Earn a Biomedical Engineering Degree For a Fast-Growing Career in the Medical Industry
If you are interested in both the field of engineering and advances in the medical industry, then the perfect combination of the two might be biomedical engineering.
This field is growing quickly, and it provides countless career opportunities for those with the right skill set. However, this is one of the many professions that absolutely requires a formal college education, and a bachelor's degree is often the perfect fit.
|Quick Facts: Biomedical Engineer Industry|
|Median Pay: $86,950 per year | $42 per hour|
|Entry-Level Education: Bachelor's degree|
|Work Experience: None|
|Number of Jobs, 2014: 22,000|
Biomedical Engineer Occupations:
Read on to discover more about the degree, what kind of work environments are typical for biomedical engineers, what the average salaries are in the field, what the job outlook looks like and what kind of attributes are spotted among the top biomedical engineers in the field.
What Do Biomedical Engineers Do?
If you are serious about becoming a biomedical engineer, then the first step should be getting a realistic picture of what this specific job entails.
Essentially, these individuals use engineering principles to solve problems in medicine.
For example, an engineer in bio-medicine might think of new ways to create artificial organs for human use, or they might design machinery that can test for illnesses more efficiently.
The scope of daily work can vary depending on the engineer's niche interests and area of expertise, but it will almost always be something at the forefront of modern medicine.
Where Do Biomedical Engineers Work?
The majority of biomedical engineers work in the medical industry, but there are a variety of different areas of the industry in which they can find fulfilling employment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the largest portion, or 25%, of engineers in the field work for manufacturing companies that product medical supplies and equipment.
An additional 18% of biomedical engineers work in scientific development and research, 15% work to create new medicines, 9% work directly for research universities or colleges and a final 7% work in hospitals.
For the most part, biomedical engineers enjoy standard office hours between Monday and Friday, but deadlines for big projects may cause longer shifts to become a temporary norm for some in the field.
What Education is Required For This Position?
Without exception, biomedical engineers will require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a related field.
The most popular option is to earn a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering, but it is also possible to major in engineering at the undergraduate level and then go on to earn a master's degree specifically in the biomedical aspect of the field.
A graduate degree is not a necessity, but it can open opportunities for the highest-paying positions in the industry.
Both the bachelor's and master's degree in this field are available online, which might be a great option for busy students or those who can't commute to campus on a daily basis for any reason.
What Courses Might Be Included in This Degree?
When earning either the bachelor's or the master's degree, there are a few key courses that will almost certainly end up on your syllabus.
Along with the requisite general education courses that help round out your degree and improve your communication skills, aspiring biomedical engineers can expect to study subjects such as bio-mechanics, engineering principles, statistics, biology, physiology, calculus and organic chemistry.
You should definitely expect both math and science to play major roles in this degree, so only opt for this particular career path if you find that these subjects among your strong suits.
What is the Average Salary For Biomedical Engineers?
A major reason to consider this career is the impressive median salary. With just a bachelor's degree, you could earn an average of $86,960, according to the BLS.
The highest wages in the industry go to those biomedical engineers who work in research and development for new types of medical machinery and pharmaceuticals, and those salaries on the lower end of the spectrum are for engineers employed at universities, colleges and hospitals.
Like most salaries, the exact figure for biomedical engineers will vary depending on specifics such as the regional cost of living, the number of years of experience and the level of education held by the individual.
What Job Growth is Predicted For This Position?
When choosing a new career, looking ahead to the future is vital in order to ensure that you don't face high rates of competition or a rapidly declining job market.
Thankfully, the BLS predicts that biomedical engineers will see a staggering 27% increase in job demand over the next decade, which is much higher than the average.
For college graduates, that translates to more job opportunities to choose from as well as the potential for more competitive salaries as hiring managers need to outbid one another for the top candidates in the field.
What Are the Key Attributes For Successful Biomedical Engineers?
Earning a bachelor's degree in this field is the key to securing a career, but there are also a number of integral traits found time and time again among the very best biomedical engineers.
Perhaps most important is the ability to solve problems. While this might sound simple, this involves a tenacity that many people simply don't have.
Biomedical engineers need to be able to address a problem and try dozens or even thousands of different solutions until they find one that eventually works.
Other attributes found among the most successful biomedical engineers include analytical skills, great communication skills and the ability to focus on a single project for extended periods of time.
Anyone with a strong knowledge base in math and science, as well as the desire to work in the medical, field might want to consider becoming a biomedical engineer. The first step is enrolling in a bachelor's degree program, which can be completed through a traditional college campus or an accredited online college for the convenience of the student.