What Does A Biomedical Engineer Do?

"I am really into science, and I want to do something cutting-edge after college. I also am hoping to get into an occupation where I can make really good money so I can help take care of my family. I keep hearing about something called biomedical engineering. What is that? Do you think it’s a good choice? It seems like it’s a huge deal right now!"

asked by Eve from Norman, OK

Biomedical engineering is a huge deal right now. You can get started with only a bachelor’s degree, though it will generally need to be in biomedical engineering, so you’d probably want to find a college that offers the specific program. The alternate route would be to get another engineering degree, and then go on and get your graduate degree in biomedical engineering or get on-the-job training.

So what do biomedical engineers do? They design systems and products that can be used in conjunction with healthcare. An example would be an artificial heart or another mechanical replacement for a body part, or a diagnostic imaging machine which can provide a more accurate picture of what is going on inside a person.

They also install, maintain, and upgrade biomedical equipment, ensure safety and efficacy of that equipment, and train medical personnel to use it correctly. Biomedical engineers work closely with other scientists to research and develop new products and to understand human and animal body systems.

This is definitely cutting-edge work, and fulfills your requirement for a high salary. You also get an opportunity to make a difference, not just for a few people, but for many. The new artificial organ you design could save millions of lives. The diagnostic imaging equipment you make could provide more accurate readouts for millions more.

A single new device could be used to change numerous lives for the better and provide patients with a higher quality of life and a longer duration of that life. You could help people now and in the future who you never even come into contact with, and your devices could be improved on over time to create even better medical solutions.

If you are interested in biology and engineering and want a chance to help others while making an excellent salary, then biomedical engineering is a great field to pursue.

Usually to earn a salary like that and work in such a high tech environment, you need a higher degree, but if you find a biomedical engineering program, all you need is a bachelor’s degree. Even if you don’t have access to a program like that, there are alternate routes into the field and a high demand for biomedical specialists.

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