Engineers are highly trained individuals who are tasked with developing new products and generally solving problems through a concerted effort of an effective team, mathematical equations, and theoretical applications. They are essential to the advancement of new technologies and procedures that are used by government institutions and industry leaders alike. Specifically, biomedical engineers apply their knowledge and expertise to the advancement of medical technologies. Some of the latest trends in medicine, from MRI machines to CAT scans, have been made possibly through the efforts of their talent and research.
Biomedical Engineer Job Responsibilities
Bimoedical engineers are primarily tasked with using their knowledge of engineering processes and medical procedures in order to create new equipment and procedures for the advancement of medical science. Along with leading physicians in their fields, these men and women often conduct research in order to create better medical products for general use, such as artificial organs or prosthetic limbs. They also design many machines for everyday use, such as automatic insulin pumps and MRI machines.
Biomedical Engineer Training and Education Requirements
As with most engineering jobs, biomedical engineering careers require that candidates to complete a four year program from an accredited university. Many biomedical engineers combine their general curriculum with courses in mechanical or electrical engineering, in order to become better acclimated to working with the complex machinery they’ll encounter in their jobs. Furthermore, they may take design classes and some humanities courses in order to better function within their workplaces.
Furthermore, graduate school is available for prospective biomedical engineers who want to advance further within their field. While this is essential for some research positions and many faculty opportunities, those wishing to enter a company need not apply. However, many engineers who have a few years of working under their belts may wish to go to graduate school in their field or another discipline, such as business administration, in order to gain more experience and make them a more desirable addition to their or another company.
Biomedical Engineer Salary and Wages
Biomedical engineers have been reported to earn between $48,000 and $122,000 annually, the median wage being $77,000. This can change depending on the state they’re working in, success of the company that’s employing them, and whether or not they’re private or public sector. Compared to all other engineers, however, biomedical engineers ranked the second lowest earning potential for individuals with just a bachelor’s degree, ranking just above civil engineering. Of course, parties who are worried about the earning potential of this career can always opt to attend graduate school in order to advance to the higher echelons of biomedical engineering, thus garnering higher wages.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Biomedical Engineer Certifications
While certification is required for any branch of engineering where the knowledge is applied to projects, such is not the case for biomedical engineering. That being said, however, many individuals still choose to become licensed in order to increase their knowledge of the field and thus be able to add more to their employer’s company. For instance, the Board of Examiners for Biomedical Equipment Technicians offers certification in areas such as biomedical equipment, radiology equipment, and laboratory equipment. Each of these certifications emphasize an individual’s experience and knowledge concerning that area, proving that he or she will be a valuable addition to any team requiring more experience in that certain discipline.
Biomedical Engineer Professional Associations
There are five major biomedical engineering professional associations within the United States.
The American Society for Healthcare Engineering, or ASHE, is one of the largest institutions that is dedicated to improving healthcare for US citizens on a grander scale. They accept biomedical engineers amongst their ranks in the hopes of promoting better designs and more efficient use of medical technologies in all facets of healthcare.
The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, or AAMI, is a group that pushes for the safe use of medical technologies. It is made up of both users and manufacturers, and rewards special certifications for biomedical engineers who excel in the use and understanding of biomedical equipment, radiology equipment, and laboratory equipment. This certification is valid for three years before the individuals are invited to renew it.
The Biomedical Engineering Society, or BMES, tasks itself with granting the general public a greater understanding of biomedical technologies and their everyday applications. It annually gives out rewards and grants to individuals, teams, and companies who are doing their part to foster the furthering of biomedical engineering procedures and applications.
The Society for Biomaterials, or SFB, is a group that tasks itself with advancing the research of materials research and application for the sake of bringing biomedical engineering onto a new technological frontier. It often releases publications telling professionals of impending developments in the biomedical engineering world, as well as larger global events and their effects on the discipline itself.
The Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, also known as RESNA, pushes for the advancement and furthered understanding of rehabilitative technologies and the individuals who need them the most. This trans-disciplinary network offers great opportunities for professionals and students alike to connect, volunteer, and learn about the latest trends in assistance technologies.