Steven J. Yelton: How to Advance in Your Career

In my position as a professor in a biomedical engineering technology program, I often hear the following questions: What can I do to update or enhance my skills as a biomedical equipment technician (BMET)? What can I do to attain a promotion? What skills am I missing? I’m a biomed; what’s all this talk about healthcare technology management (HTM)?

The days of getting called only when something is broken are over … I hope. Modern departments deal with healthcare technology management, meaning the entire equipment life cycle—from needs assessment, to disposition when the device no longer does the job, and everything in-between.

As a working BMET, you need to make sure that you have the skills or competencies that can keep you in step with the needs of your employer. What are these skills or competencies? AAMI is helping to provide the answers with two valuable resources: Core Competencies for the Biomedical Equipment Technician and a “career ladder” for HTM professionals.

The core competencies project began with a request from educators who sought help in developing a relevant curriculum for entry-level BMETs.

AAMI assembled a committee of experts from to develop this document. The committee included all levels of biomedical professionals from academia, hospitals, independent service organizations, the device manufacturing industry, employer institutions, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Veterans Administration.

Educational institutions may use this document to develop a strong HTM curriculum. It shows competencies that today’s entry-level BMET should possess, serves as a guide for certification as a BMET, and illustrates the skills and knowledge that BMETs will need for many years to come. While initially conceived as a document for those just entering the field, the core competencies resource can help working BMETs at all levels.

If you read the document, you will be able to assess your own competencies to see areas where you may need additional training.  You may “purchase” this document for free in a PDF format at the online AAMI Store (

The career ladder is still in development. It will be a resource that professionals can use from the beginning of their careers to the end—to sharpen skills, plan for the future, and achieve leadership positions. The career ladder also will establish a definition of “HTM leader,” and it will help organizations identify and cultivate such leaders.

Using these two documents as your personal resources can help you have a rewarding career in healthcare technology management.

Steven J. Yelton, P.E., is a professor at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. He serves as a vice chair of the AAMI Board of Directors, a member of the AAMI Foundation’s HTSI Board of Directors, and vice chair of AAMI’s Technology Management Council.

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