The Biomedical Engineering field has a very diverse career path. There’s not single path career as it’s an interdisciplinary field wherein it can become difficult to be a master in one of the many disciplines. This is why biomedical engineering offers one of the highest starting salaries. Besides being a very broad field of study, it’s also a field that requires a combination of knowledge from healthcare and engineering. Taking up a master’s in the field of biomedical engineering can take your professional career in different paths.
These are just to jumpstart your career. Below, we’re going to discuss the different industries you can enter as a biomedical engineer. This can aid in charting both your educational and professional career paths.
Biomedical Engineering Industries and Salaries
Biomedical engineering is a fast growing field. While it may seem repetitive to complete an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree in biomedical engineering, there are many things you can learn from pursuing a master’s degree. Since the field has a vast domain, it can offer a lot of different positions when you’re ready to start your career. There are more than 30,000 jobs in this field in the US alone. Furthermore, more and more opportunities continue to arise in this field as your knowledge can be used in a variety of settings.
Medical Manufacturing: Equipment and Supplies
Biomedical engineers in the medical manufacturing industry design and develop multiple medical and health supplies. This includes, but are not limited to, surgical tools, lab equipment, syringes, stethoscopes, and many more. This multi-billion industry offers biomedical engineers with the average salary of $91,480. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 23% of biomedical engineers enter this industry.
Research and Development: Life Science, Engineering, and Physical
Entering the research and development industry of biomedical engineering may require you to complete a PhD in the field. Biomedical engineers who enter this industry focus on developing new products and devices that can improve quality of life. Before developing products, biomedical engineers usually have to spend hours upon hours on researching what’s already available. Engineers use their knowledge and expertise to either improve or develop medical devices to make it work better. Only about 16% of biomedical engineers enter this industry as it’s a research-heavy field, but it pays the best with an average salary of $97,160 annually.
Hospitals: State, Local, and Private
Biomedical engineers can also work in the hospital setting. Some individuals have pursued a medical degree and have become doctors with the knowledge of biomedical engineering. On the other hand, there are biomedical engineer technicians who evaluate the safety and efficiency of equipments for hospital use. Individuals in this industry can also provide training to both clinicians and hospital personnel on proper usage of biomedical equipment. Not a lot of people enter this industry (8%) and it also has the lowest average salary compared to others at $72,060 annually.
Manufacturing: Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments
Only about 8% of biomedical engineering students enter this industry. It’s a competitive industry to enter but it offers the best salary depending on your job position. Biomedical engineers in the management position can earn about $148,370 annually, while other positions can average to $77,850 annually, according to BLS. This industry is focused on manufacturing navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments. Some examples of these instruments are aeronautical instruments, appliance regulators and controls, laboratory analytical instruments, and many more.
Manufacturing: Pharmaceutical and Medicine
Since biomedical engineering focuses on both medical and engineering knowledge, you can also opt to enter the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, people who work in this industry deal with manufacturing and processing biological, medical, and botanical drugs and products. Biomedical engineers in this industry can also do some research as it involves manufacturing and developing tablets, capsules, ointments, powders, and solutions for medical use.
How to pursue a career in Biomedical Engineering?
Individuals are looking to pursue a career as a biomedical engineer will need a background knowledge in science courses like chemistry, biology, and physics. If you’re still in high school, it’s a great start to focus on obtaining advanced knowledge in science courses. On the other hand, if you’re pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you can be looking into an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering. Having this degree can already set you up in a path towards a biomedical engineering career.
To further your knowledge in biomedical engineering, you would need to take up a master’s degree. During your graduate degree, you’ll be able to have courses in drafting or mechanical drawing, computer programming, biomaterials, and many other courses related to biological sciences and engineering. Graduate programs in biomedical engineering usually include both laboratory- and classroom-based courses.