Program Spotlight: Biomedical Engineering Technology
With rapid technological advances in modern health care delivery, there is high demand for qualified professionals with the electronic and mechanical skills needed for on-site repair and preventative maintenance of a wide range of medical equipment. Howard Community College's (HCC) Biomedical Engineering program prepares students for working for hospitals or equipment manufacturers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of biomedical engineers is projected to grow seven percent over the next decade. The starting salary in the area of Columbia, Maryland is around $40,000, said Bob Patterson, adjunct faculty member who teaches in HCC’s Biomedical Engineering Technology (BMET) program.
“Biomedical equipment technicians are an integral part of the health care, technology, management field,” he said. “As BMETs, we install, maintain, repair, calibrate, and verify equipment in all healthcare settings.
“BMETs are the hidden people in the hospital that you don’t see on shows like ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ and the like, but they keep everything running and make sure it’s right.”
As a child, Issac Benitez enjoyed taking apart toy cars and piecing them back together. As he got older, he’d find joy in setting up video game systems on the family television.
Once in high school, Benitez got an internship with Med-Electronics in Beltsville, Maryland, where he worked in the warehouse “fixing things here and there.”
“It was there I learned about the BMET program at Howard Community College,” he said. “I looked into it and it seemed very interesting.”
Benitez enrolled in the program, and took courses at HCC while still working full-time.
“Most of the BMET and electronics courses are offered at night so students are able to work full or part-time and still complete the program,” he said.
After graduating from HCC, Benitez was promoted to a technician role at Med-Electronics and eventually got a second job at DaVita Dialysis.
Benitez’s success story is what Patterson hopes to see with each student who walks into his classroom.
“My goal is to prepare students to be able to go out into the workforce not necessarily knowing every single item they’re going to come across, but having a good foundation,” he said. “This is a fun field – you get to see a lot of equipment and it’s just amazing. After 30 years of doing this I still see and learn something new almost every day that I work. So if that interests you, this is your field.”
Ready to begin your path in the exciting world of biomedical engineering technology? Learn more about the biomedical engineering technology programs at HCC.