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Occupational Profile

Biomedical Engineering Technologist

Biomedical engineering technologists maintain and repair the biomedical equipment that physicians, nurses and other medical personnel use to monitor, diagnose and treat medical conditions.

  • Avg. Salary $78,349.00
  • Avg. Wage $38.84
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook Down
  • Employed 5,900
  • In Demand High
Also Known As

Clinical Engineering Technologist, Engineering Technologist, Health Care Technologist, Medical Technologist

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

61%
61%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Biomedical Engineering Technologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists
NOC code: 2241.1
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to set up and operate specialized and standard equipment to test the performance of components, assemblies and systems

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing information to carry out applied research in the fields of electrical and electronic engineering and physics under the direction of scientists and engineers; and in diagnosing and analyzing the performance of components, assemblies and systems

METHODICAL

Interest in supervising the building and testing of prototypes according to general instructions and established standards; and in conducting and supervising the installation, commissioning and operation of electrical and electronic equipment and systems other than aircraft electronics or instruments

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation. 

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Biomedical engineering technologists inspect, maintain, repair and sometimes install biomedical equipment such as:

  • heart-lung machines
  • kidney dialysis machines
  • physiological monitors
  • laboratory equipment
  • ventilators
  • sterilizers
  • defibrillators
  • infusion devices 
  • physiotherapy equipment
  • diagnostic imaging equipment
  • laser equipment
  • laparoscopic equipment
  • infant incubators
  • anesthesia apparatus.

This equipment must be routinely checked and maintained to ensure proper functioning and the safety of patients and staff. Routine maintenance also helps to identify potential problems and save costly repairs and downtime.

When a device is not functioning properly, biomedical engineering technologists first determine if the fault is a simple problem or caused by user error. For more serious and time-consuming repairs, they may take the device out of service for extensive troubleshooting. This may involve:

  • identifying the fault
  • dismantling the device
  • repairing or replacing components or circuit boards
  • calibrating the device
  • advising hospital staff and management that aging or poorly functioning equipment needs to be replaced.

Biomedical engineering technologists also may provide advice regarding equipment specifications and the evaluation of proposed equipment and facility designs.

When new equipment arrives or existing equipment is upgraded, biomedical engineering technologists may:

  • install the new equipment or parts, or check to ensure that work performed by others has been done properly
  • modify equipment to meet unique operational or research needs
  • teach hospital staff and researchers how to operate equipment.

Much of a biomedical engineering technologist's work involves assessing equipment requirements in consultation with physicians, administrators, engineers and other professionals.

Some biomedical engineering technologists may participate in the design, development, testing and clinical trial of new medical equipment and products.

Computer and wireless technologies are changing the nature of biomedical equipment. For example, x-ray machines now capture images electronically and patient monitors communicate through wireless local area networks. To keep up with technological advancements, biomedical engineering technologists must spend a considerable amount of time studying technical manuals and attending training sessions provided by equipment manufacturers.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Most biomedical engineering technologists work standard weekday hours. However, some who work in health care facilities may be required to work rotating shifts that include weekends and holidays, or be on call for emergencies. They may be exposed to diseases and hazardous materials and must wear protective clothing such as rubber gloves and masks in some environments. Working in emergency situations can be stressful.

Biomedical engineering technologists employed by equipment manufacturers or service companies may be required to do a considerable amount of travelling.

Lifting up to 20 kilograms is required.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Biomedical engineering technologists need the following characteristics:

  • good communication skills
  • the ability to remain patient and tactful with people who may be upset
  • the ability to work well under pressure
  • the ability to be very precise and accurate
  • the ability to work well both alone and as part of a team.

They should enjoy:

  • working in a health care environment
  • using standard and specialized equipment to test the performance of components, assemblies and systems
  • analyzing and diagnosing problems
  • installing or supervising the installation of equipment and systems.
Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

The minimum education requirement for biomedical engineering technologists is a two year diploma in a related technology.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Certified Engineering Technologist

Under the supervision of a professional engineer or professional technologist in engineering, certified engineering technologists undertake the routine application of industry recognized codes, standards, procedures and practices. They use established engineering, geoscience or applied science principles and methods of problem solving. Duties may include design, production, marketing, testing, quality control, estimating, surveying, inspecting, diagnostic evaluation, supervision, management and technical sales.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act (PDF) and ASET Regulation (PDF), you must be a registered member of the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) to use the title Certified Engineering Technologist (CET). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself a Certified Engineering Technologist.

