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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Equipment Technicians in Bakersfield, California

There are many career and education opportunities for medical equipment technicians in the Bakersfield, California area. There are currently 4,100 working medical equipment technicians in California; this should grow 15% to about 4,700 working medical equipment technicians in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical equipment technicians are expected to grow by about 12.8%. In general, medical equipment technicians prepare, sterilize, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment.

Income for medical equipment technicians is about $14 per hour or $29,780 annually on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $13 hourly or $28,410 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance, people working as medical equipment technicians in California earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance nationally. Medical equipment technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: laboratory worker, washing or cleaning laboratory apparatus, laboratory equipment cleaner, and sterile processing technician.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Bakersfield where you can study to be a medical equipment technician, among eight schools of higher education total in the Bakersfield area. The most common level of education for medical equipment technicians is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a medical equipment technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Equipment Technician

Medical Equipment Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, medical equipment technicians prepare, sterilize, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment. They also may perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.

Medical equipment technicians clean instruments to ready them for sterilization. They also report faulty apparatus to appropriate supervisors or staff. Equally important, medical equipment technicians have to record sterilizer test results. They are often called upon to operate and maintain steam autoclaves, keeping records of loads completed, items in loads, and maintenance procedures performed. They are expected to attend hospital in-service programs pertaining to areas of work specialization. Finally, medical equipment technicians examine apparatus to uncover leaks, worn or loose parts, or other indications of disrepair.

Every day, medical equipment technicians are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for medical equipment technicians to start apparatus and observe gauges and apparatus operation to uncover malfunctions and to insure apparatus is operating to prescribed standards. They are often called upon to maintain records of inventory and apparatus usage. They also disinfect and sterilize apparatus such as respirators and oxygen and dialysis apparatus, using sterilizers and washers. They are sometimes expected to purge wastes from apparatus by connecting apparatus to water sources and flushing water through systems. Somewhat less frequently, medical equipment technicians are also expected to organize and assemble routine and specialty surgical instrument trays and other sterilized supplies, filling special requests as needed.

Medical equipment technicians sometimes are asked to examine apparatus to uncover leaks, worn or loose parts, or other indications of disrepair. And finally, they sometimes have to record sterilizer test results.

Like many other jobs, medical equipment technicians must be thorough and dependable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Bakersfield include:

  • Dental Assistant. Assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.
  • Medical Assistant. Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Equipment Technician Training

Santa Barbara Business College - Bakersfield, CA

Santa Barbara Business College, 5300 California Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93309. Santa Barbara Business College is a small college located in Bakersfield, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 547 students and an admission rate of 55%. Santa Barbara Business College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated twenty-one and fourteen students respectively in 2008.

Kaplan College-Bakersfield - Bakersfield, CA

Kaplan College-Bakersfield, 1914 Wible Road, Bakersfield, CA 93304. Kaplan College-Bakersfield is a small college located in Bakersfield, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 645 students. Kaplan College-Bakersfield has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 238 students in 2008.

California College of Vocational Careers - Bakersfield, CA

California College of Vocational Careers, 2822 F St - Ste L, Bakersfield, CA 93301. California College of Vocational Careers is a small college located in Bakersfield, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 52 students. California College of Vocational Careers has a less than one year program in Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties which graduated forty-one students in 2008.

San Joaquin Valley College-Bakersfield - Bakersfield, CA

San Joaquin Valley College-Bakersfield, 201 New Stine Rd, Bakersfield, CA 93309. San Joaquin Valley College-Bakersfield is a small college located in Bakersfield, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 568 students. San Joaquin Valley College-Bakersfield has an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated sixty-one students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor: The CBSPD is committed to the certification of healthcare sterile processing and distribution personnel regardless of their workplace setting.

For more information, see the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution website.

Biomedical Electronics Technician: Biomedical electronics technicians are expected to obtain knowledge of the principles of modern biomedical techniques, the proper procedure in the care, handling and maintenance of biomedical equipment and to display an attitude/behavior expected of an electronics technician who works in a hospital or healthcare environment.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Registered Central Service Technician: The Association's certification programs are the most highly recognized for quality and comprehensiveness within the healthcare industry.

For more information, see the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California
Bakersfield, California photo by Bobak

Bakersfield is situated in Kern County, California. It has a population of over 321,078, which has grown by 30.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bakersfield, 90, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Bakersfield are valued at $191,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,038 new homes were built in Bakersfield, down from 1,820 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Bakersfield are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 19.3% of Bakersfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Bakersfield is 10.1%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Bakersfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Cornerstone Community Church, Coronado Gardens Missionary Baptist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are some of the churches located in Bakersfield. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Bakersfield is home to the Mesa Marin Raceway and the Avenue Oaks Country Club as well as Beale Park and Kern County Fairgrounds. Shopping centers in the area include Sagebrush Shopping Center, White Lane Plaza Shopping Center and Benton Park Shopping Center. Visitors to Bakersfield can choose from Best Western Heritage Inn, Best Western Hill House and America's Best Inn Bakersfield for temporary stays in the area.