Biomedical Engineering Jobs

Biomedical engineering is the use of engineering principles in the field of medicine. It uses medicine and biology to solve problems and design new products that aid in making improvements in the areas of monitoring, diagnosis and therapy. Biomedical engineering has spawned many emerging technologies in medicine and health care, such as pharmaceuticals, biologicals, clinical equipment, imaging equipment, micro-implants, prostheses and regenerative tissue growth. Biomedical engineering is still a relatively new type of engineering. It involves mostly research and development. It also spans many other fields, such as bionics, biomechanics, genetic engineering, medical imaging, neural engineering, bioinstrumentation, systems physiology and clinical engineering.

Those in biomedical engineering need to have good communication skills and the ability to work as a team. Biomedical engineers may work closely with doctors, health care companies and medical equipment manufacturers to create devices that help patients improve their quality of life. They spend a majority of their time conducting research and creating computer simulations to gain a better understanding of how life processes affect our health. They may create life-saving devices such as blood analysis devices, devices for bodily systems, laser systems, pacemakers, ultrasound equipment and artificial limbs and organs. They may also work with pharmaceuticals to determine their effectiveness and how they interact with the body. Many biomedical engineering professionals focus on a specialty.

Because biomedical engineering is a new type of engineering, it is not readily available as an academic program at many schools. Therefore, you may need to do some research in order to find an accredited program that fits your career goals. Those interested in a biomedical engineering career can expect to take the fundamental math, science and chemistry courses, as well as biomechanics, biophysical chemistry, thermodynamics, circuits and systems, engineering materials, physiology, cell biology, biomedical instrumentation and design, biofluid and biosolid mechanics, biomedical materials and transport and molecular biology. As you can see, a biomedical engineering program is very heavy with medicine and health care courses, many of the same courses you would take if you were going to medical school.

Biomedical engineering is available at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels. At the undergraduate level, the courses are difficult and often require many labs, research papers and design projects. Depending on the school, you may also be required to complete an internship before graduation. Therefore, expect to take nearly six years to complete your biomedical engineering degree.

There are more than 15,000 biomedical engineers in the United States. Of these, about 3,700 work for medical equipment manufacturers. About 2,900 work in the scientific development and research field. However, the top-paying jobs in biomedical engineering are in physician offices and in the semiconductor manufacturing field, with average annual salaries exceeding $110,000. Most biomedical engineers (more than 3,800) work in California, while nearly 1,500 work in Massachusetts. However, the top-paying state by far is Alaska, with annual salaries at more than $152,000. In second place is California, with salaries averaging slightly about $95,000. Overall, biomedical engineering salaries tend to average from $50,000 to $127,000, with the average at around $81,500.

Those interested in biomedical engineering can expect a bright future, with job stability and high salaries. The field is expected to grow by a whopping 72 percent by 2018, much faster than average and more than any other career. This is due to an increase in the elderly population, with more people taking better care of themselves and living longer. There will be an increased demand for better medical equipment. Biomedical engineering has even been named as one of the 50 best careers.

Many more schools are beginning to offer degrees in biomedical engineering. There have been dramatic increases in the number of graduates in this field in the past several years. Although many jobs are available at the bachelor degree level, those looking to work in research labs will need a graduate degree. One thing to note about biomedical engineering is that, because it is still relatively new, it is still being defined. It is important not to limit yourself. There are many things you can accomplish in this field. Many graduates go on to pursue careers outside of biomedical engineering, such as finance, law or consulting.

Last Updated: 06/08/2014

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