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Become A Biomedical Engineer

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Working As A Biomedical Engineer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $82,852

    Average Salary

What Does A Biomedical Engineer Do

Biomedical engineers combine engineering principles with medical and biological sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software used in healthcare.

Duties

Biomedical engineers typically do the following:

  • Design equipment and devices, such as artificial internal organs, replacements for body parts, and machines for diagnosing medical problems
  • Install, adjust, maintain, repair, or provide technical support for biomedical equipment
  • Evaluate the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of biomedical equipment
  • Train clinicians and other personnel on the proper use of equipment
  • Work with life scientists, chemists, and medical scientists to research the engineering aspects of the biological systems of humans and animals
  • Prepare procedures, write technical reports, publish research papers, and make recommendations based on their research findings
  • Present research findings to scientists, nonscientist executives, clinicians, hospital management, engineers, other colleagues, and the public

Biomedical engineers design instruments, devices, and software used in healthcare; bring together knowledge from many technical sources to develop new procedures; or conduct research needed to solve clinical problems.

They often serve a coordinating function, using their background in both engineering and medicine. For example, they may create products for which an indepth understanding of living systems and technology is essential. They frequently work in research and development or in quality assurance.

Biomedical engineers design electrical circuits, software to run medical equipment, or computer simulations to test new drug therapies. In addition, they design and build artificial body parts, such as hip and knee joints. In some cases, they develop the materials needed to make the replacement body parts. They also design rehabilitative exercise equipment.

The work of these engineers spans many professional fields. For example, although their expertise is based in engineering and biology, they often design computer software to run complicated instruments, such as three-dimensional x-ray machines. Alternatively, many of these engineers use their knowledge of chemistry and biology to develop new drug therapies. Others draw heavily on mathematics and statistics to build models to understand the signals transmitted by the brain or heart.

The following are examples of specialty areas within the field of biomedical engineering:

Bioinstrumentation uses electronics, computer science, and measurement principles to develop devices used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Biomaterials is the study of naturally occurring or laboratory-designed materials that are used in medical devices or as implantation materials.

Biomechanics involves the study of mechanics, such as thermodynamics, to solve biological or medical problems.

Clinical engineering applies medical technology to optimize healthcare delivery.

Rehabilitation engineering is the study of engineering and computer science to develop devices that assist individuals with physical and cognitive impairments.

Systems physiology uses engineering tools to understand how systems within living organisms, from bacteria to humans, function and respond to changes in their environment.

Some people with training in biomedical engineering become professors. For more information, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.

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How To Become A Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering or bioengineering from an accredited program in order to enter the occupation. Alternatively, they can get a bachelor’s degree in a different field of engineering and then either choose biological science electives or get a graduate degree in biomedical engineering.

Education

Prospective biomedical engineering or bioengineering students should take high school science courses, such as chemistry, physics, and biology. They should also take math courses, including algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. Courses in drafting or mechanical drawing and in computer programming are also useful.

Bachelor’s degree programs in biomedical engineering and bioengineering focus on engineering and biological sciences. Programs include laboratory-based courses, in addition to classroom-based courses, in subjects such as fluid and solid mechanics, computer programming, circuit design, and biomaterials. Other required courses may include biological sciences, such as physiology.

Accredited programs also include substantial training in engineering design. Many programs include co-ops or internships, often with hospitals and medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, to provide students with practical applications as part of their study. Biomedical engineering and bioengineering programs are accredited by ABET.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Biomedical engineers must be able to analyze the needs of patients and customers to design appropriate solutions.

Communication skills. Because biomedical engineers sometimes work with patients and frequently work on teams, they must be able to express themselves clearly. They must seek others’ ideas and incorporate those ideas into the problem-solving process.

Creativity. Biomedical engineers must be creative to come up with innovative and integrative advances in healthcare equipment and devices.

