Problem-Solving Skills
Time-Management Skills

Work Environment

Even though most medical equipment repairers work regular, full-time hours during the day, it is common for many of them to remain on call for the nights and weekends.

* Source: BLS Data - 2013