A biomedical engineer career is a great option for any person who wants to work in the field of medicine but doesn’t necessarily want to be on the front lines, interacting directly with patients. Many people want to be of service to people suffering from medical problems, but don’t feel like they have the exact aptitude or skills to be a doctor or nurse. If this describes you, don’t give up on a medical career. A biomedical engineer career can enable you to use your talents and gifts to improve and save lives, while earning an excellent salary in a fulfilling position that pays well and will be in demand for decades to come.
In fact, there are few vocations in existence with brighter prospects for job growth in the near future than biomedical engineer. The job involves combining engineering principles and the latest breakthroughs in technology, and applying them to solve or ameliorate a wide range of medical problems, both for patients and for the health-care industry itself. From actually inventing a product or system to seeing it through the development and testing phases, biomedical engineers are intensely involved throughout the entire process. Common applications include artificial limbs and organs, surgical lasers, telemetry equipment, pacemakers, dialysis machines, and medical information systems.
A strong educational background in engineering is a requirement for a biomedical engineer career. A bachelor’s degree in engineering is the absolute minimum necessary to get into the field, although a master’s degree is increasingly preferred. A number of universities offer a specialized biomedical engineering degree, and this number is expected to increase in the near future as demand for biomedical engineers continues to grow. The average student should expect to take four to six years to complete such a degree. These courses are difficult and will require a strong aptitude for the hard sciences to be successfully completed. Those seeking a biomedical engineer career are strongly advised to make an honest personal assessment of both their aptitudes and their academic strengths and weaknesses before embarking on such a program, as the learning curve is steep. Fully prepared students will be able to keep up, but those in over their heads will quickly fall behind. A degree in biomedical engineering can also be used for entry into many different careers. In fact, many graduates wind up applying for medical school. Of course, this will require an excellent score on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).
Upon graduation from an accredited program, it will be necessary to take and pass a state licensing exam in order to work in the field. In addition, once a person is established in a biomedical engineer career, continuing education will be a must in order to stay abreast of the constant changes in the industry and the increasingly complex technology. Becoming a biomedical engineer is not easy; it will take years of study to get into the career and require much subsequent education, both formal and self-directed. The rewards, however, are great. Biomedical engineers enjoy one of the highest average salaries in the nation, with many making over $100,000 annually. With the average age in America getting higher and higher, the need for specialists in this field is expected to surge in the near future and remain strong for the long term, as the elderly make up the biggest group using the products and services biomedical engineers produce.