How to become a Biomedical Engineer

How to become a Biomedical Engineer

How to become a Biomedical Engineer
Ankita KhadkaTue Aug 02 2022

Biomedical engineers and bioengineers frequently work in R&D or quality assurance. They typically need an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering, bioengineering, or related engineering. Some positions require a graduate degree in the field.

As the boundary between technology and biology continues to blur, biomedical engineers will play a critical role in constructing a trans-humanist future with the potential for technology to merge with a large portion of the population and increase cognitive aptitude, physical prowess, and overall life expectancy.

The field of biomedical engineering is rapidly expanding in terms of content and opportunity. As technology advances and our understanding of life sciences reaches the basic molecular level, biomedical engineers continue to make significant advances. Check out this article on "How to Become a Biomedical Engineer."

What is a Biomedical Engineer?

Bioengineers combine engineering and biology, blending engineering principles with medical research to develop various physical and digital innovations that can be used in numerous settings, ranging from laboratories and hospitals to rehabilitation centres and clinical trial settings.

They use their engineering, biology, chemistry, computer science, and biomechanical principles expertise to design, develop, and evaluate agricultural, biological, and health systems and products, such as instrumentation, prostheses, artificial organs, and medical information systems, and systems for managing and providing care.

What are the roles and responsibilities of a Biomedical Engineer?

  • Design and create biomedical technology such as internal organs, replacements for body parts, diagnostic machines, and software and computer programs to diagnose and treat medical problems.
  •  Install, calibrate, maintain and repair biomedical equipment, machines, and software.
  •   Evaluate the efficiency, safety, and effectiveness of biomedical equipment, machines, and software.
  •  Train clinicians and other personnel and provide technical support in using biomedical equipment.
  • Collaborate with medical scientists, chemists, and life scientists and research new materials, technologies, and the engineering aspects of the biological systems of humans and animals.
  • Prepare documents, reports and technical manuals on policies, use standards, protocols, maintenance, and repairs of biomedical equipment, machines, and software.

Qualifications to be a Biomedical Engineer

In addition to your degree, licensing, and any internship or work experience, you may need various other skills to succeed as a biomedical engineer.

  •         Analytical skills:

You must be able to evaluate and analyse the pros and cons of different technologies, methodologies, and techniques and choose the best possible solution based on safety, efficiency, and effectiveness.

  •         Problem-solving:

As a biomedical engineer, you often produce practical solutions to real-world problems. This necessitates critical thinking and evaluation abilities. It challenges you to find answers in creative and novel ways.

  •         Communication and team-working skills:

Biomedical engineers must work with people with expertise in various disciplines. So, they must have the patience and ability to communicate and work effectively with people from multiple disciplines and educational backgrounds.

  •         Aptitude for new technologies:

Biomedical engineers must be able to learn and apply new information or skills that are not limited to conventional technologies. They must be willing to improve their knowledge and skills in the field constantly.

  •         Aptitude for research works:

Biomedical researchers and scientists use clinical trials to conduct research to test theories in the lab and find treatments for medical issues to improve human health. They research to help advance biomedical technology and test products to ensure consumer safety.

  •         Thinking outside the box:

Biomedical engineering problems are generally complex. Bioengineers must be able to think in unconventional ways and from new perspectives. They must be able to visualise complicated processes and equipment.

Steps to Become a Successful Biomedical Engineer

  • You must have a strong interest in science and mathematics, life sciences and medical knowledge.
  •  Pursue an undergraduate degree in biomedical science or engineering from an accredited university.
  • Pursue an internship and choose a speciality/concentration.
  •   Look for an entry-level job in the desired field and gain some experience.
  •  Immerse yourself in biomedical engineering trends.
  •  Licensing, Certifications, and Registrations to register as a professional engineer.
  •  Pursue a master’s degree in a chosen discipline. Some standard concentrations include Biomechanics and Rehabilitation, Human Anatomy & Physiology, Biomechanics, Bio-signal Analysis, Biological Control Systems, etc.
  • Alternatively, if you have an undergraduate degree in a different field such as electrical or electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, or physics, complete a graduate degree in biomedical engineering or receive on-the-job training.
  •  Pursue a PhD in biomedical engineering if you aim to work for universities or research institutes.

Degree Programs for Biomedical Engineering

Bachelor’s degree program

Bachelor of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering

Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering - Biomedical

Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering

Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering with Industrial Studies

Bachelor of Engineering in Medical Engineering

Bachelor of Engineering Bioinformatics

Bachelor of Biomedical Science

Master’s degree program

Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Master of Research in Tissue Engineering for Regenerative Medicine

Master of Science in Medical Devices Engineering

Master of Science in Medical Engineering

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering with Imaging and Instrumentation

Master of Science in Complex Systems Modeling - from Biomedical & Natural to Economic & Social Sciences

Salary of a Biomedical Engineer

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment opportunities in the field of biomedical engineering will grow at a pace of 5% over the next ten years, which is faster than usual. Additionally, the average salary for these professionals is also above average.

