What does a Biomedical Engineer do?
Biomedical engineers cultivate tools and processes that solve health- and medical-related complications. You could also be involved with research to study artificial organs, instruments that substitute for missing body parts and other topics. Some biomedical engineers make devices for patient procedures, such as MRI and other types of imaging, along with equipment used to control how the body functions.
As a biomedical engineer, you must apply engineering skills and knowledge of biomechanical standards and biology to the development of medical products, such as prostheses. The following are some other specialty areas within the biomedical engineering field:
Choosing a specialty will likely increase your value to an employer, but it may also require a bit more education.
- Bioinstrumentation: application of measurement techniques and electronics to build devices used in disease diagnosis and treatment
- Biomechanics: study of material deformation, motion, flow within the body and in devices and transfer of chemical ingredients across synthetic and biological tissue
- Orthopedic bioengineering: analyzation of lubrication, friction and wear of artificial and natural joints
- Rehabilitation engineering: improving home, work and transportation variables and the development of technology that improve mobility and communication
Education and training requirements
Biomedical engineers enter the field with a minimum of a bachelor's degree, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Graduate degrees can be required of biomedical engineers, especially those working in research labs. Licensure requirements vary by state.
College admission requirements for prospective biomedical engineering students are backgrounds in mathematics, including calculus, and sciences, including chemistry and physics. Undergraduate programs last about four years, with the final two years focusing on a specialty.
Labor Department data suggests most people becoming biomedical engineers study electronic, mechanical or other types of engineering, along with a concentration in biomedical training. You should be innovative, pay attention to details, communicate effectively and work well with others. Continuing educational credits are advised for biomedical engineers so you can keep up with technological advancements.
The Biomedical Engineering Society holds annual meetings and invites college students to take part. The Landover, Md.-based organization has more than 100 student and professional chapters nationwide and runs the Engineering and Science Career Network, which connects employers and those seeking employment.
Job growth for biomedical engineers is forecast to grow 72 percent nationally. This is due to aging demographics in the U.S., which will result in increased focus on elder health and need for cost-effective sophisticated medical equipment.
The following colleges can help you earn the necessary educational requirements to become a Biomedical Engineer: