Biomedical Engineering

Engineering Resources >> Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering (BME) combines medicine and biology with engineering principles and concepts. Biomedical engineers work to improve health care by creating and analyzing software, equipment, and devices. They also ensure that the medical equipment in use in healthcare facilities complies with industry standards. To ensure compliance, they test equipment and systems and recommend products and software solutions. Engineers have contributed by developing MRIs, EKGs, micro implants, etc.

 

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics BLS, as of May 2018, the median pay for biomedical engineers was $38,550 per year or $42.57 per hour, and the number of jobs available in 2018 was 19,800. The job outlook for 2018-28 shows that there will be a 4% change in employment growth. In terms of the education required, typical entry level education is a bachelor's degree. Moreover, no on job training or no work experience is required.     

Biomedical engineers are likely to see the increase in demand projected above because of the wide range of services they offer. They work with researchers and manufacturers on solutions for various injuries and disabilities. Moreover, increased awareness about health and research into new solutions for health conditions may drive the demand for professionals.

 

Biomedical Engineering Job Responsibilities

 

The job duties typically include the following:

Design equipment and systems, such as Machines for diagnosis of medical issues, artificial internal organs, and replacement body parts.

Install, modify, and fix biomedical equipment

Maintain equipment and provide support for maintaining equipment.

Assess the safety of biomedical equipment and make recommendations for improving safety.

Test the equipment for effectiveness and efficiency and suggest ways to improve efficiency.

Train others in proper use of the equipment.

Collaborate with medical scientists and other researchers to explore possibilities of applying engineering concepts to biological systems.

Establish procedures and best practices based on research.

Create technical reports and conduct research studies related to the biomedical engineering field or a specialization within the field.  

As part of their biomedical engineering job, engineers may also need to design computer software related to the instruments they are developing as well as design pharmaceutical drugs for the conditions that are the focus of their research. 

 

Specializations

Within the biomedical engineering field there are several specializations as. Here are six such specializations:

Biomaterials: Biomaterials engineers study natural and laboratory-made materials that are incorporated into medical devices or the human and animal body. For example, they ensure that artificial joints and pacemakers are biocompatible while carrying out their functions.

Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation engineers use engineering and computer science knowledge to design, develop, and maintain devices that help people who are recovering from physical or cognitive impairment.

Bioinstrumentation: Bioinstrumentation engineers are specialists in the use of computer science and electronics to develop instruments that will be used for diagnosing and treating medical conditions. They also focus on the use of sensors for monitoring physiological characteristics of subjects.

Biomechanics: Biomechanical engineers are focused on the biological and medical problems that can be solved by using the concepts of mechanical engineering. Biomechanics many times uses traditional engineering methods. However, the mechanics of biological systems are usually more complex than man-made systems and may need advanced analytical techniques.

Systems Physiology: Specialists in systems physiology attempt to understand the relations that exist between our internal systems and the environment surrounding us.

Sales: A sales engineer with a biomedical background has the advantage of familiarity with the biomedical equipment being sold. They are able to explain the technical specifications along with the uses of the equipment and systems. 

 

Industries

Biomedical engineers work in a variety of sectors, ranging from hospitals and rehabilitation centers to research facilities. The manufacturing sector also offers biomedical engineering jobs. In terms of specific industries where they find jobs, the following industries are noteworthy: medical equipment manufacturing, pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, general hospitals, scientific research, and educational institutions, such as colleges and universities.

 

Education

A degree in biomedical engineering, mechanical or electrical engineering is useful for starting a career as in the field.   

Biomedical engineers generally require good analytical skills, math skills, and problem solving skills. Therefore, those interested in studying further in this field should start from the high school by taking courses in mathematics and science subjects.

At the bachelor's level, degree programs focus on engineering and biological sciences. The course may include subjects such as biochemistry, thermodynamics, computer programming, polymers, spectroscopy, biocompatibility, engineering design, circuit design, calculus and biomaterials. The degree programs typically offer both theoretical and practical classes. 

While on job training is not it requirement to get a biomedical engineering job according to BLS, the study programs and projects provide training to help prepare students for jobs in their chosen sub category. 



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