Explore BME Degree and Career Opportunities

“What exactly is Biomedical Engineering Degree?”- This might be the question that came into your mind the moment you have read the above title. As it is known, a lot of DNAmedical issues have been popping out simultaneously and it objectively calls for immediate responses that only human can do. Since human’s initiative and action are what really needed in the field of medicine, you can be one of the people in synergy who are already engaging themselves to addressing such issues. By exploring and taking BME curriculum, your dream to be one of those people is really possible to happen.

With all of the courses offered by different colleges and universities nowadays, I won’t be surprised if you’re having a hard time to choose a major that will really excel your chances for a better future. One must create opportunities instead of just relying on academic merit. If you take up the challenge to pursue biomedical engineering field, it will give you a perfect opportunity to help solve problems in medicine & science. In other words, it’s your gateway to discover solutions and create innovative products for the advancement of the human race.

Bioengineering is a study combination of medicine, biology and technology. Its vision is to teach students with necessary knowledge that is very much useful in the context of medicine. This knowledge has also wide scope which covers the approaches, methods, techniques and strategies on how to facilitate learning experience of students. If students are already equipped with this fundamental knowledge, good job opportunities will definitely come at hand.

What is Biomedical Engineering (BME)?

This is a course which systematically deals with the study of both biology and medicine by applying engineering skills. This program also encompasses the study of biotechnology which plays a vital role for the total bio-engineering function.

In addition, the curriculum includes several theoretical assignments and practical experimentation on bioengineerng processes. The research tries to obtain better and wider understanding towards the functions (both normal and abnormal) of the human body. The diagnosis acquired from the experimentation is forwarded to drawing quantitative analysis. Hence, this type of analysis is the major base for formulating possible measures which will address the issues in human body functions.

It is an area of study that deals with healthcare and life sciences. By considering the main subjects that comprises it, namely- the medicine, biology and technology, Biomedical Engineering course is able to construct its own field. This field is the ground of individuals who aspire to be of great help in the entire industry, not just in medicine.

It also deals with the system of experiments and analysis. The course material will inculcate higher order thinking skills within the mind of students. Through experimentation, students will be taught on how to gather information, perform experimentation, and draw accurate analysis. The analysis will be the basis of students for formulating unique solution towards a certain issue. A good example of an issue in medicine is the abnormal body function of human. While students are just at the onset of this course, they will be trained already on how to identify the causes of abnormal body function and what is the adequate response that they can do about it.

2017 List of Top Ranked Biomedical Engineering Schools in United States:

RankedTraditional CollegesSchool LogosCity-StateTuition (in state)Ratings
1.Johns Hopkins University
johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland$43,390 approx
5 Stars
2.Duke University

Duke University
Durham, North Carolina$42,308 approx
5 Stars
3.Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia$7,718 approx
5 Stars
4.Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Cambridge, Massachusetts$41,770 approx
5 Stars
5.University of California—​San Diego
University of California—​San Diego (Jacobs)
La Jolla, California$31,134 approx
5 Stars
6.Stanford University
Stanford University
Stanford, California$47,343 approx
4.5 Stars
7.Rice University
Rice University (Brown)
Houston, Texas$36,610 approx
4.5 Stars
8.University of Washington
 University of Washington
Seattle, Washington$11,305 approx
4.5 Stars
9.University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$39,088 approx
4.5 Stars
10.Boston University
Boston University
Boston, Massachusetts$50,948 approx
4.5 Stars
11.University of Michigan
University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan$28,632 approx
4.5 Stars
12.Columbia University
Columbia University
New York City, State of New York$45,028 approx
4 Stars
13.Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis (Sever)
Missouri, United States$42,500 approx
4 Stars
14.Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, Ohio$40,120 approx
4 Stars
15.University of California–Berkeley
University of California–Berkeley
Berkeley, California$11,220approx
4 Stars

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What Do Biomedical Engineers Do?

Biomedical engineers have several roles to perform which are very beneficial to the entire industry, hospitals, research facilities, and other sectors such as teaching, and functioning in a regulatory agency operated by the government.

In the entire industry, biomedical engineers are expected to create designs wherein technology is integrated in order to gain wide scope of understanding regarding the living systems. The designs to be created may include the evaluation of products which are recently proposed.

As for the job embodied by the government, these engineers are always involved in the testing of product safety and launching safety standards for tools, machines or devices.

In hospitals, they give advice, consult and recommend how to select appropriate medical equipment as well as its uses. These people also supervise the equipment’s performance and maintenance.

While in any research institution, they take charge of the equipment and laboratories, and join in the research activities through partnership with another set of researchers who belong to different area. The research done is usually about the medicine, nursing, and/or physiology.

They also serve as technical advisors in marketing departments owned by companies, while some are also placed in positions for managing.

Biomedical engineers’ duties and tasks are the following:

· Conduct different sets of research in partnership with other scientists. The usual topic of research is about human and animal system and function.

· Design and improve medical equipment and diagnostic instrumentation.

· Utilize engineering principles through sciences which are bio-behavioural.

· Develop simulations through computer regarding the human systems which are also bio-behavioural. The simulations will also measure and control the processes of life.

· Assess if the equipments are safe to use, efficient, and effective.

· Install and repair biomedical equipment.

· Research for new materials such as artificial organs which are implanted.

· Design or improve hardware and software for computer which can be used for medical science. 

· Advice administrators in hospitals on how to plan, acquire, and use medical equipment.

· Analyze procedures in medicine in order to arrive at favorable results.

· Design applications which can be used for sources of energy such as nuclear power.

