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Biomedical Engineer: Career Information

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Job Description:

Give a biomedical engineer a problem having to do with biology or medicine and he or she will analyze and then figure out how to solve it. They design prosthetic limbs and artificial organs, as well as the material that is used to manufacture them. They develop software that is used to run medical equipment. Like those working in other engineering disciplines, biomedical engineers use their knowledge of science and math, but they combine this with their background in medicine. Some of the areas they may specialize in include bioinstrumentation, biomaterials, biomechanics, genetic engineering and medical imaging.

Employment Facts:

There were 16,000 biomedical engineers employed in 2010.

Educational Requirements:

To work as a biomedical engineer one needs, at the minimum, a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from a program that is accredited by ABET. Coursework combines engineering and biological sciences.

Why Do You Need to Know About Educational Requirements?

Other Requirements:

Will you make a good biomedical engineer? This occupation calls for good problem solving, listening, analytical, math and communication skills. If you have these skills, this might be the right career for you.

Advancement Opportunities:

Biomedical engineers who want to move up the ladder to become the leaders of research teams must earn a master's or doctoral degree.

Why Do You Need to Know About Advancement?

Job Outlook:

The job outlook for biomedical engineers is excellent. This occupation is projected to experience growth, through 2020, that is much faster that the average for other occupations. Biomedical engineering is among the fastest growing occupations among those that require a bachelor's degree (The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Why Do You Need to Know About Job Outlook?

Earnings:

Biomedical engineers earned a median annual salary of $84,670 in 2011 (U.S.).

Use the Salary Wizard at Salary.com to find out how much a biomedical engineer currently earns in your city.

A Day in a Biomedical Engineer's Life:

On a typical day a biomedical engineer's tasks might include:

  • designing artificial organs and other devices that will be used to replace body parts
  • testing biomedical equipment to determine whether it is safe, efficient and effective
  • installing biomedical equipment and then adjusting, maintaining or repairing it
  • collaborating with others in the medical field including medical scientists, life scientists and chemists

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Engineers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/biomedical-engineers.htm (visited June 28, 2012).
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Biomedical Engineer, on the Internet at http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/17-2031.00 (visited June 28, 2012).

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