What do Biomedical Engineers do?

Biomedical Engineers work with mathematics, science, and medicine to invent or enhance various technologies that improve the function of the human body. Some biomedical engineers design computer programs and circuits for things like magnetic resonance imaging and x-ray machines. Others work with devices such as cochlear implants and pacemakers that are implanted directly into the body. The field of biomedical engineering even extends to the development of new kinds of drug therapy.

Biomedical engineers work with simulations and statistics to analyze the way the body works. For example, they might look at the signals a certain organ or limb is sending to the brain and then work to develop an artificial organ, limb, joint, or heart valve to help patients who need that particular body part replaced.

Nanotechnology, means of communication, rehabilitation equipment, robotics, the possibilities for biomedical engineering extend into many different scientific fields.

Types of Work Environments

Generally, biomedical engineers work in environments pertaining to research and development, however there are many branches of biomedical engineering and the direction of any given engineer's career path may be predicated on their personal interests and the direction they take their education (see below).

Education and Training Requirements

Although the minimum education requirement to enter the field of biomedical engineering is a four-year bachelor's degree, many biomedical engineers choose to pursue their education at a graduate level. Frequently, students will choose a master's or doctoral degree in biomedical engineering, which is for those looking to pursue a career in research and development. However, there is also a percentage of students who earn their Bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering or a related field and then go on to attend medical or dental school. Some earn their graduate degrees in business in order to manage biomedical engineering companies and there are even some who attend law school to concentrate on intellectual property laws concerning developments in biomedical engineering.

Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary for biomedical engineers is approximately $85,620 per year.

Professional Organization

The Biomedical Engineering Society
Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society