How to Become a Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical Engineer
Biomedical Engineer Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year$101,020
Avg. Pay / hour$48.57
Education4+ Years
Outlook4%

Individuals who are highly interested in math and science may find that beginning a career as a Biomedical Engineer is a perfect fit for them.

Biomedical Engineers are experienced in working with and solving a variety of problems that exist in Biology and medicine.

This focused problem solving is behind many of the improvements to the quality of care a patient experiences when receiving health care services.

Biomedical Engineers are specialized professionals that use their education and background in not only engineering, but also medicine.

These professionals are behind many of the progressive technologies we see that helps the advancement of the medical field.

Education Requirements to Become a Biomedical Engineer

Individuals who want to become a Biomedical Engineer need a combination of educational requirements as well as innate qualities and skills to secure a job in this profession.

The minimum educational requirement for an entry level position in this field is a bachelor’s degree.

For individuals who know they want to become a Biomedical Engineer right out of high school, the path they can take to enter this field is to seek a degree in Biomedical Engineering provided by an accredited college or university.

A high concentration in math and science courses such as Chemistry, Calculus, Biology and Physics is suggested.

For individuals who do not focus on Biomedical Engineering as an undergrad, they may opt to attend graduate school.

These individuals should secure an undergraduate degree in another engineering focus then pursue applying for graduate degrees in Biological Engineering.

In addition, these individuals can also seek on the job training in entry level to secure a job in this field.

Biomedical Engineer Job Description

An experienced Biomedical Engineer will study and invent systems or devices that will improve the quality of care for patients.

Invented products can include artificial internal organs, artificial machines that replace some body parts as well as medical machines used to diagnose or facilitate treatment.

Examples of these products include prosthesis, heart pacers and infant incubators.

A Biomedical Engineer’s primary focus is to work on inefficiencies that exist within patient health care.

They improve inefficiencies by designing, selecting resources and supplies to create prototype equipment.

They then test the prototypes to perfect their science and finally pursue manufacturing for their highly needed inventions.

This can include designing instruments, software or devices that will improve the quality of care provided to health care patients.

A Biological Engineer’s duties can also include installing, troubleshooting, repairing and delivering technical support for biomedical devices.

These biomedical devices will be located in health care offices that have purchased equipment.

In addition, a Biomedical Engineer will also prepare and train clinicians and other health care personnel on how to use the equipment.

Testing how efficient and safe biomedical equipment can also be attributed to Biological Engineers.

Biological Engineers are not only involved in the creation of important medical equipment and devices, they also assure that the equipment and devices are fully functioning and safe to use.

For equipment located in offices, they will also meet with health care professionals on the proper use and maintenance.

Biomedical Engineer Salary and Career Path

According to figures from 2012, Biological Engineers can expect to earn a median annual salary of $86,960.

Actual wages will depend on the industry an individual works in.

For example, the top paying industry for Biomedical Engineers is in the Scientific Research and Development Services paying a median wage of approximately $94,150.

While the postsecondary sector such as universities and colleges pay the lowest wages for this profession at approximately $63,440 annually.

In addition to a healthy income, another incentive to become a Biomedical Engineer includes the job prospects this profession is expected to undergo.

Through the year 2022, this profession is expected to increase by 27 percent.

This rate is considered faster than average and will add another 5,200 hundred jobs through 2022.

The comprehensive training and education a Biomedical Engineers undergoes makes it a unique profession for someone to go into.

Biological Engineers are a much needed profession because of their important behind the scenes work that makes advancements in the medical field.

Future Biomedical Engineers can assure themselves that their chosen career path not only guarantees a good salary, but can also expect that their knowledge and skills will better the medical field by focusing on enhancing patient care.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

$101,020
$60K
$75K
$101K
$123K
$154K
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$80,370
Arizona$120,970
California$105,700
Colorado$97,870
Connecticut$116,430
District of Columbia$89,530
Florida$81,880
Georgia$91,430
Illinois$97,140
Indiana$92,050
Iowa$73,170
Kansas$82,590
Kentucky$80,760
Louisiana$111,440
Maryland$104,470
Massachusetts$115,670
Michigan$101,850
Minnesota$119,250
Missouri$77,040
Nebraska$70,940
Nevada$82,720
New Jersey$110,700
New Mexico$134,120
New York$106,690
North Carolina$92,240
Ohio$90,680
Oregon$86,900
Pennsylvania$91,890
South Carolina$99,980
Tennessee$98,600
Texas$81,660
Utah$84,060
Vermont$84,710
Virginia$93,930
Washington$109,420
Wisconsin$108,250

The top earning state in the field is New Mexico, where the average salary is $134,120.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

New Mexico - $134,120
Arizona - $120,970
Minnesota - $119,250
Connecticut - $116,430
Massachusetts - $115,670
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Bioengineers and Biomedical Engineers, OCC Code 17-2031, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a biomedical engineer?

Biomedical engineers combine engineering with medical and biological sciences to design biomedical equipment and devices.

They design devices used for diagnosis and software used in healthcare but also artificial internal organs and replacements for body parts.

Some biomedical engineers specialize in a specific field, such as bio-instrumentation, biomaterials, biomechanics, clinical engineering, systems physiology, and rehabilitation engineering.

Biomedical engineers need, not only analytical and math skills, but also creativity, problem-solving skills, and communication skills.

How much does a biomedical engineer make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for biomedical engineers was $88,550 per year in May 2018.

Salaries vary widely, depending on the field of employment.

For example, biomedical engineers working for colleges or schools earned a median wage of $69,100, while those employed by companies specialized in navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing earned a median wage of $101,960 a year.

How much does it cost to become a biomedical engineer?

Biomedical engineers usually need a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, bioengineering or a related engineering field.

Some positions may also require a master’s degree or Ph.D.

Students who enroll in traditional engineering programs should take biology classes in college.

Bachelor’s degree programs in biomedical engineering combine laboratory and classroom courses and cover topics such as fluid and solid mechanics, computer programming, physiology, and biomaterials.

Biomedical engineering programs can cost you anywhere between $25,000 a year to more than $70,000 a year.

The costs vary depending on a wide range of factors.

What is the demand for biomedical engineers?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for biomedical engineers is expected to grow 4 percent from 2018 to 2028.

Forecasters say the demand for biomedical devices is expected to grow, as people become more aware of the technological advances.

As new technologies appear and their applications to the medical field are increasing, the demand for biomedical engineers is expected to grow in the future.

How long does it take to become a biomedical engineer?

Biomedical engineers usually need a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering or a related engineering field but some positions may also require a master’s degree or Ph.D.

If you want to become a biomedical engineer you should start preparing in high school by taking biology and science classes.

Classes in drafting may also be useful.

Getting your bachelor’s degree usually takes around four years.

Students who enroll in traditional engineering programs should also take biology classes in college.

Some colleges and universities also offer 5-year programs which lead to both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Some biomedical engineers also go to medical or dental school if they want to specialize in specific techniques.

Getting your Ph.D. usually takes between 3 and 5 years.

Jamie Willis
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