How to Become a Biomedical Engineer

Projected Job Growth: 62%
Projected Employment Change: 9,700

Combining the fields of engineering and medicine, biomedical engineers create solutions to minimize or solve problems in biology and medicine to improve patient care. This might require them to design products like artificial organs or machines that aid in diagnosis, offer technical support regarding biomedical equipment, or evaluate and increase the effectiveness of that equipment. Biomedical engineers work with various types of medical scientists researching engineering aspects of biological systems, as well as with clinicians, training them to properly use biomedical equipment. As the above projections, which are provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), indicate, employment for biomedical engineers is expected to increase much faster than average for all occupations.

Why Biomedical Engineering?

According to the BLS, the field of biomedical engineering is growing for a variety of reasons. First, with baby boomers getting older, the need for biomedical devices and medical procedures is expected to increase. Second, the demand for the services that biomedical engineers provide is expected to increase as the diversity of their training qualifies them to participate in a wide range of activities. Third, biomedical engineering products and services are increasingly needed in many areas of health care, opening up more opportunities for biomedical engineers to work with medical scientists, medical researchers, and manufacturers. Along with favorable job prospects, advancement opportunities, such as leading a research team, is possible for those who have completed on campus or online graduate degree programs.

Getting Into Biomedical Engineering

The path to a career in biomedical engineering generally begins with traditional or online bachelor’s degree programs. To earn a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, you will have to complete courses in engineering and biological sciences, mechanics, biomaterials, computer programming, physiology, and circuit design. Undergraduate students who complete online degree programs in a different engineering field will likely need to look into obtaining on-the-job training or enrolling in on campus or online master’s degree programs in biomedical engineering. During their education and career, biomedical engineers may want to pursue a specialty area within the field, such as biomaterials, bioinstrumentation, systems physiology, orthopedic surgery, and more. Some biomedical engineers may even attend dental or medical school to specialize in a certain area or earn a law degree and become patent attorneys.