Biomedical engineering career paths

Biomedical engineering career paths

Is Biomedical Engineering Right for You?

What kind of career do you envision for yourself? Doctor? The lawyer? The scientist? Engineer? Teacher? Executive Officer? Manager? The seller? There is no “one” path to a career in biomedical engineering, and just as this essential technical field is interdisciplinary, there are many ways to chart your academic career in this fascinating field. Biomedical engineers use their biology, medicine, physics, mathematics, engineering, and communication expertise to make the world healthier. The challenges created by the diversity and complexity of living systems require creative, knowledgeable, and imaginative individuals working in teams of physicians, scientists, engineers, and business professionals to monitor, restore, and improve normal body function. The Biomedical engineering career paths ideally trained to work at the intersection of science, medicine, and mathematics to solve biological and medical problems.

The Biomedical engineering career paths includes individuals with formal degrees in biomedical engineering and those with degrees in other engineering disciplines who have gained expertise in one or more areas through coursework (for example, a minor in biology) or experience. Biomedical testing and application. Occasionally, biologists or biomedical scientists with skills in engineering are also considered members of this field.

One definition of biomedical engineering is anything that combines any discipline of biology or medicine on the one hand with one engineering discipline on the other. So Biomedical engineering career paths are a vast field – it would take a skilled person a lifetime to master a few of the many disciplines. It means that it’s essential to understand the breadth of the field but focus on what interests you. This brochure describes many of the issues and topics of interest to today’s biomedical engineers.

Responsibilities

Biomedical engineering career paths

Tasks will vary depending on the setting you work in and your level of responsibility. However, you may want to:

Design, create, and test novel materials, tools, and equipment using mathematical models and computer software. It can include electronic programming, prototyping and evaluation, troubleshooting, and iterating until the design works just right.

  • Coordinating with specialists and producers to verify the design of the product is feasible and commercially viable.
  • Utilize a range of information-gathering techniques, such as surveys, interviews, and group conferences, while doing research to address clinical issues.
  • To ensure requirements are satisfied, collaborate closely with other medical specialists, including doctors, therapists, and end users (patients and their carers).
  • Discuss and resolve issues with production, quality, purchasing, and marketing departments
  • Assessing the potential broader market for products or modifications suggested by health professionals or others
  • Organize clinical trials of medical products
  • Approach marketing and other industry companies to sell products
  • Write reports and attend conferences and exhibitions to present your designs and innovations to technical and non-technical audiences
  • Meet with senior health staff or other managers to share findings
  • Dealing with technical queries from hospitals and doctors and advising on new equipment
  • Inspection and maintenance of clinical equipment
  • Trained technical or clinical staff
  • Investigate security-related incidents.

Salary

  • Jobs in the NHS are generally covered by Agenda for Change (AfC) pay rates. Medical engineering entry-level wages vary from £27,055 to £32,934. (band 5). Then, with incomes between £33,706 and £40,588, you can advance to Band 6.
  • With extensive experience, salaries vary from £41,659 to £47,672 (band 7). If one is hired as a consultant or a head of the department, their pay may go up.
  • Depending on experience and responsibility, biomedical engineers’ salaries in the commercial sector can range from £21,000 to £45,000, comparable to those in the NHS.

working hours

The typical workweek length is 37.5 hours. When conducting research, you might need to work a lot of overtime and operate in a flexible workplace. For practical reasons, the safety and maintenance of hospital equipment likely to be done in a matter of hours. Part-time jobs are available, and career breaks are available.

Skills

You should have the following:

  • Passionate about combining engineering and medicine
  • Excellent communication skills to interact with diverse people
  • Good attention to detail
  • Spatial awareness, 3D conceptual ability, and computer literacy (especially for design engineers)
  • Ability to combine advanced technical knowledge with creativity
  • the capacity to create things that are cost-effective, visually beautiful, and both efficient and practical
  • Commercial awareness to appreciate the marketability of a product
  • Excellent problem-solving skills and ability to work under pressure.

Work experience

Although it is not necessary to have prior practical experience, appropriate work experience, such as that gained in the engineering, design, or research fields, can be very helpful in landing the first job and establishing relationships during a placement year or vacation.

You may become aware of the need for things like wheelchairs that have modified through volunteer or paid work with children or people with impairments.

Consider working with groups like Remap, a nonprofit that works to create or alter equipment for persons with special needs, if you are a student of engineering.

Qualifications

A bachelor’s degree required to work as a biomedical engineer. Possible topics include:

  • Biomedical Science or Engineering
  • Electrical or electronic engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics.

Most employers require a minimum of 2:1. If you want to work to chartered status, you must ensure that your degree accredited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) or the Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IMechE).

An accredited degree can also help secure employment or access specialized training courses. Details of accredited courses are available from the Engineering Council – Search Accredited Courses. After you complete a degree, you can apply for jobs in the private sector, research units, or medical device manufacturers.

You must enter the NHS Science Training Program (STP) to work in the NHS. It is a graduate entry program leading to more senior roles in the NHS. A first or 2:1 in a relevant topic, or a 2:1 with a pertinent Master’s or Ph.D., is required.

You will hired by an NHS Trust for three years as part of a paid training program throughout the STP, during which you will also pursue a Master’s in clinical engineering. In this specialty, you will also complete approved and recognized workplace-based training. There is an annual intake for STP – check the Health Professions website regularly for further details.

Successful completion of the STP means you are eligible to apply to the Academy of Healthcare Sciences (AHCS) for a Certificate of Attainment, allowing you to register as a Clinical Scientist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

For separate science training schemes in Scotland and Northern Ireland, see:

  • NHS Scotland – Healthcare Sciences
  • NI Direct Healthcare Scientist

If you do not complete the STP, you may still find it helpful to undertake a postgraduate degree in biomedical engineering for careers outside the NHS. It is particularly suitable for access to research and development. It will improve your prospects if you have a non-engineering undergraduate degree. Several MSc programs offer possibilities for practical job experience, which might be beneficial.

Career prospects

There are three main areas in which a biomedical engineer can work:

  • Industry
  • NHS
  • Research.

If you choose to go into research, your career path will usually include a Ph.D. in Biomedical engineering career paths, followed by a role as a lecturer or researcher at a university or academic institute. If you want to work in the industry, you can get a job after graduation and start working your way up. Senior positions may offer roles such as:

  • Management
  • Sold
  • Production
  • Quality assurance
  • Research
  • Technical advice.

If a company has branches outside the UK, there may be scope for international work.

In the early years, a career path in the NHS differs. Progression to more senior roles may require a willingness to relocate later in your career. Career prospects are reasonable and can move in any direction between hospital-based jobs and those in the healthcare industry. However, those going to the NHS must register with the HCPC.

As you advance in your career, you could required to oversee a department in charge of technical personnel and medical equipment in a particular region. Additionally, there are options to focus on biomechanics, biomaterials, medical technology, or rehabilitation. Or you can study for a Ph.D. or work towards a fellowship with your professional body.

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