Of the 600+ life science companies located in Utah, more than 100 are medical device companies. They make products such as arterial and vascular access devices, MRI and ultrasound equipment, pacemakers, hearing aids, surgical instruments and a whole lot more.
A story published on the web site Qmed describes Utah this way: "Beehive State is abuzz with medical device manufacturing.
"From its stunning red sandstone deserts and rugged mountains to its world-famous national parks, Utah is quite a looker. Add to this a dash of culture -- most famously the Sundance Film Festival -- and you already have several reasons for paying a visit to the Beehive State. But if you're a medical device manufacturer, you have even more reason for keeping an eye on Utah -- its rapidly expanding medtech industry."
Medical Device Manufacturing
Since Utah leads the nation in its concentration of medical device manufacturing firms, it stands to reason that the Salt Lake City metro area would have the largest concentration of people working in the medical device manufacturing sector of any metro area in the nation. And, indeed, it is so.
"We beat Greensboro, NC and Boston, MA (second and third, respectively) with more than 30% higher employment, according to 2011 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This industry has exploded over the last few years in Utah," says Mellor. "Since 2007, employment in medical device manufacturing has gone up in the U.S. 25.54%; however, in Utah it has gone up a whopping 6,300%!"
Such an increase for Utah is not hard to believe, given the rapid expansion of the medical device and overall life sciences sector, which includes the expansion or addition of companies like:
|Company Name||Utah Jobs Created|
|Fresenius Medical Care||700|
|Edwards Lifesciences Corporation||1272|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific||255|
|Merit Medical Systems, Inc.||392|
Medical Appliance Technicians
BLS data shows that the Salt Lake City metropolitan area leads all other metropolitan areas with the highest employment level in the medical appliance technician occupation. The low resolution map below depicts medical appliance technician occupation concentrations in the U.S. Click on the image to view a larger version.
Here's a table that lists the MSAs with the highest concentrations of medical appliance technicians.
|MSA||Employment||Employment / 1,000 jobs||Annual mean wage|
|Salt Lake City||550||0.91||$35,340|
|Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL Metropolitan Division||490||0.14||$34,970|
|Philadelphia, PA Metropolitan Division||470||0.26||$37,280|
|Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA NECTA Division||450||0.27||$45,740|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI||440||0.26||$43,020|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division||270||0.07||$33,990|
|Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division||270||0.13||$28,410|
|New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division||200||0.04||$34,390|
The table below depicts Utah's rank among states with the highest concentration of medical appliance technicians, based upon employment per thousand jobs.
|State||Employment||Employment / 1,000 Jobs||Annual mean wage|
Utah Leads in Biomedical Engineers
Other interesting data from the BLS shows that Utah has the highest concentration of biomedical engineers. Here's a breakdown of the top five states. The states are ranked based upon employment per thousand workers in the biomedical medical engineering field.
|State||Employment||Employment / 1,000 workers||Annual mean wage|
With the assistance of USTAR and the technology commercialization offices at Utah's two research universities, the University of Utah and Utah State University consistently spin out about a dozen new medical device companies each year combined. This includes companies like AvanSci Bio Micro Disesection, Liyen, EMRID Technologies, Ligadon and Add-It, among others, according to Mellor.
As Ron Wortley, president of Utah-based Medron Inc. told Qmed: "Utah is no slacker when it comes to medical device manufacturing. 'I moved to Salt Lake City in 1973. At that time, the area was known to have more medical companies per population base than most states. Salt Lake City provides a good source of educated and motivated workers.'" (Medron develops and manufactures disposable medical products, specializing in vascular-access products and ancillary items for catheter placement.)