What is Biomedical Engineering?

Careers in Biomedical Engineering

Career opportunities in biomedical engineering are often divided into two categories: biomedical-engineering technologists and biomedical engineers. Biomedical-engineering technologists are most often employed by hospitals to maintain and repair existing medical equipment, and generally hold a 2-year diploma or certificate from a technology school. Biomedical engineers will hold a baccalaureate degree, and most often a graduate degree. Employers for biomedical engineers can include universities and colleges, hospitals (clinical engineers), research facilities, industry, and government agencies. Areas of work include the design of new instrumentation and computer systems, strategies for decision making, medical imaging systems, biomaterials and tissue engineering, modeling, biofilms, dental, rehabilitation engineering, and others.

Although at present one of the smaller areas of employment for engineers, the U.S. Department of Labor has estimated a job growth rate of 72% for biomedical engineers between 2008 and 2018, significantly higher then the next highest rate of 31% for environmental engineers. Since healthcare is and will be an important issue for all societies, combined with the need for existing and new technologies in healthcare, the prospects for employment as a biomedical engineer are excellent.

Those interested in a particular area of biomedical engineering should consult the professional societies of the area for employment prospects. Sites of general interest are the following: