Biomedical engineers combine the principles of biology, medicine and engineering in the design and creation of complex health care products, such as artificial hearts or prosthetic limbs. These health systems mix mechanical elements into the biomedical world and, as a result, the workers in the field can be quite well compensated for the necessary diversity of knowledge and skill.
The mean annual wage for biomedical engineers was $88,360 as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those in the top 10 percent of earners made $134,150 or more, while those in the bottom 10 percent earned $51,380 or less. According to the bureau, there were 16,590 biomedical engineers employed throughout America.
Salary by Industry:
The largest employer of biomedical engineers was the medical equipment manufacturing industry, which paid them an average of $86,280 a year, according to the bureau. Firms in the field of scientific research and development, and those in pharmaceutical manufacturing were the next-largest employers, paying $98,080 and $89,860 per year, respectively. The best-paying industry sector for biomedical engineering was electronic component manufacturing, which paid $112,890 a year on average.
Salary by State:
California and Massachusetts are the two states that employed the most biomedical engineers as of May 2011, paying them $99,650 and $96,760 per year, respectively. Those salaries also made the top five best-paying states, coming in at No. 2 and No. 5, respectively. While the third- and fourth-ranked states for biomedical engineer employment, Texas and Minnesota, paid average wages of $88,130 and $97,330, respectively, the fifth-ranked state, Indiana, paid only $66,900. The best-paying state for biomedical engineers was Alaska, with a mean annual wage of $153,240.
Salary by Metro Region:
The three metro regions that employed the most biomedical engineers were the Boston metro area at $97,380, Minnesota's Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul at $96,830 , and the Philadelphia metro area at $85,610. The best-paying metro area was the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara region in California, where biomedical engineers were paid $115,440. That area was also the fifth-largest employer in the biomedical engineering industry.