Biomedical engineering is a relatively new discipline which combines medicine and engineering to provide solutions for the betterment of our health. Primarily, biomedical engineers are involved in the complete design of medical instruments ranging from large imaging systems such as x-ray and magnetic resonance imaging machines, to small implantable devices, such as pacemakers, cochlear implants and drug infusion pumps.
According to The U.S. Department of Labor occupational handbook, biomedical engineering is one of best-paying professions. Further, the demand for biomedical engineers in projected to increase over the next few years. Much like petroleum engineering, this demand is fueled by these two conditions, shortage of well qualified professionals and an ever expanding growth in the sector.
Current and future prospects
According to the the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of biomedical engineering jobs is expected to increase at a faster rate than the average. As companies in this sector invest more in biomedical research, the prospects for biomedical engineers are certainly promising and lucrative.
|No experience||$52, 600 – $67, 440|
|2.||2 – 4 years experience||$86, 960 – $111, 610|
|3.||Over 8 years experience||$125, 900 – $139, 450|
*Salary per year
The education progress in biomedical engineering is similar to other engineering professions. Typically, a biomedical engineering degree requires a minimum of four years of university education. A master’s degree is not required for most entry level positions. It is common for new bachelor’s-degree graduates to join a medical device or pharmaceutical company, a clinical engineering position in a hospital, or even a sales position for a biomaterials or biotechnology company right after college.
Many biomedical engineers will seek graduate level training in biomedical engineering or a related engineering field. Considering that this field is knowledge and research driven, a Master’s or Doctoral degree certainly offers greater opportunities.
Some of the universities offering accredited degrees in biomedical engineering are:
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- The Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Institute at Johns Hopkins
- Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science
- Columbia Engineering
Biomedical engineers will often work in one of these industries:
- Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing;
- Pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing;
- Scientific research and development services;
- Companies involved in tissue engineering and development of artificial organs;
- General medical and surgical hospitals; and
- Quality assurance in a governmental or regulatory organization.
On any ordinary day, a biomedical engineer will utilize their time by applying their experience and technical knowledge of biology, engineering, and medicine to design and evaluate health-related products and systems. They may work to develop or maintain medical equipment and devices that can diagnose or treat patients’ health problems.