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Become A Clinical Engineer

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Working As A Clinical Engineer

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

  • $89,203

    Average Salary

What Does A Clinical 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 Clinical 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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Clinical Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

73.9%

Female

24.8%

Unknown

1.3%
Ethnicity

White

57.8%

Hispanic or Latino

15.0%

Asian

13.0%

Black or African American

9.2%

Unknown

4.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.1%

French

13.0%

German

8.7%

Arabic

8.7%

Portuguese

4.3%

Cantonese

4.3%

Greek

4.3%

Armenian

4.3%

Tagalog

4.3%

Mandarin

4.3%

Italian

4.3%
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Clinical Engineer Education

Schools

University of Connecticut

13.8%

University of Phoenix

10.8%

Johns Hopkins University

6.2%

Texas A&M University

6.2%

Case Western Reserve University

6.2%

University of Rochester

4.6%

Wayne State University

4.6%

Thomas Edison State University

4.6%

University of Utah

4.6%

Cornell University

4.6%

Duke University

4.6%

Gateway Community College

4.6%

Michigan Technological University

3.1%

DeVry University-Arizona

3.1%

University of Akron

3.1%

University of Houston - Clear Lake

3.1%

Arizona State University

3.1%

Boston University

3.1%

University of Alabama at Birmingham

3.1%

Northeastern University

3.1%
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Majors

Biomedical Engineering

38.1%

Electrical Engineering

15.1%

Business

10.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.5%

Nursing

4.1%

Electromechanical Instrumentation And Maintenance Technologies/Technicians

3.7%

Biology

2.8%

Engineering

2.8%

Management

2.3%

Medical Technician

2.3%

Education

2.3%

Mechanical Engineering

1.8%

Engineering Technology

1.4%

Health Care Administration

1.4%

Computer Science

1.4%

Clinical Psychology

1.4%

Project Management

0.9%

Computer Information Systems

0.9%

Graphic Communications

0.9%

Medical Assisting Services

0.9%
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Degrees

Masters

30.9%

Bachelors

24.7%

Associate

20.4%

Other

14.5%

Doctorate

4.4%

Certificate

3.6%

Diploma

1.5%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Clinical Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Field Clinical Engineer Sunshine Heart, Inc. Eden Prairie, MN Jan 01, 2016 $313,050
Associate Clinical Engineer Renovo Solutions LLC Irvine, CA Oct 20, 2016 $118,500
Clinical Engineer UCSF Medical Center San Francisco, CA Jan 05, 2015 $110,006 -
$114,931
Senior Clinical Engineer KJWW, P.C. Naperville, IL Nov 01, 2014 $110,000
Field Clinical Engineer Medtronic, Inc. Chicago, IL Jul 01, 2016 $106,933
Field Clinical Engineer St. Jude Medical, Inc. Selma, CA Jan 29, 2016 $106,641
Field Clinical Engineer St. Jude Medical, Inc. Selma, CA Oct 01, 2015 $106,641
Field Clinical Engineer St. Jude Medical S.C., Inc. Austin, TX Sep 30, 2011 $105,651
Field Clinical Engineer St. Jude Medical S.C., Inc. Austin, TX Sep 30, 2010 $105,651
Clinical Engineer-Capital Planning Aramark Management Services LP Highland Park, IL Mar 16, 2015 $105,000
Clinical Engineer-Capital Planning Aramark Management Services LP Evanston, IL Mar 16, 2015 $105,000
Field Clinical Engineer St. Jude Medical S.C., Inc. Austin, TX Aug 04, 2009 $101,587
Clinical Content Engineer QPID, Inc. Boston, MA Mar 10, 2015 $90,304
Clinical Engineer Renovo Solutions LLC Santa Ana, CA May 08, 2015 $90,000
Senior Clinical Engineer KJWW, P.C. Naperville, IL Nov 01, 2011 $87,500
Senior Clinical Engineer Draeger Medical Systems, Inc. Andover, MA Oct 30, 2014 $85,869 -
$100,180
Senior Clinical Engineer General Hospital Corporation Boston, MA Aug 05, 2013 $85,000
Associate Field Clinical Engineer St. Jude Medical, Inc. Saint Paul, MN Mar 01, 2011 $85,000
Senior Clinical Engineer Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA Dec 27, 2016 $79,000
Clinical Engineer KJWW, P.C. Naperville, IL May 14, 2010 $79,000
Engineer-Clinical Chemistry Abbott Laboratories Irving, TX Sep 21, 2010 $78,645
Clinical Engineer Embtel, Inc. Austin, TX Apr 25, 2012 $78,367
Clinical Engineer Renovo Solutions LLC New Haven, CT May 08, 2012 $78,283
Clinical Engineer Embtel, Inc. Austin, TX Apr 25, 2012 $78,104
Clinical Engineer General Hospital Corporation Boston, MA Jul 15, 2016 $77,985

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Top Skills for A Clinical Engineer

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  1. Medical Devices
  2. Preventative Maintenance
  3. Cardiac
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conduct post-market surveillance of Class III medical devices for quality and clinical monitoring and product improvement.
  • Developed preventative maintenance practices, created documentation on repair processes, and transitioned responsibilities from other departments to the new position.
  • Trained 35 direct sales reps and 140 distributors on clinical aspects and sales strategies of cardiac resuscitation.
  • Developed medical equipment specifications and coordinated the development of healthcare systems vendor drawings.
  • Managed clinical trials in support of new defibrillator technologies.

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Top 10 Best States for Clinical Engineers

  1. Connecticut
  2. Maryland
  3. Arizona
  4. Alaska
  5. Nevada
  6. Minnesota
  7. Texas
  8. California
  9. Colorado
  10. Illinois
  • (189 jobs)
  • (328 jobs)
  • (228 jobs)
  • (30 jobs)
  • (78 jobs)
  • (202 jobs)
  • (822 jobs)
  • (1,961 jobs)
  • (253 jobs)
  • (390 jobs)

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