Careers

Biomedical Engineering Career Path: Scope, Prospects & More

Are you considering the biomedical engineering career path? Biomedical engineer explains all about their job role, salary and whether this is the right profession for you.

1. Biomedical Engineering Career Path: What Does a Biomedical Engineer Do?

A biomedical engineer designs biomedical equipment such as artificial organs, body parts, and machines that are used for diagnosing medical issues. They also install, repair, maintain, and provide technical support for biomedical equipment.

Biomedical Engineering Career Path

As a biomedical engineer, I design, develop, and implement instruments that are used by patients and medical professionals to help with the treatment plan. It includes digital monitoring for temperature, pressure, blood oxygen levels, and others. Furthermore, this also includes developing machines for computer tomographic images and CT scans. Make wearable 24/7 monitors for asymptomatic patients.

Contents: Jump to Section

1.1 Industry/Sector
1.2 Social Image
1.3 Reasons to Become a Biomedical Engineer
2.1 Personality Traits Required
2.2 Physical Demands
2.3 Psychological Demands
3.1 Extra-Curricular Activities Recommended
3.2 Related Hobbies to Take Up
3.3 Related Movies/ TV Shows
3.4 Related Fiction to Read/ Novels
4.1 Part-Time Options
4.2 Traveling Required
4.3 Average Workday/What to Expect
5.1 Retirement Prospects
5.2 Threats from Automation
5.3 Common Reasons for People to Quit

1.1  Industry/Sector

Private and Government.

Biomedical engineers can work in both private and government research-based industries.

1.2 Social Image

Generally respected but not understood.

Biomedical is a profession that is generally respected. Most people don’t understand it completely. It often gets confused with other engineering fields like electrical engineering or mechanical engineering. Nevertheless, people who understand it, consider it a respectable profession.

1.3 Reasons to Become a Biomedical Engineer

Creative, opportunities, travel, in-demand, fulfillment.

Biomedical engineering career path appealed to me because it is a creative field. It has substantial opportunities for people who want to help in the medical field by designing and making instruments, artificial organs, and others. It also gives me a chance to travel to different places. The salary is usually good plus it increases with time. It gives me creative fulfillment, especially when my design is accepted in the industry and implemented.

profession-biomedical engineering career path

As technology is evolving, new machines are being introduced in the medical field. Due to this, the demand for a biomedical engineer is rapidly increasing.

2. What It Takes to Be a Biomedical Engineer

2.1 Personality Traits Required/ Preferred

Meticulous, creative, eidetic memory, communication skill.

Being a biomedical engineer, I have to be very meticulous. Since I design equipment for medical treatments, I have to be very precise. I also have to be creative, have good mental aptitude for numbers, and an eidetic memory to make a new design accurately then implement it. Once it has been implemented, it needs to be debugged and marketed. It may so happen that one may face difficulty while using the equipment. Engineers need to be well versed with oral/written communication skills. This helps them to explain to the superiors how to overcome the difficulties.

medical equipment needs to be debugged in the market

As a professional, I also have to have the skill to solve problems, time management, operational analysis, and project management. I also have to have the flexibility to devote long hours of work and travel to different locations if required.

2.2 Physical Demands

Long working hours, travelling.

Satisfactory design and debugging may require long hours after office hours to be devoted every day, even on weekends. It may be stressful at times. Moreover, we have to travel to different locations to install or repair the machines. For someone who does not like long-standing hours or travelling for work, biomedical engineering career path might be a little nerve-racking.

2.3 Psychological Demands in the Biomedical Engineering Career Path

Daily targets, long working hours.

Generally, there is a lot of pressure to complete the target within the allotted time. With time limits set for every release of a new product, there is always a daily target pressure. It can be both motivating and taxing. It also limits time for socialization and sometimes hampers personal life.

Personally, my family understands my long hours at work and does not mind me spending less time with them, but this is not the case for everyone. For some people, it can be a challenge. I do try to make it up to my family as much as possible.

3. How to Build Interest in a Career in Biomedical Engineering

3.1 Extra-Curricular Activities Recommended

Science quizzes, projects, inter-school competitions.

I would highly recommend taking part in science quizzes. It will help you widen your knowledge and make you competitive. Taking up science projects is also a marvellous idea as it will give you a first-hand experience in making models and working with different technologies.
I enjoyed inter-school competitions as I got to compete with highly skilled students from other schools. Nonetheless, it helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses and gave me a vivid understanding of my knowledge and where I need to improve.

3.2 Related Hobbies to Take Up

Reading books and magazines, chess, sports.

Without a doubt, I recommend reading science magazines. I enjoyed reading them as they are gripping, fascinating, and impart a lot of knowledge in different fields of science. Furthermore, these magazines contain information about different career choices that students can take up. It helps to understand various fields and gives a clear picture of the available opportunities.

I would also recommend playing chess as it helps to improve concentration. Biomedical engineering career path requires us to be very focussed and precise in our work. So playing chess can boost our mental health. If you are not into chess, you can also play any kind of sport or game that you enjoy. Keeping your mind and body active is essential.

3.3 Related Movies/ TV Shows

biomedical engineer movie to relax

I enjoy watching movies. I find it a good way not only to detox after a long day’s work but also to have family time. Some of my favourites are-

  • Star Wars
  • Guardians of Galaxy
  • Mission Impossible
  • Back to Future

Anyone interested in my profession or any profession in the field of science can watch these movies.

3.4 Related Books to Read

reading books apart from academics

Although my job requires many hours of work, I do sometimes find time for leisure. During these times, I like to pick up a book and read. I have to keep myself up to date with new technologies but reading non-academic books can be equally beneficial. My top favourites are-

  • Chromosome 6 by Robin Cook
  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  • The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
  • Inferno by Dan Brown
  • Starters by Lisa Price

These books are undoubtedly unputdownable and I guarantee that you will enjoy them.

4. Life as a Biomedical Engineer

4.1 Part-Time Options

Limited part-time jobs.

A biomedical engineering career path is a full-time job. Part-time and freelancing are limited since the job involves collaborative work. We also have to develop a good network of contacts. My workplaces can vary from laboratory, hospital, and research work to a manufacturing site.

4.2 Traveling Required

Yes.

travelling required for biomedical engineer

Yes, biomedical engineering career path requires a lot of travelling.  When instruments get defective, engineers travel to fix it. Sometimes we have to travel to install or repair the equipment. However, we may have to travel to a few locations in a single day.

4.3 Average Workday/ What to Expect in the Biomedical Engineering Career Path

biomedical engineer working as a team

Usually, as an engineer, I have to work with my team. It involves talking to the manager regularly. We have to discuss where we are concerning plans and then move forward. Constant feedback from the management is also required. I have to work as per the given schedule. It may involve the design part which means that I have to work on a specific design of an instrument. It may also include checking modules regarding the work. After my work is complete, I have to write a report based on everything that I have done. In case any faulty report comes in, I have to take the decision and act according to it.

5. Future of the Biomedical Engineering Career Path

5.1 Retirement Prospects

Faculty member, part-time work.

Usually, after retirement, biomedical engineers either become the faculty member or a lecturer in the institute or other institution. Sometimes engineers also choose to take up part-time work. When I retired, I became a faculty member of the research institute and a lecturer in an engineering college.

5.2  Threats from Automation

In my opinion, my profession may face a threat from AI and automation to some extent. Once AI takes over, very little manpower will be required for any kind of job. However, we engineer will still design the instruments while the robots will take up the task of installing, repairing, and maintaining the machines.

biomedical equipment design

With the use of automation, engineers will no longer be needed to maintain the machines. Although they will be there for designing and installation.

With old jobs becoming obsolete, new jobs emerge. Engineers will be required to do certain tasks. Altogether it is safe to say that biomedical engineering career path will prevail, maybe in a different way than we see today.

5.3 Common Reasons for People to Quit the Biomedical Engineering Career Path

Travelling, work pressure.

Biomedical_Engineering_Laboratory

Functional roles and responsibilities for a professional in India usually lead to people quitting the profession. Being on the toe every day and travelling constantly to various locations, may not be everyone’s cup of tea. The job may become a burden for some if they are not well equipped with long working hours. This sometimes causes family issues as the engineer is unable to dedicate enough time to the family regularly. Though vacation leave is given in most cases, it may not be enough for everyone.

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Curated & Edited by Sadaf Naz (CareerNuts Staff)

Coming up next:

How to Become a Biomedical Engineer

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