· Analyze and infer the bioelectric data, using techniques which are signal processing.

· Teach subjects for bioengineering in any schools.

· Disseminate knowledge through book writing.

How to Become a Biomedical Engineer?

There are several ways to pursue a career as a biomedical engineer. You can become one as long as you have already finished any of the science, math or technology oriented programs. Any of these courses will be your launchpad towards a successful medical and healthcare career. They are as follows:-

· Bioinformatics– gives opportunities to gather and evaluate pieces of information about medicine and biology. For example, Chemical Reactionstudents are asked to manage databases for gene search.

· Biomechanics– enables the students to create non-natural hearts for the purpose of examination of motion, flow of fluid, or deformation of materials.

· Biosignal Processing– it allows the learners to extract information from any of biological signals. The information extracted is used as a diagnosis for detecting signals of brain, which is used for controlling a computer.

· Biotechnology– this field makes use of living organisms for creating products, develop microorganisms, and improve animals and plants organisms. This can be used in the process of degradation in order to support the living organism.

· Clinical Engineering – it teaches everything from taking care of patients by using managerial skills as well as engineering that includes the technology for health care.

· Imaging and Image Processing– bio-technicians are taught and expected to review x-rays, ultrasound, computerized tomography or CT, and magnetic resonance imaging or MRI.

· Rehabilitation Engineering– it trains and prepares researchers for helping people improve and achieve quality life despite their disabilities.

· Proteomics– it teaches students on how to examine set of different proteins which can be of great help for explaining the spreading manner of infections.

Before taking a final decision, you should think about what you’re really passionate about and if it’s something that will hold your interest in the long run. Besides, you can only become successful in life if you love what you are doing.

Below are the steps on how to become a Biomedical Engineer:

· Complete a degree in any field of engineering, such as chemical, electrical, or mechanical. These fields in engineering will train and give you corresponding knowledge which is needed in biomedical engineering program. These fields will also prepare you to become a pre-skilled person in the context of BME or BMET (Biomedical Equipment Technician/Technologist).

· Aside from engineering areas, you can have completion of other courses which are science, math and/or technology based.

Online Biomedical Engineering Degree- Is it Possible?

Online Biomedical EngineeringAccredited Biomedical Engineering degree can be acquired and finished not only through direct schooling; it can be obtained online as well. Most of the programs are ABET (Engineering Accreditation Board) approved, so the quality of education is never compromised. Those who prefer to study online acquire the same length of knowledge taught in colleges or universities. They are provided with the same subjects and coursework. But it is the learning experiences that vary. Students who really attend schools are endowed with learning experience, unlike others who just study online. It is because online studying of Biomedical Engineering still requires students to take laboratory performance and hands-on tasks which might seem to be difficult if not done in a class setting.

Of course, distance learning in biomedical engineering is also possible. You will acquire the same knowledge just like students studying in a traditional classroom. You will have the same subjects and same coursework. However, the only difference is that the way you will be learning is different from the way students in the classroom learn. To give you an example, there is a hands-on activity which can be performed only in the laboratory. You can still do the hands-on activity but it is actually difficult not only to your part, but as well as to the part of your professors. Since tangible performance and evaluation is very much better than doing the activity without the company of professor/s and collaboration of other classmates. According to some studies, an individual will best learn if there are people who collaborate with him or her.

Nevertheless, online biomedical engineering colleges offers various advantages and benefits. Such as you can research fast for needed information and you can be more updated with the changes that might have something to do with your studies.

Various Specializations/Concentration available:

There is a number of specialization or concentrations for Biomedical Engineers. Below are the following:

· Bioinstrumentation– it refers to the techniques and principles of electronics application and measurement, in order to create or enhance devices for diagnosing and treating diseases.

· System Physiology- it encompasses the tools, techniques and strategies of biomedical engineering. These are used to comprehend and understand the living organisms function.

· Biomechanics- these are the mechanics applied to problems which are related to medicine or biology.

· Biomaterials– it describes the living tissue as well as the materials which are used for the process of implantation.

· Clinical Engineering- it pertains to the technology application intended for hospital’s health care. Students in this course are taught with skills which are necessary for managing healthcare through the aid of technology.

Other Disciplines

-> BioMEMS– micro-electro-mechanical systems or MEMS incorporates elements and sensors in silicon chip so as to develop devices such as micro robots.

-> Genomics– it pertains to genomes which can map, analyze, and sequence new diseases.

-> Information Technology– through this specialization, students are being taught on how to develop virtual applications which may be useful in the field of medicine.

-> Micro and Nanotechnology– while micro-technology pertains to creating of devices and using it in micrometer scale, nanotechnology on the other hand pertains to developing of devices and utilizing it in nanometer scale which can identify properties of microscopic tissues.

-> Bioinformatics- this is where the tools for computer are developed and used to gather information about medicine and biology.

Salary Potential and Future of Biomedical Engineers

For each year, Biomedical Engineers can potentially earn a medium income of $77, 400. It can even increase if master or doctoral degree is already acquired. If so, these engineers can land to higher positions wherein a higher salary is given. Engineers in this field can also have other related works aside from creating designs for medicine and making a research about organisms.

As a matter of fact, there is an increasing demand for qualified professionals in the industry today because of the continuous demand brought by issues in medicine and other related areas.

Post graduates can get paid as much as $116,040 per year (approx) while their highest hourly pay can be up to $55.79. This kind of opportunity is usually offered by top-performing companies in the United States. Besides this particular field, you can work in other areas such as in medicine, pharmacy, healthcare, research centers, and government projects. Visit BMES for professional and career guidance.