By Michele Genet
With the rise of remote work in the last few years, many consider traveling for work to be passé. But even today, a career that involves travel can have several personal and professional benefits. And one career path that lends itself especially well to travel work is as a biomedical equipment technician (BMET).
BMETs maintain and repair equipment that’s used in all areas of medicine. By making sure every device, from IV pumps to complex imaging equipment like MRIs, is operating at peak performance, these professionals support patient safety and a facility’s bottom line. No hospital, urgent care clinic or specialty practice can function successfully without a committed biomedical team.
For these reasons, talented biomedical techs are always in high demand. In fact, the job market for BMETs is expected to grow 17% annually through 2031, with new openings popping up all over the country. And BMETs who are willing to travel or relocate to meet that surge are especially in demand.
Even so, you might not be sure if life working on the road is right for you. Here’s what I’d encourage you to consider about a smart and highly beneficial career move:
1. Explore new places.
If you want to experience new cities, travel work offers a great opportunity to explore different locales while also expanding your resume.
There’s a variety of places you can work and length of positions available. Some traveling workers drive to a worksite within a few hours of home every Sunday, come home for the weekend and repeat. Others will fly to their position and stay for four to five weeks, or they could agree to contracts for six months, a year or longer.
Of course, a major draw of working on the road is simply seeing other parts of the country. You get to experience different cultures, cuisines and landmarks – and what it’s like to be a BMET in different environments.
2. Experiencing different paces and styles of work.
Every new workplace you travel to will give you a unique experience.
Large metro areas like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles offer extremely busy hospitals and clinics with high patient volumes. At these facilities, you would likely support an established, in-house team, gain exposure to a broader range of equipment and develop your knowledge. Conversely, healthcare operations in more rural areas may have smaller facilities but traveling BMETs might work more independently in these locations. They are relied upon to respond efficiently: working on preventative maintenance, troubleshooting and repairs for a wider variety of equipment.
Different workplaces also come with different people. On demand BMETs who travel will encounter colleagues and managers with a varied range of experiences, work styles and personalities. These diverse environments teach you how to problem solve with people who see things differently than you. Teams also vary dramatically from place to place in terms of culture, processes and levels of collaboration. Joining different teams gives you a well-rounded perspective on how to achieve a goal when you’re part of something bigger.
3. Working with different kinds of equipment.
Each medical facility also has its own unique set of technical needs.
One facility you work for might have a radiology department with new scanners but patient monitoring equipment that hasn’t been recently updated. Another could be stocked with hundreds of state-of-the-art vital signs monitors while its one MRI machine is an older model.
A career on the road lets you get up close and personal with a new set of medical machinery at every hospital you work. When it comes to advancing any career in healthcare technology, there’s no substitute for hands-on experience.
4. Figuring out what kind of worker you are.
Travel work is a great way to determine what your future career looks like.
Maybe you’re a newly certified technician or a seasoned veteran who needs to make a change (but you don’t know what exactly that change is). Either way, taking assignments with different employers in different parts of the country can help you figure out which work environments, teamwork styles and responsibilities fit you best.
A lucky few travel workers land their dream job with the first opportunity they take. However, you’ll probably end up going on several different assignments before you pinpoint what exactly you want in a long-term job.
Do you prefer your daily workload to be routine or flexible? Are you most proficient in one category of equipment? What kind of mentorship style brings out the best in you? Do you work better as a constant collaborator or more independently? Would you rather see mountains or skyscrapers when you leave work for the day? Do you eventually want a permanent position instead of traveling for work?
These are important questions that travel work will help you answer in time.
Ready to get started as a traveling BMET?
Travel work is an intriguing prospect for any biomedical equipment technician. It’s a great way for beginners to gain well-rounded experience and for longtime BMETs to figure out what’s next.
If you’re a BMET who’s interested in entering travel work, Far West Staffing Services can help get you there. We currently have open roles for biomedical equipment technicians and imaging engineers at levels I, II and III – all with the option to travel on the job. There are also traveling positions available for those who specialize in pump repair and maintenance.