Biomedical Equipment Technology grad working for TRIMEDX in Michigan
Zach Wilbur, 30, graduated from Dakota County Technical College in 2020 with an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Biomedical Equipment Technology. Today, Zach is working as a biomedical equipment technician (BMET) for TRIMEDX, an industry-leading, independent clinical asset management company headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is based at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan.
Zach provides clinical equipment services at the hospital, doing performance assurance (PA) inspections, scheduled maintenance, electrical safety inspections (ESI), and operation verification procedures (OVP) on general biomedical equipment. He assists other technicians in the troubleshooting and major repair of complex equipment.
He was residing in his home state of Michigan when he found out about the DCTC BMET program via the college’s website.
“We moved to Minnesota so that I could spend time with my folks and go back to school to find a skill set where I could make a difference while earning a good living,” he said. “The move had its own challenges like being far from family and friends, but I’m very glad I took the leap and had the support of my folks and my amazing wife.
Zach pointed out that his first year as a BMET student wasn’t easy, but he knew that would be the case at the beginning of any career change.
“My BMET class had the added challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic kicking off just as we were set to finish most instruction and begin our internships,” he said. “This caused us to miss out on vital experience that we then had to acquire other ways. This challenge however prepared me for the learning curve and made me appreciate and seek out any biomed knowledge I can get.”
Zach is centering his future education goals on obtaining certification as a CBET (Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician) through the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). He’s also looking forward to completing modality training with TRIMEDX.
“My long-range career plans include becoming a senior BMET with management responsibilities,” Zach said.
More about Zach…
Originally from Battle Creek, Michigan, Zach graduated from Battle Creek Central High School, Class of 2008. He went on to earn an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Biology/Biological Sciences at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek.
“My biology background helped me with BMET, especially when it comes to the theory of operation for a lot of the equipment in terms of a physiological perspective,” he said. “The electrical theory and troubleshooting was something I still needed to develop.”
Zach and his wife, Tabitha, have been married nearly two years. Tabby is an Amazon delivery driver.
Zach and Tabby have two dogs, a 4-month-old Great Pyrenees/Lab mix named Pan and a 5-year-old Lab/Chow mix named named Tootsie. The family also has one 6-year-old black cat named Ms. Kitty and a bearded dragon named Sol.
In his free time, Zach enjoys gaming, bowling and playing Dungeons & Dragons.
“I enjoy a wide variety of games, mainly RPGs, but I’ve been big into Warframe since 2013, and I’ve been known to dabble in Call of Duty,” he said. “I’m still earning my stripes in bowling with only a 120(ish) average. I bowl on a league team with my wife’s family.”
Zach, Tabby, Pan, Tootsie, Ms. Kitty and Sol reside in Holt, Michigan.
Zach family and work gallery
Medical Equipment Repairers
Adjust or fix medical equipment.
This career pays above the statewide median of $21.49/hour
Seven-county Twin Cities metro
This career is currently in high demand. This career is seeing very high growth compared to other careers. Growth rate is 3.8 percent.
There will be a need for about 1,116 new Medical Equipment Repairers to meet market demand between 2016–2026. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.
Medical Equipment Repairers often work in the following industries:
- Ambulatory Health Care Services
- Repair and Maintenance
- Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods
- Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers
Job title examples:
- Radiology Service Engineer
- Biomedical Equipment Technician (BMET)
- Biomedical Equipment Specialist
- Durable Medical Equipment Technician (DME Tech)
- Field Service Technician
Zach Wilbur • Q & A
What did you like best about the Biomedical Equipment Technology program?
The part of the program I loved most was working with the technology and learning the theory of operation alongside my classmates, and the friendships we formed.
Why did you choose the healthcare field as your career path?
I chose healthcare because I’ve always had a passion for helping others and in healthcare you can have the most profound impact on so many lives that may otherwise not be there without your contribution. If my work helps even just one person, then all of my effort and time has paid off.
