Guide to Online Biomedical Technician Degrees

Learn about convenient, partially online programs that train you to become certified as a biomedical equipment technician (BMET) in as little as two years.

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Last Updated: 09/21/2021
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Do you enjoy tinkering with computers and other technical equipment? Do you also have a desire to help people by contributing to the healthcare field? If this sounds like you, becoming a biomedical equipment technician (BMET) can be a rewarding career path. Biomedical techs repair and maintain critical equipment used in healthcare facilities and can expect significant job growth over the next decade.

To help make the education needed for this career easier to complete, many colleges are now offering partially online biomedical technician degrees that combine remote coursework with hands-on training. This comprehensive guide will help you find a program that meets your needs and covers key details on what you’ll learn, the different degree options available, how to get certified after graduation, and much more.

Biomedical Technician Online School Spotlights

Biomedical technicians need specialized training to become adept at repairing and maintaining expensive equipment that medical facilities count on when diagnosing and treating patients. To help you find a program that gives you the education and hands-on experience you need to fill this important role, we’ve identified some of the top online biomedical technician programs below. The three schools spotlighted not only show you want to expect from a high-quality program, but they also stand out in terms of curriculum, flexibility, accreditation, and affordability.

Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis

The Purdue School of Engineering & Technology at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis offers online healthcare engineering technology management degrees at the associate and bachelor levels. Both programs prepare students to work with the equipment found in medical facilities, for equipment manufacturers, or for repair service companies.

The associate degree takes two years to complete and introduces students to the marriage of technology and healthcare through courses focused on the technology devices and systems found in healthcare environments. Students take 67 credit hours, which include classes covering electronic circuit analysis, healthcare technology diagnostics and repair, digital fundamentals, and healthcare networks and data in addition to augmenting their studies through general education classes like algebra, trigonometry, physics, psychology, and speech communication. To provide hands-on training, the school also requires an internship at a healthcare facility.

Students in the bachelor’s degree program build on the knowledge gained during their associate’s degree studies by learning more advanced concepts in the use of medical equipment for delivering patient care. Courses cover healthcare engineering technology management, medical ethics, technical communication, medical device financial planning, and patient safety. Students also take general education classes in mathematics, humanities, and social science.

Texas State Technical College

Texas State Technical College’s online biomedical equipment technology associate degree teaches students to diagnose and repair the state-of-the-art equipment used in medical settings. Students also learn to provide preventative maintenance services to keep equipment running optimally.

This program requires 60 credit hours, completable in five semesters. Required coursework covers medical software and hardware, AC circuits, troubleshooting medical equipment, digital fundamentals, and physiological instruments. To round off their studies, students take general education math, science, and composition electives. They also complete internships where they get hands-on training under the supervision of a certified biomedical equipment technician.

Madisonville Community College

The online biomedical technology systems associate’s degree program at Madisonville Community College takes two years to complete and prepares students for entry-level healthcare technology management work in settings like hospitals, medical equipment service providers, clinics, and medical equipment manufacturers. Classes offered include medical electronics, equipment management, therapeutic equipment modalities, and radiographic imaging. Students also complete general education classes in physics, social and behavioral sciences, writing, and math. In addition to coursework offered online, students go to campus for two, three-week laboratory sessions. These experiences are offered during summer sessions and include 90 contact hours that provide practical instruction complementing concepts presented in class.

To help students launch their careers, Madisonville Community College also offers job search assistance through its Office of Career Services. The school matches students with employers needing to fill full- and part-time positions as well as with temporary and cooperative education placements.

Types of Online Biomedical Technician Degrees

Choosing the biomedical technician degree that best fits your career goals requires knowing your options. The various degree paths and certificates available for prospective and current biomedical technicians are described below followed by listings of the top schools offering them.

Associate Degrees

Those who want to pursue careers as biomedical equipment technicians mostly earn this degree because it provides the fundamentals and prepares them for entry-level positions. Provided by community colleges and technical schools, these programs teach electronics, medical terminology, technology repair, and mathematics. In some cases, students can focus their studies on a specific type of technology, like laboratory, imaging, or surgical equipment. After they finish their coursework, students complete internships where they work alongside experienced biomedical equipment technicians to gain experience and discover more about what the duties of the career entail.

Examples of Accredited Online Biomedical Technician Schools with this Program

Bachelor’s Degrees

Biomedical technician bachelor’s degrees are for those with an associate-level education who want to become more advanced practitioners. These programs allow students to expand their knowledge, further develop their problem-solving skills, and learn to maintain specific types of biomedical hardware and software. They may also learn about the kinds of technology used for specific types of patients as well as about equipment project planning principles.

Examples of Accredited Online Biomedical Technician Schools with this Program

Certificates

Biomedical technician certificate programs take six to 12 months to complete and provide an intensive overview that quickly prepares students for entry-level positions in the field. Students learn to repair and maintain medical equipment and perform preventive services. After completing this program, students can work at hospitals, manufacturing companies, and independent service providers. Coursework covers electronics, networking fundamentals, and troubleshooting theory and methodology. A capstone course is sometimes required to expose students to the realities and challenges of the profession.

Examples of Accredited Online Biomedical Technician Schools with this Program

What Do You Learn in an Online Biomedical Technician Degree Program?

Each biomedical technician online program has its unique approach. At the same time, all BMET programs also have similarities in courses, topics, and learning outcomes to ensure students have the education and skills needed to meet employer expectations. The following overviews five key skills you can expect to gain by the time you graduate from any quality BMET online training program.

