Details on a Career in Biomedical Engineering

What is a biomedical engineer? That’s an excellent question to ask when you are looking for a challenging career with enormous career potential.  Biomedical engineering is a discipline that actually refers to a wide range of specialties. But these specialties all have something in common – they combine engineering skills with biology and medical knowledge.

The biomedical engineer is a trained specialist that is usually found working in laboratories, hospitals and clinics doing research or developing medical or health related devices and processes.  If you chose to work in this field you might develop artificial organs for humans or design new medical sensors for detecting a variety of health problems.

Many of the tasks include testing biomedical equipment to insure it meets safety and operating efficiency standards. You will design, develop and work with computer models too that simulate human systems.

What makes this career so interesting and challenging is that it blends mechanical and biomedical knowledge in order to assist people dealing with health issues or disabilities. It’s not only an interesting and challenging career – it’s also a worthy field that benefits men, women and children on a daily basis.

Salary Reflects the Complexity of the Career

As you have probably already deduced, the biomedical engineering field is highly technical and requires dedicated, serious and educated workers. The average biomedical engineer salary reflects the uniqueness of this particular position.

The average hourly wage for a biomedical engineer according to the U.S. Department of Labor is almost $40 an hour. The average annual wage as of May 2009 is $82,550. Even the bottom 10% of those employed in this field earn almost $50,000 annually.

The industry you work in will affect the amount of salary you earn.  The top paying industries are:

  • Consulting services
  • Measuring and control instruments manufacturing
  • Equipment sellers and wholesalers
  • Federal government
  • Research and Development (specifically in the scientific arena)

As would be expected, the more experience you have, the higher the average annual salary.  According to PayScale, the salary biomedical engineer graduates can expect to earn ranges from $$40,000 to $60,000.  Someone with 10 to 19 years of experience are earning $69,000 to $104,000.

The biomedical engineering salary for someone who has worked for more than 20 years actually tops out at $101,000. It may seem a bit odd that people with over 20 years of experience are getting paid less. But it is probably due to the fact they were early entrants in this field and wages were lower.

If you have your Masters Degree you can expect to earn at least $10,000 more than someone with a bachelor’s degree.

Outstanding Employment Growth

The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment will grow by a whopping 72% during the ten years between 2008 and 2018. Given that employment has been suppressed the last couple of years due to the recession of 2008-2009, you can expect tremendous employment opportunity as businesses resume hiring.

In addition, changing population characteristics and the new health care legislation is creating even more jobs. The general population is aging and older people are more likely to need the medical devices biomedical engineers design and develop.

More and more people are going to have health insurance too because of new laws. The expansion of health care coverage will increase demand for biomedical services in response to increased need.

A third fact that will positively impact employment is technology. The rapid employment growth rate is partly due to technology. Technology is constantly changing and improving and there is a need for trained biomedical engineers able to master its intricacies.

Great Careers in Many Specialties

There are a number of careers in biomedical engineering because this is an inclusive field. You can obtain an undergraduate degree and find excellent jobs in different industries. It should be noted though that research careers for biomedical engineers often require a graduate degree.

Your career path can follow as specialized path as you desire. There are different specialties though each one continues to blend engineering with biology methodologies in research and medical fields.

  • Designing and developing rehabilitation devices for the disabled
  • Pharmaceuticals and systems physiological responses
  • Biomechanics for developing prosthetic organs
  • Bioinstrumentation which develops technological devices for diagnosis and treatments
  • Clinical based activities
  • Developing medical imaging devices
  • Biomaterials development

Many of the most stunning medical advances, including the MRI, artificial organs, sensitive prosthetics and disease treatments, are the products of biomedical engineers.

A Career That Benefits You and Others

What is biomedical engineering? It is an exciting field of study leading to a career that produces devices and information that help others live longer, healthier and more functional lives. The more technology advances, the more the biomedical technology field will grow. Medical devices, lab equipment, computer-assisted surgery, tissue engineering and orthopedics engineering are all areas where you will find great careers.

