Biomedical engineers apply biology and biomechanical principles in developing new medical systems and devices that range from medical instrumentation to artificial organs. Their main role is to work with medical scientists to develop better products and systems for health care. Some of the innovations attributed to these professionals include prostheses, health information systems, insulin injection devices, imaging systems such as MRI among others. They may also specialize in imaging, biomaterials, biomechanics, orthopedic devices or rehabilitation products. The biomedical engineering salary is dependent on several factors including the employment position, area of specialization and experience. Most biomedical engineers work in biotech companies in the manufacture of medical equipment and supplies, while a significant number work in general medical and surgical hospitals. Scientific and research development services also demand the services of these professionals significantly. This is one of the fastest-growing engineering specialties whose growth may be attributed to the demand for better medical services especially for aging populations. Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly requiring the expertise of biomedical engineers for cost-effective product development and manufacture.
The median annual biomedical engineering salary stood at approximately 85,000 dollars in May 2011, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the mean annual wage was estimated at 88,000 dollars. The best paid engineers in this field earn over 134,000 dollars while the least paid earn about 51,000 dollars. The best paying industries included those dealing with the manufacture of semiconductor and other electronic components as well as physicians' offices, which both paid engineers an annual mean wage of over 112,000 dollars. Becoming a biomedical engineer at the entry level requires that you earn your bachelor's degree. Professionals in this field often combine the formal training in mechanical and electronic engineering with biomedical training in order to operate confidently in the field. In contrast to most other engineering fields, many entry-level biomedical engineers actually hold a master's degree. Typically, the coursework for biomedical engineering includes instruction in neuroengineering fundamentals, engineering electrophysiology, drug design, development and delivery, diagnostic imaging physics and bio-fluid mechanics. You could also take elective courses related to your ultimate career goals.
Note that there are several career opportunities associated with this field, which ultimately influence the biomedical engineering salary. However, all these careers are based on the same principles of engineering, biology and medicine and this is why the salary could have a relatively broad range. For instance, you could choose to specialize in bioinstrumentation, which involves building, testing and repairing different electronic components. You could also specialize in biomechanical engineering, which focuses on applying different biomedical engineering processes to cellular biology. Other areas of specialization include clinical engineering, genetic engineering, bionanotechnology and neural engineering.
Biomedical engineers are often required to work in teams, either with other engineers or research and manufacturing professionals when creating specialized products for patients. A sophisticated level of scientific and technical knowledge is necessary for medical engineers as they seek to bridge the gap between engineering and medicine. Attention to detail and strong communication skills are some of the vital skills you will require in order to become a successful professional in this field.