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Biomedical Engineering Technologist

Biomedical engineering technologists maintain and repair medical, biomedical, diagnostics imaging, and electronic equipment and systems. Medical personnel use these to monitor, diagnose and treat medical conditions.

  • Avg. Salary $77,509.00
  • Avg. Wage $36.77
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 3,400
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Biomedical Equipment Technologist, Clinical Engineering Technologist, Engineering Technologist, Field Service Representative, Health Care Technologist, Medical Technologist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists (2241.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians (C141) 
  • 2011 NOC: Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians (2241) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

35%
35%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Biomedical Engineering Technologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists
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 Mar 31, 2018

Many biomedical engineering technologists work in hospitals. They inspect, maintain, repair and install biomedical equipment. This can include:

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

Biomedical engineering technologists do performance assurance testing and preventive maintenance. This ensures equipment works properly and is safe. It can also reveal potential problems, which may save costly repairs and downtime.

They also inspect and test equipment to ensure quality and manage risks.

When a device is not working, they find out why. Sometimes the problem is simple or caused by user error. Other times they take the device out of service to look into the problem more. This may involve:

  • finding the fault
  • taking the device apart
  • repairing or replacing parts or circuit boards
  • calibrating the device
  • testing the device (before sending it back into service)
  • inspecting and testing accessories related to the device’s function
  • advising hospital staff and management if equipment needs to be replaced
  • doing preventive maintenance
  • negotiating terms of service with manufacturers or third-party service providers.

Biomedical engineering technologists advise on equipment specifications. They may also help assess proposed equipment and facility designs.

Biomedical engineering technologists may also:

  • write operating procedures
  • develop preventive maintenance protocols
  • install equipment or parts
  • check the quality of junior technologists’ work (in certain circumstances)
  • alter equipment to meet operating or research needs
  • teach hospital staff and researchers how to use equipment.

Biomedical engineering technologists may also work for medical equipment makers or distributors. In these roles, they:

  • manage service contracts and customer relations
  • maintain service records (as required by Health Canada and the FDA)
  • report incidents or potential incidents related to equipment (in accordance with Health Canada and FDA regulations)
  • maintain the calibration of certified test equipment
  • get regular training to keep up with changes in technology.

Much of the work involves assessing equipment needs. They do this with doctors, administrators, engineers, and other professionals. Some may help design, develop, and test new medical equipment and products.

Technology is changing the nature of biomedical equipment. For example, x-ray machines now capture electronic images, while patient monitors communicate through wireless networks. To keep up, biomedical engineering technologists spend a lot of time studying manuals and attending training sessions.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Most biomedical engineering technologists work standard office hours. Those who work in health care facilities may have to work shifts. These can include weekends and holidays. Some may be on call for emergencies. They may be exposed to diseases and hazardous materials. Depending on the setting, they may need to wear protective clothing, such as gloves and masks. Working in emergencies can be stressful.

Those who work for equipment makers or service companies may have to travel a lot.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Biomedical engineering technologists need to possess:

  • speaking and listening skills
  • the ability to be patient with people who may be upset
  • the ability to work well under pressure
  • the ability to do detailed, accurate work
  • the ability to work well on their own and as part of a team.

They should enjoy:

  • working in a health care setting
  • using equipment to test components, assemblies, and system performance
  • identifying problems
  • installing (or supervising the installation of) equipment and systems.
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Biomedical engineering technologists need a 2-year diploma in a related technology.


Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

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.

What You Need

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 above.

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.).

What You Need

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 Mar 31, 2018

Biomedical engineering technologists work for:

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

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

Prospects for advancement include supervisory work or other related positions. Further education is needed 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 [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the C141: Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.3% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 77 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018

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

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 $16.00 $43.43 $31.19 $31.25
Overall $20.35 $50.46 $36.77 $37.71
Top $28.85 $56.95 $41.98 $43.14

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
ALL INDUSTRIES
Transportation and Warehousing
Manufacturing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

32%
32%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

35%
35%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

7%
7%

Vacancy Rate

7%
Related High School Subjects
  • Mathematics
  • Media, Design and Communication Arts
    • Design Studies
  • Science
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Electro-Technologies
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

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: technologyalberta.com

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. 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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