What is Biomedical Engineering?

What exactly do biomedical engineers do...is this the right career choice for me?

Biomedical engineering is engineering based on molecular cell biology. These engineers employ engineering principles to solve problems in surgery and medicine. It is in fact the advancement of this multidisciplinary research, of mixing engineering with medicine and physiology that has led to many breakthroughs and medical discoveries. Biomedical engineering makes contributions to the medical field primarily by inventing instruments for therapy, rehab, and diagnosis, but also by engineering cells and tissues. While research is a large part of this career, biomedical engineers have designed sophisticated medical equipment such as medical imagist systems, prostheses, artificial organs, and healthcare information and delivery systems. If you are interested in engineering yet have an interest for scientific research and discovering, or are a biologist who is interest in paving the way for new developments, consider pursuing biomedical engineering. They can work in hospitals, research facilities, educational institutions, or in government agencies.

Step by Step Career Plan for Biomedical Engineers...

Biomedical Engineering Resources...

No time is better than now to consider a career in biomedical engineering...

The median annual salary for a biomedical engineer is $78,860, with the top ten percent earning over $120,000. The profession is expected to grow an astronomical 72% through 2018. This is partly due to the expanding aging population and a strong demand on better health care equipment and the stress on cost-effective healthcare.

Training and education requirements for biomedical engineers

The massive growth, however, has led to a greater number of biomedical engineering programs, so earning a master’s degree will make you more competitive in a field that is facing more competition even as it grows in jobs. For most research and development, you will also probably need a master’s degree. You can get started in an entry-level job with a bachelor’s degree, but this is the minimum education requirement for most employers. Most engineering degrees are specialized in mechanical, civil engineering, or electronics engineering. For biomedical engineering, you can earn a degree in a specialty such as mechanical or electronics engineering, and then get biomedical training. However, some universities will offer a specific biomedical engineering degree. Be sure to choose a program that is accredited by the American Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

How are biomedical engineers making a difference in health care?

This is still a very new field that is constantly growing and developing. Biomedical engineers can use their expertise and creativity to solve biomedical problems. One biomedical engineering student at MIT used nano- and micro-technology to invent a humanized mouse with a tissue-engineered human liver, so that researchers could study the human liver. One biomedical engineer reconstructed urethras using a patient’ cells. These are just some recent examples of innovations in biomedical engineering. While this type of invention can sound like futuristic science, it is modern day science, with developments and advancements constantly being made to help advance medical care and cure diseases. In fact, many instrument-based therapies are expected to be slowly replaced by cellular- and molecular-based therapies due to bioengineering. Advances in optics, electronics, and miniaturization, and virtual surgery will also advance the field to new levels.

Joining the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) after you graduate is a good place to start. Professional organizations generally have job boards, as well as information about annual conferences, developments in the field, or continuing education opportunities. Get started on finding a school and finding the right engineering program. Your educational path to this career is not an easy one, but this field can take you down many career paths, providing a future that is wide open with many possibilities in a very dynamic field.

To learn more about becoming a biomedical engineer, you may wish to explore schools that offer biomedical, electrical, or mechanical engineering programs. You may also be interested in learning more about the certification process for biomedical engineers across the country.