Biomedical Engineers develop technologies that help improve the quality of people’s health, or their ability to manage disabilities – and may even save their lives. The field combines biology and medicine with engineering and mechanics— a combination that leads to amazing results. Imaging systems that allow doctors to “see” inside a patient’s organs... artificial limbs, organs, and joints... lasers for surgery... devices that automate insulin injections… computer simulations to test new drug therapies… Biomedical engineers designed all of these, and also keep them running. Making sure their designs operate safely and correctly is a large part of their job. These engineers can expect to spend many hours, even years, on a specific project in a cycle of researching, developing, testing, and trying again. Among the qualities needed are patience, problem-solving, and the ability to handle complex calculations. Most jobs are found in research laboratories, hospitals, and manufacturing. To enter the field, you will need a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering or bioengineering. Some people enter the field with a bachelor’s degree in another field of engineering coupled with biological science electives, or they earn a graduate degree in biomedical engineering. Whatever their path to the profession, biomedical engineers share a passion for making a patient’s life longer...and easier.
What they do:
Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.
On the job, you would:
Design and develop medical diagnostic and clinical instrumentation, equipment, and procedures, using the principles of engineering and biobehavioral sciences.
Conduct research, along with life scientists, chemists, and medical scientists, on the engineering aspects of the biological systems of humans and animals.
Manage teams of engineers by creating schedules, tracking inventory, creating and using budgets, and overseeing contract obligations and deadlines.
Engineering and Technology
product and service development
computers and electronics
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
medicine and dentistry
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
read and understand what is written
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
use rules to solve problems
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
see hidden patterns
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
The MathWorks MATLAB
Computer aided design CAD software
Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS
Development environment software
Microsoft Visual Basic
National Instruments LabVIEW
bachelor's degree or master's degree usually needed