Education

Registration requires:

  • successful completion of an applied science, engineering or information technology program accredited at the technologist level by the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB), or equivalent
  • at least 2 years of acceptable technical experience
  • 3 professional references
  • completion of a competency report
  • successful completion of ASET's Professional Practice Exam
  • demonstration of proficiency in English.

For detailed official information, contact the regulatory organization below.

Working in Alberta

Engineering technologists who are certified by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for certification in Alberta if certified engineering technologists in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory organization below.

To learn about the certification process for internationally educated engineering technologists, see Mechanical Engineering Technologist Certification Process (PDF) and Electrical Engineering Technologist Certification Process (PDF) on AlbertaCanada.com.

Contact Details

The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET)
1600 - 9888 Jasper Ave.
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5C6
Phone: 780-425-0626
Toll-free in Alberta: 1-800-272-5619
Fax: 780-424-5053
Email: asetadmin@aset.ab.ca
Website: www.aset.ab.ca

Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience)

Professional Technologists (Engineering) and Professional Technologists (Geoscience) are currently unique to Alberta. They practise independently in accordance with established methodologies and specifications in the fields of engineering, geology and geophysics, and they have the authority to sign off and stamp work within a prescribed scope of practice.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act (PDF) and Professional Technologists Regulation (PDF), you must be registered as a Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience) by the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) to practise engineering, geology or geophysics within a prescribed scope of practice, or to use the titles Professional Technologist (Engineering) or Professional Technologist (Geoscience) or the abbreviations P.Tech. (Eng.) or P.Tech. (Geo.).

Education

Registration requires:

  • designation as a Certified Engineering Technologist (CET) in good standing
  • at least 6 years of work experience in areas that relate to engineering or geoscience, with at least 2 years under the supervision and control of a Professional Engineer or Professional Geologist in the applicant's proposed area and scope of practice
  • at least 2 years of post-secondary education or 10 years of experience that matches the proposed scope of practice
  • 3 professional references
  • proof of compliance with ASET's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program
  • proficiency in English
  • successful completion of the National Professional Practice Exam.

For detailed official information, contact the regulatory organization below.

Working in Alberta

Professional technologists are currently only recognized in Alberta. They may be eligible for a limited licence with engineering regulatory organizations in other jurisdictions. Information on obtaining a limited licence is available through the regulatory organizations.

A professional technologist may also transfer to another province and receive recognition as a Certified Engineering Technologist by completing a transfer form and paying the associated transfer fee. Transfer forms are provided by the provincial regulatory organizations for technologists. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory organization below.

Contact Details

The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET)
1600 - 9888 Jasper Ave.
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5C6
Phone: 780-425-0626
Toll-free in Alberta: 1-800-272-5619
Fax: 780-424-5053
Email: asetadmin@aset.ab.ca
Website: www.aset.ab.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Biomedical engineering technologists are employed by:

  • regional health authorities
  • health care research facilities
  • biomedical equipment manufacturers
  • third party maintenance companies (contractors).

Public sector employees are unionized under the Health Sciences Association of Alberta.

Experienced biomedical engineering technologists may advance to supervisory positions or move into related positions in their employing organizations. Additional education is required to become a biomedical or clinical engineer.

Biomedical engineering technologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2241: Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians. In Alberta, 75% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 5,900 Albertans are employed in the Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.3% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 77 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As biomedical engineering technologists form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for biomedical engineering technologists.  

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 19, 2016

For more information see ASET's annual salary survey.

For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, see the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website.

Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
NOC code: 2241

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $13.74 $40.38 $27.97 $28.24
Overall $25.50 $52.67 $38.84 $38.52
Top $30.43 $71.36 $51.10 $52.88

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Manufacturing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

61%
61%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

25%
25%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

5%
5%

2015 Vacancy Rate

2%
Related High School Subjects
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  • Media, Design and Communication Arts
    • Design Studies
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Electro-Technologies
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta - ASET website: www.aset.ab.ca

Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society website: www.cmbes.ca

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website: www.hsaa.ca

Technology Alberta website: www.albertaict.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 20, 2014. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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