Math skills. Biomedical engineers use the principles of calculus and other advanced topics in mathematics, as well as statistics, for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. Biomedical engineers typically deal with and solve problems in complex biological systems.

Advancement

Biomedical engineers typically receive greater responsibility through experience and more education. To lead a research team, a biomedical engineer generally needs a graduate degree. Some biomedical engineers attend medical or dental school to specialize in applications at the forefront of patient care, such as using electric impulses in new ways to get muscles moving again. Some earn law degrees and work as patent attorneys. Others pursue a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and move into managerial positions. For more information, see the profiles on lawyers and architectural and engineering managers.

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Do you work as a Biomedical Engineer?

Biomedical Engineer Jobs

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Biomedical Engineer Career Paths

Biomedical Engineer
Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Supervisor Laboratory Manager
Director Of Laboratory Services
13 Yearsyrs
Field Engineer Senior Project Engineer Product Development Manager
Director Of New Product Development
10 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Quality Manager
Director Of Quality
14 Yearsyrs
Engineer Operations Manager Marketing Director
Director, Global Marketing
13 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Senior Project Manager Senior Manager Of Marketing
Director, Strategic Marketing
10 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Field Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Product Development Engineer Mechanical Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Clinical Engineer Service Engineer
Engineering Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Information Technology Director Chief Technologist
Imaging Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Analyst Chemist
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Field Engineer Senior Engineer Section Manager
Manager Of Engineering Department
7 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Engineer Project Engineer Plant Manager
Manufacturing Director
14 Yearsyrs
Product Development Engineer Project Engineer
Quality Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Quality Assurance Manager
Regulatory Affairs Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Research Engineer Process Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Operations Manager Site Manager
Site Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Research Engineer Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Engineering Manager Director Of Product Development
Vice President Product Development
13 Yearsyrs
Engineer Quality Engineer Director Of Quality
Vice-President Of Quality
15 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Biomedical Engineer?

Biomedical Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

70.3%

Female

25.6%

Unknown

4.1%
Ethnicity

White

47.1%

Asian

21.8%

Hispanic or Latino

13.8%

Black or African American

9.5%

Unknown

7.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

33.3%

French

13.6%

Arabic

10.6%

Cantonese

6.1%

Hindi

4.5%

Mandarin

3.0%

Turkish

3.0%

Carrier

3.0%

Italian

3.0%

Portuguese

3.0%

Chinese

3.0%

Swahili

1.5%

Vietnamese

1.5%

Gujarati

1.5%

Korean

1.5%

Shan

1.5%

Hebrew

1.5%

Tamil

1.5%

Greek

1.5%

Tagalog

1.5%
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Biomedical Engineer Education

Schools

New Jersey Institute of Technology

11.3%

Drexel University

8.0%

University of Connecticut

7.1%

Louisiana Tech University

6.1%

Wayne State University

5.7%

University of Texas at Arlington

5.2%

Case Western Reserve University

5.2%

Johns Hopkins University

5.2%

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

5.2%

Cornell University

5.2%

University of Iowa

4.7%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.8%

Marquette University

3.8%

Northwestern University

3.8%

Cleveland State University

3.8%

Arizona State University

3.3%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.3%

University of Phoenix

3.3%

George Washington University

3.3%

University of California - Los Angeles

2.8%
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Majors

Biomedical Engineering

55.2%

Electrical Engineering

12.0%

Mechanical Engineering

5.0%

Business

4.8%

Engineering

3.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.0%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.0%

