California’s BMETs arrive at their professions through a number of educational paths including:
- A two year associates or four year bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Equipment Technology, Biomedical Engineering
- A two year associates or four year bachelor’s degree in Electronics or Computer Science plus on-the-job training
- Military service by completing courses at the Sheppard Air Force Base Department of Defense Medical Equipment School
- An extensive period of on-the-job training and attending manufacturer’s maintenance classes. Today this path is rare and is usually through transfer from another position within the organization
The CMIA can help fund your education with a Frank Yip Scholarship. This year two $1,000 scholarships were awarded.
California university programs in Bio-Engineering and Biomedical Engineering are not discussed for their emphasis is on design, development, research or preparation for those interested in graduate school.
If you are interested in pursuing a BMET career you are encouraged to visit your local hospital’s Biomedical Engineering department and speak with its management and BMETs and contact your local college about their BMET program or armed forces recruiter about their educational programs and opportunities.
AAMI Student Resources
For information on becoming a Biomedical Engineering Technologies /Biomedical Equipment Technician (BMET) check, the Student Resources provided on the AAMI website
In California, Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC) offers curriculums leading to a certificate or associate degree in Biomedical Equipment Technology. American River College’s (Sacramento) program covers the theory, operation, maintenance, troubleshooting, and certification of biomedical equipment used in hospitals, medical device manufacturers, or other service organizations. Mira Costa College offers a 486-hour BMET Program. SCIT’s biomedical technology program trains students to troubleshoot and repair electronics based biomedical instruments and equipment. Fresno City College provides career and technical education (CTE)
A resource for other states’ programs is the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI).
Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering Technology
DeVry University located in Fremont, California offers a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering Technology (BMET) with appropriate instruction and hands-on lab training for technologies currently being utilized in the healthcare industry. This Bachelor’s program prepares the technologist by providing extensive knowledge in electronics, medical terminology, instrumentation, safety practices, network communication, project management, teamwork, and communication skills which are relevant to the biomedical field.
In the first two years, the fundamental technology concepts and principles in electronic circuits and devices, digital circuits and microprocessors, signal processing, data communication and networking, computer programming are offered. The student also takes general education courses such as verbal and written communication skills, humanities, social sciences, physics, chemistry, biology and calculus-based math.
During the third year, biomedical engineering technology students take industry focused coursework covering anatomy and physiology, medical diagnostic instrumentation, biomedical devices and equipment, medical imaging, data communications and networking, and telemedicine.
During the fourth year, all students are required to work as a team on a senior project where they go through the complete product development cycle for a biomedical project from initial concept to completed product. The final product along with the written report is presented to a panel of judges in the form of an oral presentation. They are also required to document and present their findings in an extensive written report with proper citations and APA format. As part of the graduation requirement, and also to directly expose students to the healthcare field, they spend 16 weeks of internships either at a medical facility of a medical equipment company.
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After graduation, students have the opportunity to advance their education to help them to succeed in their job in a supervisory and management role. At DeVry, this opportunity is offered through our Keller Graduate School of Management which offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. Currently, our graduates are working for employers such as Stanford Hospital, UCSF Medical Center, Varian Medical Systems, GE Medical Systems, Conquest Imaging, Bay Area Compliance Lab, MiCOM Labs, Inc., Alexza Pharmaceuticals, DaVita, and Intuitive Surgical.
Biomedical Equipment Technicians (BMET) are responsible for the performance and maintenance of a hospital’s patient care equipment. Their duties include medical equipment maintenance (returning equipment to operational status), preventative maintenance (periodically ensuring each of the hospital’s thousands of devices are functioning properly), and assisting with the procurement of new devices and contracts, training users in the operation and care of equipment and evaluating failures. With such a variety of equipment and tasks, there are opportunities for advancement and diversity while knowing that you are a significant member of the health care delivery team.
Learn more about being a BMET by visiting the Frequently Asked Question page. View a presentation by Paul Kelley, Washington Hospital’s Biomedical Engineering Department Manager, and former CMIA Chair Person.
AAMI Professional Development
AAMI offers a number of resources to help professionals in the healthcare technology and sterilization fields advance in their careers. Whether you are just starting out or a veteran looking for new opportunities and training, we have the help and support you need. Our resources include:
- AAMI University offering a wide array of courses and programs for busy professionals.
- Industry Training for manufacturers lists courses—from CAPA to Human Factors—scheduled for the year.
- Certification for biomedical equipment technicians, radiology equipment specialists, laboratory equipment specialists, healthcare technology managers, quality system managers, and industrial sterilization specialists.