Those seeking to become biomedical engineers are seeking highly trained positions that involve such tasks as creating advancements in the technology of the medical field. Biomedical engineers must have a thorough knowledge in biology, biomechanical design characteristics, development of products and medical systems, and engineering. These specialists design such technologies as the artificial organs used by patients in hospitals.
They are also involved in the development and delivery of medical care, and management of medical patients. MRI machines and other advanced technologies in the medical field are a result of the work of biomedical engineers. These engineers may also have mechanical and electrical engineering skills to help them with the advanced technologies they use.
The average pay rate of biomedical engineers is $82,550 a year, depending on a variety of factors. Depending on the employer they work for, biomedical engineers can work in the public or private sectors, which can lead them to more successful career options. The highest pay rate average of biomedical engineers is over $123,000 a year; the lowest being just over $49,000 a year. The biomedical engineers in the 50% percentile range make an annual wage of $78,860.*
The navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing industry, in the biomedical engineering field, earns the highest annual mean wage of $92,330. The next highest industry in the field is the scientific research and development services industry, at an average of $86,150 a year. The lowest annual mean wage in the biomedical engineering field is the general medical and surgical hospitals industry, at $66,250 a year. The highest paying state in the U.S. for the biomedical engineering field is Minnesota, at an annual mean wage of $96,930. One of the lowest paying states in the biomedical engineering field is Indiana, at an annual mean rate of $60,530.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Those entering in the biomedical engineering field with graduate education will have higher pay rates, than those with just a bachelor’s degree.
Training and Education Requirements
A four year bachelor’s degree program from an accredited school is a requirement before entering into a biomedical engineering career. Some students, before entering the biomedical engineering field, decide to take electrical and mechanical engineering courses, to help prepare them for the advanced machinery they will be using later on. To better prepare themselves for interaction with coworkers, they may take humanities courses, as well as design courses at their respective schools.
Students who take graduate school before becoming a biomedical engineer will have much more opportunity for a higher pay rate, and advancement with employers. This is especially necessary in the research field of biomedical engineering, and some other workplaces. However, employment for a company in the private and public sector does not necessarily require this. Some biomedical engineers decide to go to graduate school after they have gained work experience to advance their careers.
The courses, while in graduate school, can be directly related to biomedical engineering or various other business studies, which can lead to more professionalism with their employers. Taking the required four-year bachelor’s degree program will only ensure a pay rate average just over that of civil engineering; the lowest pay rate of all the engineering jobs. However, the greatest quantity of biomedical engineering jobs is for employers that do not require a graduate degree.
Job Description and Outlook
The various tasks of a biomedical engineer may include management, scientific, and technical consulting services for companies and research centers. These engineers are the specialists needed to design, run, and operate the medical technologies and health administration systems found in many hospitals. The engineers may also be required for pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing needs. The medical equipment and supplies manufacturing industry, in this field, has the highest average employment.
The medical technology advancement work of biomedical engineers is one of the most important duties they have. This ensures better care for medical patients as well as further advancement for future technologies. A thorough knowledge in biomechanical design characteristics will allow an engineer to possibly develop a new technology to save lives. Thanks to biomedical engineers, CAT scans and MRI machines are well known components of medical technology today.
There are no required certifications for the biomedical engineering field; however, biomedical engineers can still receive licenses to further their knowledge in their respective industries. Various certifications are offered in the use of radiology equipment, laboratory equipment, and biomedical equipment. These certifications are designed to improve the experience of engineers, so that they may apply it to their work in the field.
The most common biomedical engineering associations promote advancements in technology.
The Society for Biomaterials (SFB) is dedicated to advancing the research in biomedical engineering materials to promote new advancements in technology.
The Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) rewards those who wish to further the applications of biomedical engineering procedures.
The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) gives certifications to biomedical engineers for their understanding in radiology equipment, laboratory equipment, and biomedical equipment. The certifications last a length of three years before the need of renewal.
The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) use biomedical engineers to help promote efficient use and design of technologies in the medical field.