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Biomedical Engineer Careers

Should You Become A Biomedical Engineer?

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Examining thin sections of polyethylene from a retrieved hip component in the Dartmouth Biomedical Engineering Center
Dartmouth College/Flickr
Do you love biology, medicine, and engineering? If you are looking for a way to combine math and science of engineering with biology and medicine, a career as a biomedical engineer may be a great career choice for you.

Job Outlook for Biomedical Engineers:
It is worth mentioning up front that the field of biomedical engineering is projected to grow by over 70% in the ten year period ending in 2018! (According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) This is one of many reasons why this could be a great field to explore. However, the field of biomedical engineering is not an especially large field; there are only about 16,000 professionals employed as biomedical engineers. Therefore, that high growth percentage will only result in about 11,000 additional jobs, over that ten year period.

Education Requirements for Biomedical Engineers:
Biomedical engineers have at least a bachelor's degree in engineering from a university or four-year college. Ideally the degree would be in biomedical engineering, but some biomedical engineers studied mechanical, electrical, or some other related type of engineering. A master's degree is often preferred for many senior-level roles, but there are jobs available to college graduates after completing the bachelor's degree.

What Do Biomedical Engineers Do?
Biomedical engineers can serve in a variety of roles, most of which involve the invention and creation of medical devices such as implants, prostheses (artificial limbs), and any hardware that can be used to help improve patients' health and quality of life. Also, capital equipment such as imaging or other diagnostics may be developed by biomedical engineers. There are thousands of different types of medical devices, too many different types to list here!

The specific role of a biomedical engineer could entail designing, building, researching, testing, or marketing medical devices. According to the BLS, some of the subspecialties for biomedical engineering include biomaterials, biomechanics, medical imaging, rehabilitation engineering, and orthopedic engineering.

Average Pay for Biomedical Engineers
The median income for biomedical engineers is $77,400, according to the most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of 2010). Those in the top 10% earn just over $121,000.

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