If this description sounds exciting then you need to consider a career as a biomedical engineer. You can attend a university or pursue a degree online.

Get Your Biomedical Engineering Degree Online!

If you have your heart set on becoming a biomedical engineer but are not sure how to make it happen, then you need to look online. Unlike the “old” days when online degrees were mostly in liberal arts area or criminal justice, there are now many online degrees offered in the science areas. This is a great field to pursue because it is specialized and commands a high salary

Great Wages Paid for a Fascinating Career Path!

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage

In May 2009 for a biomedical engineer was $82,550.  Salaries grew by almost 7% from 2008 to 2009 which is astonishing considering the poor economic conditions during this time period. This is one of the higher paying jobs you can seek with an annual salary being paid that is over $100,000 at the 75th percentile.

Here is even better news for you to digest.  New hires in this field with less than one year’s experience are starting at annual salaries between $40,000 and $60,000. There are really not that many occupations that pay people so well who have recently graduated from college and especially with a bachelor’s degree.

After just 5 years working in the industry you can be earning between $55,000 and $83,000 annually.  Making this occupation even more appealing is the fact that once you earn your online biomedical engineering degree you can work in any of a number of industries. These industries include private and government owned laboratories and health facilities, research universities, private companies and others.

There are several factors that will impact exactly how much you get paid including the industry of employment. For example, biomedical engineers working for state or local governments are earning a top average annual salary of approximately $48,000. Those working for private companies are topping out at over $100,000.

When you look at the industries with the highest levels of employment as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, the highest average wages are in the control instruments manufacturing category at $92,000 annually. The lowest paying industry with the highest levels of employment is hospitals.

Maximizing Your Salary

If you want to maximize your salary as a biomedical engineer then you can take several things into consideration.

  • Industry of employment
  • Geographical location of the job (state and city)
  • Company Size
  • Specialty

When you are a biomedical engineering undergraduate and seeking the best job at the highest pay, you will need to take the state and city where the job is located into consideration. The top paying state is Minnesota at $46.60 an hour while the state of Connecticut is fifth on the list at $41.90 an hour.

But you also have to look at the amount of employment. Minnesota has 810 biomedical engineers employed while Connecticut only has 90. California (2,990) and Massachusetts (1,380) are the two highest employing states in terms of numbers of jobs even though they don’t pay the highest wages in the top 5 states of employment.

Another factor you need to keep in mind is that the size of the company you work for impacts pay. According to PayScale, companies employing 2,000 to 5,000 people paid biomedical engineers as much as $90,000 annually. Companies with 50 to 200 employers are paying a maximum of $64,000.

Biomedical engineering schools offer undergraduate and graduate degrees. A bachelor’s degree is usually a minimum requirement.  You can increase your salary by specializing or being able to offer special skills. For example the following figures provided by PayScale indicate approximate low annual salaries by some specialties.

  • Research analyst – $61,500
  • Solid Works – $62,000
  • Product Development – $55,000
  • Project Manager – $58,000
  • Technical writer – $47,000
  • Materials lab engineer – $37,000

If you want to earn the highest salary then you must take the type of position into consideration.

Excellent and Great Are 2 Words That Describe This Occupation!

You can get a biomedical engineering degree online and enter an occupation with excellent employment prospects. The number of jobs is expected to grow by 72% between 2008 and 2018 according to the U.S. Department of Labor projections.

Biomedical engineering is a highly technical field. As the use of technology continues to expand there will be a greater need for biomedical specialists in both equipment and software use. The excellent pay reflects the fact that this occupation must be comfortable working with computers, electronics, engineered scientific instruments, mathematical formulas and mechanical tools.

Of course, many people choose this field just because it provides challenging work.  This is an excellent field, and job opportunities could very well exceed current estimates because of the increase in health care coverage for millions of Americans. Being able to earn a degree online means you can now join the others who recognize the career potential.