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What is Biomedical and Medical Engineering?
Biomedical and medical engineering is the area of study and employment that deals with the development of new medical and technologies through the use of established research. Individuals in this field design technologies that utilize, work with, or replace biologic functions in order to ensure the longevity and survivability of a given patient. The field is extensive, and spans beyond its traditional definitions to work in the development of technologies related to but not specific to biomedicine.
Individuals wishing to enter this field must at minimum pursue a bachelor's degree through an accredited program. Such programs will prepare students with a cross section of science education mixed with engineering design and application, as well as an education in computing hardware and software. The increasing complexity of biomedical and medical engineering products means that more education in wider variety of fields is necessary in order to be able to work.
A curriculum may include:
- Computer Programming
Individuals in this field will seek employment through hospitals, manufacturers, research agencies, or through private research. The type of employment is based on the abilities and credentials of the individual, as some people in this field will choose to act as liaison to medical professionals, educating them in the use of current, new or developing technologies. Others will work in labs or research facilities to develop the technologies or refine existing ones. Others still may work in research rather than development, working alongside other researchers to see what may or may not be possible in the advancement of the field.
Job Growth, Salary and Related Fields
Job growth is expected to greatly exceed the national average over the next decade as breakthroughs in the field combined with an aging population is going to increase the demand for individuals in this field. It is important to note that given the relatively small size of the field, the increased job growth, though substantial, is still limited in terms of overall job creation. The average salary for a biomedical or medical engineer is approximately $82,000 per year, increasing based on experience and success.