Management

1.7%

Computer Science

1.5%

Electromechanical Instrumentation And Maintenance Technologies/Technicians

1.2%

Chemical Engineering

1.2%

Physics

1.2%

Project Management

1.0%

Materials Science And Engineering

1.0%

Computer Engineering

1.0%

Systems Engineering

1.0%

Information Systems

1.0%

Nursing

0.8%

Cell Biology And Anatomical Science

0.8%

Marketing

0.8%
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Degrees

Masters

37.6%

Bachelors

35.1%

Other

10.4%

Doctorate

8.8%

Associate

4.9%

Certificate

2.1%

Diploma

1.1%
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Real Biomedical Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Assistant Biomedical Engineer Massachusetts General Physician's Organization Boston, MA Jul 01, 2015 $157,200
Natural Language Processing Biomedical Engineer Invitae Corporation San Francisco, CA Aug 16, 2016 $155,000
Biomedical Engineer Verotech Solutions, LLC Elkton, MD Feb 16, 2016 $146,090
Biomedical Engineer Auris Surgical Robotics Inc. San Carlos, CA Jun 06, 2016 $125,000
Biomedical Engineer (National Technical Support) Brainlab Inc. Westchester, IL Jan 16, 2015 $123,718
Biomedical Engineer (National Technical Support) Brainlab Inc. Westchester, IL Feb 19, 2016 $123,718
Biomedical Engineer Vital Connect, Inc. Campbell, CA Apr 13, 2015 $116,000
Senior Biomedical Engineer Earlens Corporation Menlo Park, CA Feb 05, 2016 $115,000
Senior Biomedical Engineer Medtronic, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jan 10, 2016 $115,000
Senior Biomedical Engineer Earlens Corporation Menlo Park, CA May 02, 2016 $115,000
Biomedical Engineer Radiographic Equipment Services, Inc. San Diego, CA Sep 11, 2015 $110,000
Senior Biomedical Engineer Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals LP Waltham, MA Sep 08, 2015 $110,000
Biomedical Engineer Level One Robotics and Controls, Inc. Rochester Hills, MI May 20, 2015 $109,075
Biomedical Engineer Helix Medical, LLC Gloucester, MA Jan 21, 2015 $85,000
Biomedical Engineer Sleepiq Labs, Inc. San Jose, CA Nov 16, 2015 $83,574
Biomedical Engineer Echo Labs, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Sep 13, 2016 $83,574 -
$117,624
Biomedical Engineer Medtronic, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Aug 31, 2016 $83,446
Biomedical Engineer Auris Surgical Robotics Inc. San Carlos, CA Aug 30, 2016 $82,000
Biomedical Engineer (Imaging Analysis Scientist) Invicro, LLC Boston, MA Sep 02, 2015 $82,000
Biomedical Engineer Renal Physicians of North Texas, MSO Irving, TX Apr 29, 2016 $81,827
Biomedical Engineer Signalsolutions, LLC Lexington, KY Aug 31, 2015 $81,393 -
$104,350
Biomedical Engineer Everheart Systems Webster, TX Aug 25, 2016 $72,361
Biomedical Engineer Bio-Medical Services, Inc. CA Nov 09, 2016 $72,342
Biomedical Engineers Hyde Engineering + Consulting, Inc. PA Aug 23, 2016 $72,000
Biomedical Engineer PPG Health Pa Fort Worth, TX Apr 04, 2016 $71,739
Biomedical Engineer Bio-Medical Services, Inc. San Diego, CA Feb 02, 2015 $71,459
Biomedical Engineer Bio-Medical Services, Inc. Inglewood, CA Apr 01, 2016 $71,219
Biomedical Engineer SOMA Technology, Inc. Bloomfield, CT Jan 10, 2016 $70,000
Biomedical Engineer Thorlabs, Inc. Jessup, MD Nov 30, 2015 $70,000

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Top Skills for A Biomedical Engineer

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  1. New Medical Equipment
  2. Preventative Maintenance
  3. Electrical Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Supervised the installation, and maintenance of new medical equipment.
  • Designed and implemented specialized preventative maintenance systems in accordance to customer's requests and needs.
  • Perform Electrical Safety Testing and Air Quality Testing; maintain all Documentations and Replacement parts Inventory Control.
  • Provided training in proper system maintenance and operation to laboratory equipment operators.
  • Converted the manual Laboratory Equipment Record System to a Computerized Data Base System.

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Top Biomedical Engineer Employers

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