Engineering has a lot of subfields that offer students the possibility to broaden their potential career paths. One of these subfields is represented by biomedical engineering, which combines more than just one discipline. If traditional engineering is focused on mathematics and other applied sciences, biomedical engineering also includes fields such as biology and chemistry. Biomedical engineering, shortened BME, is a multidisciplinary field that combines various fields, namely medicine (diagnosis, monitoring, therapy) and engineering (solving skills).
BME has other subfields as well, depending on the branch that is selected by the engineer. For instance, one can specialize in biomedical optics, tissue or genetic engineering, pharmaceutical engineering or even neural engineering, all being related by the aforementioned solving skills. Biomechanics combines the mechanics method which is studied in traditional engineering with the functioning of the human body from a mechanical point of view, thus combining basic biology with the concepts in engineering. Here are some other details related to this field:
What duties biomedical engineers have?
Biomedical engineers usually engage in a very specific type of activities that differ from one branch of biomedical engineering to another. There are a few tasks that are common for multiple branches. The basic biomedical engineer should be able to come up with medical equipment prototypes. For instance, biomedical engineers are the ones behind creating artificial organs that can replace actual human body parts. Combining the mechanics of engineering with the science of medicine has such medical equipment as a result. Biomedical engineers also need to provide technical support for the equipment they create in the field of medicine, especially considering that the health of people depends on the use of it. Biomedical engineers hold a great responsibility because they need to assess the state of the biomedical tools. A safe environment of using these tools is evaluated solely by biomedical engineers.
Other duties involve training people who work in the medical field to use the equipment that biomedical engineers create. The personnel has to use the equipment correctly in order to obtain the safest results. Biological engineers can also research topics of interest in fields such as chemistry, biological systems of animals or other sciences in order to come up with new, innovative approaches. Based on the research they obtain, biomedical engineers can recommend various procedures that may revolutionize the medical world. The basic duty of a biomedical engineer is to design new devices for the healthcare industry, and other tasks result from this one.
Biomedical engineers can also opt for specializing in one single field after obtaining their diploma. A few of these specializations include instrumentation, materials, mechanics, clinical and rehabilitation, all in a relationship with the biological field. Bioinstrumentation mostly refers to developing the necessary tools in diagnosing/treating certain medical conditions. Biomaterials mostly refer to studying implantation devices. Biomechanics combines multiple disciplines among which studying chemistry, physiology, thermodynamics to come up with solutions for a wide range of medical challenges and issues.
Relevant skills for biomedical engineers
When it comes to who is suitable for becoming a biomedical engineer, there are a few skills that one must possess in this sense. First of all, the person must have analytical thinking. All engineers need to analyze information in depth and come up with unique solutions for uncommon problems. The second set of skills that are required to perform well at this job is related to communication and speaking. Without proper communication skills, biomedical engineers wouldn’t be able to understand the needs of the patients or the doctors that they work with. Moreover, biomedical engineers usually work in teams, which means they need to handle teamwork projects efficiently, or even lead them.
Being a biomedical engineer also requires creativity and imagination. Even though creativity is sometimes placed oppositely to analytical thinking, engineers require it in order to come up with innovative solutions and devices. The advancements in healthcare wouldn’t be possible without the launch of new devices and technologies, which strictly depend on the creativity of biomedical engineers. As implied by engineering, math, chemistry, and physics are also part of the skillset that biomedical engineers must possess. Dealing with problems everyday implies strong problem-solving skills.
As for the level of education needed to perform as a biomedical engineer, a few factors must be considered. First of all, biomedical engineers may need to follow multiple areas of study, depending on the selected specialization. A biomedical engineer working in research only needs one degree. A biomedical engineer that works in a topical area may need degrees in more than one simple field. Some biomedical engineers follow studies in managerial sciences as well. The education level solely depends on the branch selected for performing further. In most cases, the basic engineer MBA will only ensure a place in basic research jobs.
Depending on the type of studies that were finished by the biomedical engineer, the salaries may differ. An engineer that has a multiple degrees may generate an average annual wage of $100 000, while a biomedical engineer that only works in healthcare may generate one of $50 000. Education is a determining criterion of the salary and all fields involve full working hours and interacting with patients, managers, and doctors on a daily basis.
As for job opportunities, some countries are in need of biomedical engineer positions while others are saturated in this sense. The number of job opportunities differs from one year to another, but several studies determined that the jobs in the field of biomedical engineering will be increased with almost 10 percent until 2025. Because of this reason, the employment in this field will suffer a beneficial growth that is going to allow more people to have a career in this field. The current technological advancements also sustain the demand of biomedical engineers, as they are the only ones who can create innovative devices that could completely revolutionize the medical field. All people who are thinking about following a career in this field should take advantage of this growth and the considerable salaries offered.