pheller PowerDork
1/2/18 11:17 a.m.

I know some folks on here work in the hospitals, so I thought I'd ask.

This seems like an interesting field. You repair the stuff that saves lives.

You get to travel around, and are not stuck in a single office or shop all day long. 

Most jobs do not require a bachelors, which means a career change and associated schooling would be quick and easy. 

What are the possibilities in terms of working in disaster areas, or developing countries? I'd love to have a job where my skills are in demand everywhere, regardless of the language I speak or the country I'm from.  

My current career is stable, stress free and good paying, but my career path has me stuck in an office the rest of my life, with a few weeks of vacation by the time I'm 50. 


KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
1/2/18 12:47 p.m.

I went to school for this.  I was already in the engineering department of my hospital and decided to go back to night school (one of those "for profit" places) and got my Associates degree.  Then my work turned around and decreed that not only would any new applicants to biomed have a degree but a minimum of one year experience as well.  I'm still paying said degree off and didn't get a job in the field so just a bit of bitterness.....

Since the run of "for profit" schools there is (locally anyway) a glut of techs for a limited number of positions and most seem to be going to either ex-military or someone who can work for free for their first year or two.

YMMV of course.

pheller PowerDork
1/2/18 12:56 p.m. perhaps an Associates that is more cross compatible with other in-demand fields may be better?

If I pursued something related to the Electrical Utility industry I could probably get work to pay for it. 

wlkelley3 UltraDork
1/2/18 7:17 p.m.

Don't know anything about the civilian market for this but military offered retention bonuses and quick promotions for BioMedical Equipment Technicians. When I tried to transfer to it it was a year long training in Denver. Army wouldn't let me transfer because I was selected to attend specialized helicopter Technical Inspectors course. I was a helicopter Flight Engineer at that time. Years ago.

DILYSI Dave MegaDork
1/2/18 7:38 p.m.

I haven't been the on site guy for anything other than the occasional sales support.   But I have been the guy answering the support line for a med device.  Getting a call that is something along the lines of "The patient is out, the team is scrubbed up and ready, and your piece of E36 M3 just E36 M3 the bed"  is not particularly fun. 

paranoid_android UltraDork
1/2/18 7:47 p.m.

I've been out of the hospital for a couple of years (electrician), but I still keep in close contact with the folks up there.

*Edit: this perspective only applies to working in a hospital full time, servicing the equipment the hospital buys.*

But while I was there we worked pretty closely with the biomed folks.  How do you feel about being called into an OR while a surgery is in progress?  Or having to go into a morgue to troubleshoot equipment?  The biomed folks I worked with went everywhere the equipment was, sometimes to troubleshoot it at the location, sometimes to swap out the faulty equipment and bring it back to their shop for repair or calibration or whatever they did.  For certain areas of the facility it was protocol for an electrician and a biomed person to respond to a problem simultaneously, especially in the operating rooms.

I looked very hard at pursuing my certification to become a biomed tech, but haven't pulled the trigger on it.  Personally I think it would be fascinating, especially if I got to work with imaging equipment.  But where I work, vacancies are pretty much only posted when someone retires.  Even then, not all of them are being replaced in order to save money.

Another area to consider (if you would be interested in it) is sterilizer technology (technician?).  I guess they are very much in demand, travel often and make very good money.


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