Joining the Industry

Joining the Industry

The medical technology industry offers a wide range of career opportunities for people interested in saving and improving the lives of Australians through innovative medical technology. There are over 19,000 people employed in the medical technology industry across Australia.

Employment Entry Points

There are a number of employment entry points into the medical technology industry. These may be at the emerging, intermediate or advanced levels during a person’s career.

Emerging level employment

Some roles within the medical technology industry do not require prior completion of tertiary education. These include customer service, technical service and back office administration. These positions offer great insight into the industry, exposure to clients and technical support. However, future career moves usually require tertiary study and/or ongoing professional development.

Employment following completion of tertiary education
Within the medical technology, pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, approximately *91% of the workforce have participated in tertiary education by completing university or VET accredited courses (*Reference: Adroit Salary Guide 2011, Adroit People, Sydney Australia).

Disciplines common to the medical technology industry include:

  • Accounting
  • Allied Health
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Health Economics
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Public Health
  • Science

Often people educated in these areas initially work within their discipline before joining the medical technology industry.

Intermediate level appointments including middle management

Further along in a person’s career, employees may return to the education system and gain a post-graduate qualification in order to increase their expertise within a specialty area, to better place them for future promotion, or to change career direction within the medical technology industry.

Advanced level senior appointments

Appointments made at senior level may attract candidates from a range of backgrounds within or beyond the medical technology industry. Their wide experience and education will compliment the senior role.

Education Pathways and Ongoing Professional Development

Industry entry points are mainly facilitated through education and training pathways.

  1. VET institutions
  2. universities (undergraduate and post-graduate courses)
  3. ongoing professional development.

Education Pathways

The two major education pathway options are university or VET accredited courses. Most undergraduate courses are completed full-time. However some may be offered part-time or through an apprenticeship. The level of education chosen will have an impact on the number of career options available. Usually the higher the qualification, the greater the career options.

Undergraduate courses
University undergraduate courses usually take three years full-time to complete. A wide range of courses are available through different delivery formats. Undergraduate qualifications commence at the diploma level and continue through to a degree.

VET institutes or private providers offer VET accredited courses. These courses usually take two years full-time to complete. Undergraduate qualifications commence at the certificate and extend to the diploma level.

The MyUniversity website is a great way to identify courses relevant to the industry from around Australia.

Post-graduate courses
Universities offer a range of post-graduate courses. These range from a graduate certificate through to a PhD. Most qualifications are completed part-time. The selected qualification will determine the number of years required to complete.

VET accredited courses are available at the post-graduate level. Like undergraduate courses, these usually commence at the certificate level and extend to the graduate diploma level.

The MyUniversity website is a great way to identify courses relevant to the industry from around Australia.

Most universities offer a wide range of courses relevant to a career in the medical technology industry. Some universities offer combined degrees, for example Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Business. Graduates with a combined degree can sometimes be better placed for additional career choices that may not be readily open to those with a single degree, particularly at the undergraduate level.

VET Institutions
VET accredited courses are available through private providers and TAFE colleges across Australia. Certificate and diploma level qualifications can be obtained through these providers. All providers that are registered to deliver VET accredited courses are listed on the National Training Information Service (NTIS) website. The Australian Qualifications Framework website provides further detail on current VET qualifications.

Career fairs and educational expos
Large universities and some VET institutions host career days and educational expos to assist potential students identify the course they are seeking, particularly at the undergraduate level. Specific information about enrollment, course work and future employment opportunities is provided. Employers often present as well.

Work experience
MTAA recognises the need to introduce students in secondary and tertiary education to the many career opportunities available to them within the medical technology industry. A Workplace Learning Directory has been established on the MTAA website listing member companies that offer workplace learning opportunities.

Professional Development

Ongoing professional development is essential for developing and maintaining a knowledgeable and sustainable medical technology workforce. Medical technology professionals require up to date knowledge, skills and understanding to deliver positive outcomes in the ever complex and changing healthcare environment.

Participating in the MTAA professional development program will foster excellence and provide ongoing opportunities to better enable and sustain the workforce. A range of MTAA professional development opportunities are available. o learn more, please click here.

When employed in the workforce there are many opportunities to participate in training. These are available through external providers such as MTAA, or by employers in-house where resources are available. Training often forms part of a new employee’s orientation to the role.

Career Benefits

To learn about the benefits of a career in the medical technology industry, contact MTAA.