What do you find most interesting about your job as a biomedical equipment technician?
I love working with my hands and I have always been technologically inclined, and I saw this as a way to have the most widespread positive effect through the use of the equipment that I repair and maintain as well as the education and asset management that we do on a daily basis.
What is the most complex biomedical equipment you’ve worked on so far?
I’m still in my first year, but the pandemic has provided not only some unique challenges, but also some opportunities to rally together with my coworkers and work on some really amazing equipment. But based on just sheer complexity, I would have to say electro-surgical units with defibrillators taking a close second place. Both are high-risk, mission-critical devices and are used in lifesaving situations.
Three words that describe you as a biomedical equipment technician:
THOROUGH. INNOVATIVE. HARDWORKING.
What advice would you give students thinking about majoring in Biomedical Equipment Technology?
Practice troubleshooting and immerse yourself in the technology as much as you can. Enjoy learning because with this profession continuing education (in many forms) never ends. And make sure you love what this job is.
Biomed is an unsung hero in healthcare, and you need to be able to gain satisfaction from the knowledge at the end of the day that the equipment you work on will make a difference in so many lives with little to no recognition. Biomed is relatively unknown to most people. (Though I suspect that will get better with time).
What person has influenced you the most in life and why?
My dad has definitely been the biggest influence. He works for Thomson-Reuters for their database/application support. My dad is the hardest worker I’ve ever met, and he truly cares and takes pride in everything that he does.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
In 20 years, I see myself managing my own biomed shop and fostering the next generation of biomed techs.
More about Biomedical Equipment Technology at DCTC…
Students in the Biomedical Equipment Technology program at Dakota County Technical College are trained to work in the field of healthcare technology management (HTM) as biomedical equipment technicians, more commonly known as BMETs.
As a student in the program, you will learn to test the performance and operating characteristics of medical electronic/electromechanical equipment of moderate to high complexity to ensure compliance with established performance and safety standards.
As a BMET program graduate, you will be qualified to maintain critical medical equipment found in a variety of healthcare settings, including:
- Medical centers
- Research universities
- Contract service providers
- Biomedical equipment manufacturers
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, medical equipment repairers, also known as biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs), repair a wide range of electronic, electromechanical, and hydraulic equipment used in hospitals and health practitioners’ offices. They may work on patient monitors, defibrillators, ventilators, anesthesia machines, and other life-supporting equipment.
BMETs also may work on medical imaging equipment (X-rays, CAT scanners, and ultrasound equipment), voice-controlled operating tables, and electric wheelchairs. In addition, they repair medical equipment that dentists and eye doctors use.
If a machine has problems or is not functioning to its potential, repairers first diagnose the problem. They then adjust the mechanical, electronic, or hydraulic parts or modify the software in order to recalibrate the equipment and fix the issue.
One word that best describes your experience at DCTC:
$2,500 Workforce Development Scholarship
Scholarship amount: $2,500 per year • $1,250 each fall and spring semester
Scholarship can be used for DCTC programs, including Biomedical Equipment Technology, leading to high-demand careers.
Zach Wilbur • 12 Answers
- Favorite sport or physical activity: Bowling
- Place you would most like to visit: Europe’s castles
- The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Use my knowledge to help others as a frontline healthcare worker
- Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Invest in my family and organizations like AAMI 2) Probably build my dream ranch in the middle of nowhere 3) I would not retire, though—too much to do and learn
- Favorite TV show you’re watching now: The Witcher
- Time period you would explore if you could time travel: Dark Ages
- One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Be a good dad (someday soon, hopefully)
- Your national bird if you were your own country: Blue jay
- Dream occupation: Biomed director
- Person you would most like to meet: Nikola Tesla
- Skill you would most like to learn and master: Nuclear medicine modality
- Most important issue or problem facing humankind: How we address climate change as a species
Learn more about Biomedical Equipment Technology at DCTC by contacting:
Biomedical Equipment Technology Faculty
Academic and Financial Aid Advisor