Biomedical Engineering or Bioengineering is the science of engineering which is applied in the field of biology and medicine. With the help of engineering principles and practices, combined with the knowledge of biology and medicine, biomedical engineering helps in the research and development of medical devices and procedures that solve medical and health related problems.
A biomedical engineer must have the knowhow of the analytical tools and physical knowledge of modern engineering science and a fundamental understanding of the biological or physiological system. In other words, in biomedical engineering all the engineering aspects of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, materials science, chemistry, mathematics, and computer science are integrated together with human biology for the betterment of health services. The biomedical engineers have developed devices from pacemakers to artificial hips. In recent times, from stem cell engineering to 3D printing of biological organs.
A biomedical engineer is concerned with the application of both engineering and medical faculties. Typically a biomedical engineer does the following things:
The working environment for a biomedical engineer differs depending on the nature of his work. Some may do research in laboratories whereas others may work in hospitals. As per the 2012 census, the percentage of biomedical engineers working in various industries are as follows:
|Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing||25|
|Scientific research and development services||18|
|Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing||15|
|Colleges, universities, and professional schools||9|
|General medical and surgical hospitals||7|
In order to become a biomedical engineer one must pursue a biomedical engineering degree program from a reputed university. Candidates can also have a graduate engineering program in a different branch and can then opt for a graduate program in biomedical engineering or can also get on-the-job training. There are mainly three levels in biomedical engineering courses—the bachelors degree, the master degree and the doctoral degree.
Aspiring students must have the three science subjects of chemistry, physics and biology in their high school curriculum. The Biomedical engineering course is mainly a laboratory based program in addition to classroom courses in subjects such as fluid and solid mechanics, computer programming, circuit design and biomaterials.
Some of the biomedical engineers also take up medical or dental courses and then at a later stage in their career take up biomedical engineering as a profession. Some of them even earn a law degree and work as patent attorneys.
A biomedical engineer must pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam and must work in the biomedical field for a minimum of four years. In order to become a licensed professional biomedical engineer one has to get passing scores in Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam.
10 Best Biomedical Engineering schools in United States of America
|College / University||Bachelor||Masters||Doctorate|
|Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
225 North Ave, Atlanta, GA, 30332-0530
|University of California-San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, CA, 92093
103 Allen Bldg, Durham, NC, 27708
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139-4307
Stanford, CA, 94305
|University of California-Berkeley
200 California Hall, Berkeley, CA, 94720
|University of Pennsylvania
34th & Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104-6303
One Silber Way, Boston, MA, 2215
6100 S Main, Houston, TX, 77005-1827
|University of Washington-Seattle Campus
1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA, 98195-4550
|...View all Bioengineering schools & Colleges in USA|
As per the census of 2012, the average annual salary for biomedical engineers is found to be $86,960. The lowest 10% earning less than $52,600 and the top 10% earning more than $139,450. Below table shows the top five industries where the biomedical engineers are employed and their average salary are as follows:
|Scientific research and development services||$94,150|
|Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing||$88,850|
|Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing||$87,340|
|General medical and surgical hospitals||$69,910|
|Colleges, universities, and professional schools||$63,440|
A biomedical engineer can typically work in the following areas—Industry, Research, and National Health Services.
Industry: If one wishes to work in the industry, a degree in biomedical engineering will suffice. The candidate can gradually build his career and may be offered senior posts in Management, Research, Technical Advice, Quality Assurance, Production, or Marketing.
Research: For those opting for a research level of work their career path will typically have a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. These type of candidates may fill up the post of a Lecturer or Researcher in an Academic Institute or University.
National Health Services (NHS): A career with the NHS is very well structured and rewarding. The biomedical graduate can be promoted to manage a department with responsibility for medical equipment or manage a large technical staff.
Biomedical engineers also have the scope to further specialize in areas such as biomechanics, biomaterials, medical instrumentation, and rehabilitation.