Biomedical engineers work in the health care field, designing devices that add to the array of tools used by medical personnel for treatment and diagnostic purposes. A biomedical engineer may engage in research along with medical scientists during the developmental phase. Possible projects might include inhalers that deliver medication which has been converted to powder form; new prosthetic devices; and medical information tools that are more accurate or less intrusive. Most engineers in this field have experience in another area of engineering prior to taking special training for the biomedical field.
Engineers in this field usually have a bachelor's degree in general engineering coupled with graduate work in the biomedical field. It is a highly specialized area, within which engineers often specialize further in areas such as prosthetics or pulmonary treatment devices.
There were approximately 14,000 biomedical engineers working in the U.S. in 2006 according to Department of Labor data.
This profession is expected to increase by 21% in the decade 2006 - 2016. That is twice as fast as the projected average growth rate for jobs overall. However there is great interest in the field, so job seekers will need a graduate degree and possibly related product development experience. The efforts to make medical care more cost effective will drive the expansion of the biomedical engineering profession.
Lowest 10% $47,640
Median Salary $77,400
Top 10% $121,970
Source: U.S. Department of Labor