Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineer's array of clear plastic test tubes filled with pink, orange and blue chemicals in a lab setting
Career Clusters: STEM, Health Sciences

What you need to know

Overview

Biomedical engineers combine engineering principles with medical and biological sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software used in healthcare.

What is this career like?

Most biomedical engineers work in manufacturing, universities, hospitals, and research facilities of companies and educational and medical institutions.

Some of the things a biomedical engineer might do:

  • Design biomedical equipment and devices, such as artificial internal organs, replacements for body parts, and machines for diagnosing medical problems
  • Install, adjust, maintain, repair, or provide technical support for biomedical equipment
  • Evaluate the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of biomedical equipment
  • Train clinicians and other personnel on the proper use of biomedical equipment
  • Research the engineering aspects of the biological systems of humans and animals with life scientists, chemists, and medical scientists
  • Prepare procedures, write technical reports, publish research papers, and make recommendations based on their research findings
  • Present research findings to scientists, non-scientist executives, clinicians, hospital management, engineers, other colleagues, and the public

Watch this video to learn more from our biomedical engineer role models:

What skills are needed?
  • Analytical skills. Biomedical engineers must analyze the needs of patients and customers to design appropriate solutions.
  • Communication skills. Because biomedical engineers sometimes work with patients and frequently work on teams, they must express themselves clearly. They must seek others’ ideas and incorporate those ideas into the problem-solving process.
  • Creativity. Biomedical engineers must be creative to come up with innovative and integrative advances in healthcare equipment and devices.
  • Math skills. Biomedical engineers use the principles of calculus and other advanced topics in math and statistics, for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.
  • Problem-solving skills. Biomedical engineers typically deal with and solve problems in complex biological systems.

Watch this video to learn more from our biomedical engineer role models:

What is the pay?

The average pay for biomedical engineers in the United States ranges from $60,680 to $154,750 as of May 2021.

The specific pay depends on factors such as level of experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.

What is the career outlook?

Employment of biomedical engineers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

As the baby-boom generation lives longer and stays active, the demand for bioengineers and biomedical devices and procedures, such as hip and knee replacements, is expected to increase.

In addition, as the public awareness of medical advances continues, increasing numbers of people will seek biomedical solutions to their health problems from their physicians.

What education is required?

Biomedical engineering and traditional engineering programs, such as mechanical and electrical, are typically good preparation for entering biomedical engineering jobs. Students who pursue traditional engineering programs at the bachelor’s level may benefit from taking biological science courses.

Biomedical engineers typically receive greater responsibility through experience and more education. To lead a research team, a biomedical engineer generally needs a graduate degree.

Discover some of the courses you will take pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or Electrical Engineering.

Watch this video to learn more from our biomedical engineer role models: