Biomedical engineers enjoy helping improve the lives of patients by using engineering knowledge to make biomedical equipment. They design artificial body parts to replace ailing ones and in so doing, provide comfort and relief to patients. If this is something that you would love to do, then you can consider a career as a biomedical engineer. In addition creating artificial body parts, you’ll also have the chance to design machines that detect medical issues and diagnose them. You’ll also have the opportunity to work with other professionals in the science fields in the course of your career.
You’ll need to be highly-analytical since you will be looking for appropriate solutions that would meet patients’ needs. In addition to problem-solving skills, you will have to be very good in math as the design of equipment will involve using advanced mathematical principles and calculus.
If you love to combine your knowledge of engineering and biology to prolong the lives of patients and keep them healthy, a career as a biomedical engineer will certainly be rewarding. In addition to the intellectual satisfaction that comes with the job, biomedical engineers are also well-compensated. Moreover, demand is expected to be high for those in this profession in the next ten years.
Biomedical Engineer Work Environment
Biomedical engineers typically follow regular hours but can sometimes be asked to perform overtime work when the situation calls for it. They usually work fulltime in companies that manufacture medical equipment and supplies, those that perform scientific research as well as in pharmaceutical firms. Some of them teach in universities and colleges while others work in hospitals.
Biomedical Engineer Salary
According to the May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage of biomedical engineers is $93,960 or a median hourly wage of $42.63. The May 2012 report of the agency also revealed that the highest paid biomedical engineers are those working in the scientific research and development services industry. This is followed by those in the medical equipment and supplies manufacturing and then by those in the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing fields.
Biomedical Engineer Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that from 2012 to 2022, the employment of biomedical engineers is expected to rise to 27 percent—a rate that is faster than the average of all jobs. This is partly-driven by the fact that people nowadays live longer and thus need biomedical services. The advances in technology also pave the way for more job openings of biomedical engineers because of their varied training. The retirement of biomedical engineers in that ten-year period will also fuel demand.
Biomedical Engineer Degree
Biomedical engineers usually hold a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering. To prepare for the rigorous program, high school students who are intent in pursuing this career can take up courses in biology, chemistry, physics, math, computer programming and drafting. In college, biomedical engineering courses focus on circuit design, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, biomaterials, engineering design and biology which are both taught in the classroom and in the laboratory. Those with a bachelor’s degree in another engineering field may still become biomedical engineers if their on-the-job training is in biomedical engineering or if they pursue a postgraduate degree in biomedical engineering.