Biomedical engineering is, in essence, the design and creation of medical devices ranging from small implants to massive medical machinery. For example, biomedical engineering has been crucial in the development of pacemakers, artificial hips, stem cell engineering, and 3D printing of organs.
When you study biomedical engineering, you’ll have the opportunity to work at the very forefront of medical development. You’ll assist in the creation of devices that improve people’s lives in ways that you can’t imagine. Whether it’s reducing pain with an artificial organ or increasing movement, and thereby enhancing personal independence, you can go to work every day knowing you are doing something incredibly worthwhile for the greater population. Few careers can claim to have such a positive impact on people’s lives, and that’s something that you’ll take with you wherever you go.
THE CAREER PATH
If you study biomedical engineering, you’ll have a huge assortment of opportunities available. If you love science, math, and biology, and have always enjoyed creating physical items, a biomedical engineering degree may be right for you. These programs bring access to a field that is changing the medical industry, as well as the health, fitness, and mobility of people across the globe.
Working as a biomedical engineer, you can specialize in areas such as bioinstrumentation, which involved developing tools for healthcare, or biomechanics, which focuses on creating products that help with body motion, such as knee braces. From genetic engineering to medical imaging, there is a seemingly limitless variety of opportunities for graduates of biomedical-engineering programs.
Here are the top career choices:
- Biomedical Engineer—This is the most obvious career for someone educated in biomedical engineering, but as we’ve discussed, the specifics of the job can take many paths. In this career, you may be designing medical equipment, providing support for the use of new innovations, training clinical staff, or conducting experiments for the creation and use of biomedical equipment. The median annual salary for this career is $88,040, which is an outstanding income for a career that only requires a bachelor’s degree. The top 10% in this field are well rewarded, with salaries over $142,000 annually.
- Biochemist or Biophysicist—To land this career, you will need a Ph.D in a specific science, but a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering is a good start. Biochemists study the molecular processes of cells in both plant and animals, hoping to understand genetic traits. Biophysicists, on the other hand, conduct research on how nerve cells communicate, as well as the interworking of proteins. While the required training for these careers is extensive, you’ll enjoy a field that has a median salary of $91,190 a year. Also, the top 10% can expect salaries over $177,000, making it a well-paying science career. With 11% growth, which is above the national average of 7%, there will be an expected 35,000 positions by 2026.
WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?
Biomedical engineering is not for everyone, and you need to have certain traits and characteristics to excel in your classes and thrive in your career. Analytical skills, for example, are crucial for anyone studying biomedical engineering. This career requires that you analyze and study the needs of patients and customers, so a general aptitude for analysis is a good trait. You should also be creative, as this career will require that you come up with thoughtful solutions to a wide range of problems. You’ll have to think beyond conventions to create solutions that might not be seen by others. The ability to communicate is also essential, as you’ll have to take feedback from patients and leaders and incorporate this information into the devices and equipment you create.
Above all, the ability to perform math is essential. As an engineering discipline, this career requires a general aptitude for mathematics, including calculus, statistics, geometry, and more. A comfort level with math, if not outright enjoyment, is a good quality to have.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
When searching for a biomedical engineering degree, you should start by looking at the coursework to ensure that the program will help meet your future goals. In particular, look at the individual classes to verify that they meet your needs. You should also look to see if the class is taught 100% online or if there will be in-person requirements. You also need to ensure that the program is properly accredited with academic organizations. Accreditation increases the chances that you will receive a high-quality education, so avoid any programs that are not accredited. Every program in our directory has been screened for proper accreditation.
Get started in biomedical engineering today by clicking on a program to get more information. Compare costs carefully, many quality programs cost less than the national average.