How to Become a Biomedical Engineer: Career Exploration For Students

biomedical engineering

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Curious about a career in biomedical engineering? In this post, we’ll talk about what biomedical engineers do, why they are essential for the economy, what skills you need for this career, industries you can expect to work in, schools and programs that will equip you for a biomedical engineering career, and other resources.

So what is biomedical engineering? Also referred to as Bioengineering, BioMed or BME, it is a multidisciplinary STEMfield that combines biology and engineering in applying engineering principles and materials to medicine and healthcare. Its effects can be seen throughout healthcare, from diagnosis and analysis to treatment and recovery, and has played a major role in the proliferation of implantable medical devices, such as pacemakers and artificial hips, to more futuristic technologies such as stem cell engineering and the 3-D printing of biological organs.

The presence of biomedical engineering has played a vital role in our overall economy and society. With their wide range of expertise, biomedical engineers are creating solutions to continuing worldwide health issues, helping to change how patients are treated and lowering the cost of care. So if you’re interested in using technological skills to help people in the field of healthcare, this might be the career for you.

Check out this video on what you can do with a BME career.

Skills needed for a Biomedical Engineering career

Successful biomedical engineers possess crucial skills needed to carry out their day to day work efficiently. Some of these skills include: analytical skills needed to analyze the needs of patients in order to design appropriate solutions, communication skills in order to portray the medical analysis results in a way that the patient understands, creativity, math skills, problem solving skills, critical thinking, and so on.

Industries that require Biomedical Engineers

Biomedical engineers work across a wide range of industries such as agriculture, scientific research and development, medical equipment and supplies manufacturing, pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, electronic and precision measurement equipment repair and maintenance, etc. The titles and roles they hold may also vary. Examples of titles biomedical engineers may hold are: Agricultural Engineers, Biochemists and Biophysicists, Chemical Engineers, Material Engineers, Mechanic Engineers, Independent Consultants, Doctors, Biomedical Scientists, etc.

Economic outlook

Biomedical engineering brings in more than the average annual income in America with its median annual wage being $91,410. The top 3 highest paying states for biomedical engineers are: Minnesota with a mean annual salary of $116,850, followed by Massachusetts and New Jersey with mean annual salaries of $116,440 and $113,120 respectively. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting a 5% increase in demand from 2019 and 2029. To find out the mean annual salary for biomedical engineers in your state or the state you’re interested in working in, you can visit the US Bureau of Labor Statistics website. You’ll find the link on our resources page.

Your next steps

There are a couple of different routes you can take to become a certified biomedical engineer. You can choose to complete a 4 year degree in biomedical engineering offered in some of the top universities such as John Hopkins University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, Boston University, etc. You can also choose to pursue an Associate Degree in Biomedical Engineering which takes about 2 years to complete. For an Associate Degree, you can consider the following colleges: Northeast Wisconsin Community College, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, Portland Community College, and Bunker Hill Community College.

You can use a directory to search for relevant institutions in your desired state.

If you’re interested in online learning, you can choose to pursue your degree at schools like University of Southern California, Purdue University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Case Western Reserve University. In addition to your Associates, Bachelors or Masters Degree in Biomedical Engineering, you can also choose to get certified in specific niches to do with this field. Examples of such certification are: ETA Biomedical Certifications, Reliability Engineering Certification, Certificate in Human Factors in Medical Devices and Systems etc.


If you’re interested in biomedical engineering as a career, you can check out some of the schools mentioned here. Visit their website and search for more information. You can also contact the program representatives, and I’m sure they will be happy to provide you with more information on their school and admission process. Most of the schools I have mentioned also offer financial aid and scholarships should you happen to need help funding your studies.

The ball is in your court now.

Do your research. Talk to your guidance counselors at school or professionals who can help you understand more about the field. Research schools and programs that will be a good fit for you and, most importantly, believe in yourself and keep your dreams alive.

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See you in the next one.


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