Country

The average annual income of a Biomedical Engineer

USA

$69,143

United Kingdom

£28,977

Australia 

AU$66,379

Canada 

C$64,781

India 

₹365,257

China 

285,600CNY

Russia

1,048,800RUB

France 

€ 41,500

Netherlands

€71,299

 Advantages and Disadvantages of Becoming a Biomedical Engineer

Advantages:

  •         Higher than the average salary
  •         Faster than average job growth
  •         Several specializations to choose from like bio instrumentation, biochemistry engineering, prosthetics, etc.
  •         Opportunity to create medical instruments and other technologies that improve and save lives
  •         Job opportunities exist in various sectors like Universities, multinational companies, government bodies, research facilities, etc.
  •         The field of biomedical engineering is increasingly relevant 

Disadvantages:

  •         The field requires knowledge of various fields, from chemistry to technology.
  •         Bioengineers must have an aptitude for lifelong learning.
  •         Biomedical engineers often need to work on time-sensitive and crucial projects. This means that they may have long working hours.
  •         Risk of injury from hazardous materials or other workplace safety risks
  •         Possible Health Hazards
  •         A graduate degree is often necessary to advance professionally.
  •         To complete projects, mundane tasks must be completed.
  •         Moral issues.

Career as a Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers is primarily employed in the healthcare industry, including pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, manufacturers, and medical and research facilities. Their duties may include essential experimentation and design, product development, clinical testing, and sales.

Biomedical Engineering is a broad field with various focus areas, and the exact nature of the work you may find yourself doing will vary depending on your role. A few examples of subdivisions of Biomedical Engineering include:

  •         Biochemical engineering
  •         Bio-mechatronics
  •         Bioinstrumentation
  •         Biomaterials
  •         Biomechanics
  •         Bionics
  •         Bio-nanotechnology
  •         Cellular, Tissue, and Genetic Engineering
  •         Clinical Engineering 
  •         Medical Imaging
  •         Orthopaedic Bioengineering
  •         Rehabilitation Engineering
  •         Systems Physiology
  •         Neural Engineering
  •         Genetic engineers

Biomedical engineers are employed in industries, research facilities, universities, hospitals, and government agencies. They can combine the domains of engineering and medicine owing to their training and experience. Some of the job titles of a biomedical engineer are listed below.

  •         Biomaterials Developer
  •         Manufacturing Engineer
  •         Independent Consultant
  •         Biomedical Scientist/Researcher
  •         Rehabilitation Engineer
  •         Medical Technology Developer
  •         Bioengineer & Health Analyst
  •         Biomechanics engineers
  •         Biochemists and Biophysicists

FAQ Related to ‘How to become a Biomedical Engineer’?

What is the difference between Biomedical Science (Life Science) and Biomedical Engineering?

Life Sciences focuses on understanding and discovering fundamental biological and biomedical sciences aspects. In contrast, biomedical engineering aims to address issues that affect human health. To create, deliver, and produce new tools, methods, equipment, or therapies that improve human health, biomedical engineers, biology, medicine, and engineering, drawing from various disciplines such as physics, computer science, and mathematics.

Is biomedical engineering indeed "engineering," or are mechanical, electrical, or chemical engineering the more advantageous fields to study?

Biomedical engineering emerged due to the necessity to solve complicated issues that call for interdisciplinary expertise like most emerging fields do. In addition to giving students the abilities needed to work as engineers, a solid biomedical curriculum will also give students the physiological and biological foundations missing from more conventional engineering schools.

Do I have to be an engineer to work as a biomedical engineer?

While most biomedical engineers have undergraduate engineering degrees, others also work in the field with backgrounds in physics, mathematics, medicine, and biological sciences, earning further expertise at the graduate level.

Is biomedical engineering a viable pathway for those interested in medicine and dentistry?

Biomedical engineering is an excellent route to medical school if a student is interested in engineering. The program of study naturally accommodates the courses needed for entrance to dentistry and medical schools. Of all majors, biomedical engineering graduates in the US and Canada have the most remarkable admittance rate to medical school.

What are some of the examples of biomedical projects?

Here are some examples of biomedical engineering projects.

  •   Artificial organs (hearing aids, cardiac pacemakers, artificial kidneys and hearts, blood oxygenators, synthetic blood vessels, joints, arms, and legs).
  •         Automated patient monitoring
  •         Blood chemistry sensors
  •         Advanced therapeutic and surgical devices
  •         Application of expert systems and artificial intelligence to clinical decision making
  •         Design of optimal clinical laboratories
  •         Medical imaging systems
  •         Computer modelling of physiologic systems
  •         Biomaterials design
  •         Biomechanics of injury and wound healing
  •         Sports medicine

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