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Getting a Degree in Biomedical Engineering

biomedical engineering degree

Biomedical Engineering Degrees

Getting a degree in biomedical engineering can be a quality choice for those who love learning about medicine, science, and math. Biomedical engineers combine engineering principles with medical sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software. They work in manufacturing, universities, hospitals, and research facilities. 

Those with a biomedical engineering degree can design instruments, devices, and software that is used in healthcare. In addition, they can design electrical circuits, software to run medical equipment as well as computer simulations to test new drug theories. 

People who have good analytical skills, communication skills, creativity, math skills, and problem-solving skills do well in this field.

Associate’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering

Getting your associate’s degree in biomedical engineering can provide education and training to work with electronic and computerized medical devices that are used in hospitals and other health care facilities. Some programs are also designed for those who plan to transfer to get a 4-year degree. Some courses you might take while getting your associate’s degree would be Modern Digital and Computerized Equipment, Computer Applications For Technical Support, or The Fundamentals of Electronic Devices. 

With an associate’s degree in biomedical engineering, you could find a variety of jobs, such as a biomedical engineer technician. Associate’s degrees take around two years, depending on if you go to school full or part-time, and many community colleges have programs. You can also use your associate’s degree as a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree. 

Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering

Going for your bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering will allow you to dive deeper into biomedical engineering, and find a better-paying job. In a bachelor’s degree program, you would learn to apply math, science, and engineering principles to analyze and interpret modern problems in engineering tools. Some of the core classes would include math, chemistry, physics, computer programming, and genetics. Most programs will take you 4 years unless you already have your associate’s degree or choose to go to school on a more part-time basis. 

You should be able to find either an in-person or online bachelor’s degree program to study biomedical engineering. For online programs, Bryant and Stratton College, Duke University, and Vanderbilt University all have highly rated programs. For in-person programs, Johns Hopkins University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, all have highly rated programs. 

Jobs with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering

  • Biomedical Engineers, who combine engineering principles with sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software, have an average salary of $91,410, according to BLS as of 2019.
  • Rehabilitation Engineers, who use specialized knowledge or skills to design, build, and maintain complicated equipment, systems, and processes for those with disabilities, have an average salary of $66,632 according to Salary.com, as of 2021. 
  • Biomedical Engineering Consultants, who provide guidance and recommendations to institutions and organizations in the medical field including hospitals, private clinics, and research labs, have an average salary of $76,276, according to Payscale, as of 2021.

Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering

Going for your master’s degree in biomedical engineering will increase your earning potential. The degree will teach you innovative skills, based on your concentration. While you don’t have to have a master’s degree to go into biomedical engineering, you will be able to open more doors if you do. 

A master’s degree should take you around 1-2 years depending on the program and if you attend full or part-time. Classes you might take would depend on your concentration but you could end up taking classes such as Tissue Biomechanics, Biosensors, and Medical Sciences. 

You should be able to find either an in-person or online master’s degree program to study biomedical engineering. For online programs, Johns Hopkins University, California State University at Northridge, and The George Washington University all have highly rated programs. For in-person programs, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Brown University all have highly rated programs. 

Jobs with a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering

  • Chemists, who can do things such as work to test and develop new drugs, have an average salary of $57,033, according to Payscale, as of 2021.
  • Biomaterials Developers, who work in tissue engineering, biomedical implant development, nano implants, and more have an average salary of $76,677 according to Payscale, as of 2021. 
  • Manufacturing Engineers, who are involved with the design and production of products, creating goods that are low-cost and high quality, have an average salary of $70,435, according to Payscale as of 2021.

Doctorate Degrees in Biomedical Engineering

When going to get your Ph.D. in biomedical engineering you could possibly learn more about biological and chemical compounds and be able to use this knowledge in different aspects of the biomedical field. Biomedical engineers, research scientists, and even software developers earn more at this degree level. A Ph.D. program can take about 5-6 years. 

You can find highly rated programs at schools such as Northcentral University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Washington University in St. Louis. 

Jobs with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering:

  • Biomedical Engineering Directors, who help manage teams that work to create and test new biomedical equipment as well as technologies, have an average salary of $118,135 according to Salary.com, as of 2021.

Other options could be to go on to medical school to become a doctor or to teach in higher education. 

Related Majors

Licensing

In order to work in the field of biomedical engineering as a consultant or offer services to the public, you would need to be licensed. The guidelines for this depend on the state and requirements may vary. However, for all states, you would need to pass two exams that are administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). You would take the first exam while still a student, The Fundamentals of Engineering, then after you have passed that, you will need to have four years of work experience. Then you can take the Principles and Practice of Engineering and earn your license. 

Scholarships

Getting your degree in biomedical engineering means you can apply for certain scholarships that specialize in engineering or similar degrees. Here are a couple of them:

Gladys Carol Scholarship

This scholarship is open to high school seniors, high school graduates, and current undergraduate level students. They must be accepted to or enrolled in a full-time STEM program at an accredited non-profit public or private 4-year college or university in the US. This scholarship is also merit-based. This scholarship is for multiple students and will be $5,000. For more info, please go here.

Siebel Scholars

This scholarship recognizes the most talented students at the world’s leading graduate schools of business, computer science, bioengineering and, and energy science. Through this program, the scholars will form an active, lifelong community and an ever-growing group of leaders. There will be multiple awards, at $35,000 for students to use in their final year of graduate studies.  For more info, please go here.

For more Biomedical scholarships, please visit this page.

 

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About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.