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Biomedical Engineers picture    Biomedical Engineers image

Biomedical Engineers

Biomedical engineers use a combination of biology, medical knowledge and engineering principles and practices to create devices and procedures to solve health and medical related problems. They assist in the development and improvement of a wide array of medical instruments and devices such as kidney machines, heart valves and lasers utilized in eye surgeries.

Biomedical engineering includes the fields of image processing, biomechanics, 3D modeling, clinical engineering, medical imaging, bioinstrumentation, genetic engineering and cellular research. Other fields are systems physiology, rehabilitation engineering, biomaterials and tissue engineering.

Some biomedical engineers perform research at universities and hospitals. Some biomedical engineers are employed at hospitals and monitor and maintain complex medical systems. Some of these engineers are employed by companies that make biomedical equipment.

Responsibilities

  • Advise hospital administrators regarding the planning, acquisition and the use of medical equipment
  • Coordinate automated patient monitoring
  • Evaluate the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of biomedical equipment
  • Create computer simulations or models of human biobehavioral systems in order to gather data for measuring or controlling life processes
  • Work with medical imaging systems
  • Design optimal clinical laboratories
  • Learn and apply sports medicine techniques
  • Research new materials to be used for products
  • Design and develop medical diagnostic and clinical instrumentation, equipment and procedures
  • Perform research on the engineering aspects of biological systems of humans and animals

Job Characteristics

Biomedical engineers work in modern well-equipped research centers, hospitals and manufacturing facilities. Many engineers work 40 hours a week. They may have to work overtime to meet deadlines. Biomedical engineers should be creative, analytical and detailed oriented. They should also be able to work well as part of a team.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 72 percent employment growth for biomedical engineers from 2008 to 2018 which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The aging of the population and an increasing emphasis on health issues will increase demand for better medical equipment and devices designed by biomedical engineers. In addition, the median annual earnings for biomedical engineers in 2008 was $77,400.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Biomedical engineers need at least a bachelor's degree. Some colleges and universities provide classes and degrees in biomedical engineering. Some biomedical engineering programs provide internships. Some biomedical engineers earn a degree in subjects such as chemical, industrial, electrical or mechanical engineering. Specialized biomedical training is needed.

Some candidates obtain an advanced degree in biomedical engineering or a related subject. Many biomedical engineers, especially those working in research laboratories, need a graduate degree. A broad background is an asset in the field.

Some of the common course programs and areas of study at biomedical engineering schools are physical chemistry and cell structure, molecular bioengineering, medical imaging, biomedical instrument design, biomolecular architecture, cell mechanics, and mechanics of biomaterials. Beneficial courses include physiology, biology, biophysics, biochemistry and medical instrumentation.

Candidates for the occupation should also have a strong background in technical and medical technology. They should also have advanced mathematics skills.

The Accreditation Board for Education and Technology provides accreditation to biomedical engineering programs. The Biomedical Engineering Society is another organization that approves and regulates biomedical engineering degree programs and studies in biomedical sciences.

Biomedical engineers may need to be licensed by the state where they are working. Every state requires licensure for engineers that offer their services directly to the public. Licensure typically requires a degree from an ABET accredited engineering program, four years of relevant work experience and passing a state examination.

Resources

Major Employers

The primary employers are biomedical equipment manufacturers, universities, hospitals and government agencies.

Schools for Biomedical Engineers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Biomedical Engineers

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Biomedical Engineers jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 370 $94,350
Mesa 370 $94,350
Phoenix 370 $94,350
Tucson 60 $110,520
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 1260 $85,860
Los Angeles 1260 $85,860
Long Beach 1260 $85,860
Carlsbad 950 $85,800
San Diego 950 $85,800
Oakland 900 $93,720
San Francisco 900 $93,720
Hayward 900 $93,720
Sunnyvale 590 $124,060
San Jose 590 $124,060
Santa Clara 590 $124,060
Arden 240 $60,130
Arcade 240 $60,130
Roseville 240 $60,130
Sacramento 240 $60,130
Fairfield 170 $95,510
Vallejo 170 $95,510
Riverside 130 $85,300
Ontario 130 $85,300
San Bernardino 130 $85,300
Santa Rosa 130 $113,020
Thousand Oaks -2222 $95,520
Oxnard -2222 $95,520
Ventura -2222 $95,520
Santa Maria -2222 $104,260
Santa Barbara -2222 $104,260
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 220 $89,240
Aurora 220 $89,240
Denver 220 $89,240
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Haven 90 $95,210
Bridgeport 40 $-1,111
Norwalk 40 $-1,111
Stamford 40 $-1,111
East Hartford 40 $89,280
Hartford 40 $89,280
West Hartford 40 $89,280
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tampa 210 $72,280
Clearwater 210 $72,280
St. Petersburg 210 $72,280
West Palm Beach 140 $74,490
Fort Lauderdale 140 $74,490
Miami 140 $74,490
Gainesville 70 $86,950
Jacksonville 60 $101,570
Orlando -2222 $61,120
Kissimmee -2222 $61,120
Sanford -2222 $61,120
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 260 $63,820
Sandy Springs 260 $63,820
Atlanta 260 $63,820
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson -2222 $80,840
Carmel -2222 $80,840
Indianapolis -2222 $80,840
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 40 $53,940
Lexington 40 $53,940
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 40 $73,160
Portland 40 $73,160
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 170 $90,320
Columbia 170 $90,320
Baltimore 170 $90,320
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 60 $81,330
Warren 60 $81,330
Detroit 60 $81,330
Ann Arbor 40 $81,520
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque -2222 $98,600
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 270 $89,120
Niagara Falls -2222 $76,860
Cheektowaga -2222 $76,860
Buffalo -2222 $76,860
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Durham 270 $69,320
Chapel Hill 270 $69,320
Raleigh 40 $72,960
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cleveland 320 $67,840
Elyria 320 $67,840
Dayton 50 $79,530
Columbus -2222 $72,180
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 40 $75,630
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 410 $82,500
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Knoxville 70 $77,710
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Austin 430 $89,460
Round Rock 430 $89,460
Fort Worth 250 $-2,222
Arlington 250 $-2,222
Dallas 250 $-2,222
Sugar Land 220 $76,570
The Woodlands 220 $76,570
Houston 220 $76,570
New Braunfels 30 $85,720
San Antonio 30 $85,720
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 510 $74,460
Clearfield 40 $72,320
Ogden 40 $72,320
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington -2222 $81,670
Burlington -2222 $81,670
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charlottesville 30 $66,020
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 270 $86,550
Tacoma 270 $86,550
Seattle 270 $86,550
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 110 $73,600
Waukesha 110 $73,600
Milwaukee 110 $73,600

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Biomedical Engineers

To find out more about building a career as Biomedical Engineers, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Biomedical Engineers

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Miscellaneous Manufacturing 3,630 24% $81,870
Professional And Technical Services 3,580 23% $81,350
Chemicals 2,530 16% $76,470
Hospital 1,570 10% $60,700
Electronics And Computer 1,360 9% $84,150
Education 900 5% $63,620
Durable Goods Wholesale 520 3% $83,340
Government 430 2% $82,480
Business Management 230 1% $66,420
Medical Office 210 1% $76,220
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Biomedical Engineers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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