  • Ability to applying an understanding of medical equipment and devices to real-world problem solving and repair issues.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and proficiency of safety procedures designed to keep technicians, patients, and medical personnel safe.
  • Effective writing skills for drafting reports that describe the technical issues with equipment in ways medical professionals and other technicians can understand.
  • Verbal communication and collaboration skills to work efficiently with members of a healthcare team and other biomedical equipment professionals.
  • Knowledge of basic anatomy and physiology, healthcare safety methods, and medical procedures to understand the role biomedical equipment and devices play in the delivery of care.

Common Online BMET Courses

BMET Instrumentation I

This course teaches students how to troubleshoot, calibrate, and repair various medical devices and instruments, so they can effectively work with these products based on manufacturers’ instructions. They may learn about instrumentation amplifiers, electrodes, transducers, and defibrillators.

Electronic Fabrication

Students learn about the tools and techniques used during the electronic fabrication process. This course covers wire routing, inspection and repair of circuit boards, wire preparation and termination, and soldering wires.

Circuit Analysis

This class teaches students about DC and AC electricity laws and theories, which allows them to identify the parts of AC/DC circuits, understand circuit requirements in AC/DC devices, troubleshoot circuits through different techniques, and utilize safe practices when working with AC and DC equipment. This class may also have a laboratory requirement.

Microcontrollers

Students learn about the design and programming of microcontroller-based products. The course focuses on assembly language that is used to develop software and hardware.

Wireless Technology

Wireless technology classes cover link managers, wireless application protocol, frequency bands, transport layers, and wireless mark-up language.

FAQs About Getting Your BMET Training Online

How much do online biomedical technician degrees cost?

The cost of BMET training online depends on the school, particularly if it’s public or private. Public school in-state tuition is usually significantly lower than private college or university tuition. Another consideration is if a program is offered completely online. Although the tuition for online programs is usually comparable to in-person programs, students can save money by not traveling to campus regularly. Financial aid and program length also play a role in cost. The examples below give you an idea of what to expect regarding the cost of your online biomedical technician degrees.

Madisonville Community College

Associate in Applied Science – Biomedical Technology Systems

Total Credits: 65

$179/credit

Texas State Technical College

Biomedical Equipment Technology Associate of Applied Science

Total Credits: 60

$14,400 program cost

Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis

AS in Healthcare Engineering Technology Management

Total Credits: 67

$25,658/semester

How much of my BMET training will I be able to complete online?

Whether or not you’re able to complete all your BMET training online depends on the school you enroll in. In some cases, classes are offered entirely online, and students are only required to complete an in-person internship to get experiential learning. Other schools split online and on-campus learning and require that students come to campus for seminars once a semester or participate in weekly labs.

Is financial aid available for online biomedical technician degrees?

Depending on the program you choose, you may be able to receive scholarships and grants provided directly by your school. There are also state and federal financial aid options. For more information about the types of financial aid available, peruse our financial aid, scholarships, and student loan pages.

Accreditation for Online Biomedical Technician Schools

Accreditation is important for biomedical technician degree programs because it certifies their quality and ability to prepare future professionals to work effectively in the field. Top programs are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission (ETAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), a nonprofit agency offering accreditation for engineering technology, computing, natural science, and engineering programs.

To give its stamp of approval, ETAC considers educational objectives, curriculum, and continuous improvement procedures. Outcomes, such as students’ ability to apply the concepts they learn in class to technical and non-technical environments, are also part of the decision.

Job and Salary Outlook for Biomedical Equipment Technicians

After completing a biomedical technician degree program, students can work as medical equipment repairers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professionals make $31,180 to $84,720 yearly with the median salary being $51,610. Those who work in hospital settings earn higher wages, with a median annual salary of $62,440, and those working for rental and leasing services make an average of $37,230 yearly.

Because people are living longer and more are seeking medical care, biomedical technician and other healthcare professions are seeing significant growth. Positions for medical equipment repairers are expected to grow five percent through 2029, faster than the average of all occupations in the workforce.

Professional Certification Requirements: What It Takes to Become a CBET

Professional certifications are not required for working as a biomedical technician, but they can be helpful. The Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET) certification, offered by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), demonstrates that professionals can perform preventive maintenance on equipment, review technical manuals, teach users how to work with medical devices, and understand how equipment and devices found in medical facilities are used on patients. Biomedical equipment technicians can also earn a Certified Associate in Biomedical Technology (CABT) to demonstrate their knowledge of healthcare technology management.

Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering degrees combine biology, medicine, and engineering to teach students how to solve problems related to healthcare. The curriculum covers medical devices, imaging, biomechanics, biomedical regulations, and therapeutic treatments.

Biotechnology

When students enroll in a biotechnology degree program, they learn how biological principles are used to create and improve on technologies. Biotechnology graduates work in medical, environmental, energy, and agricultural jobs thanks to the expertise they gain in virology, biochemistry, and molecular and cellular neurobiology.

Learn more about online biotechnology master’s programs

Radiologic Technology

Radiologic technology degrees are for those wanting to pursue jobs as cardiovascular technologists, CT scan technologists, diagnostic medical sonographers, and ultrasound technicians. These programs teach the different modalities of radiographic technology and how they are used to provide services to patients.

Learn more about online rad tech programs

Online Resources for BMET Students and Professionals