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Biomedical science is an area of study, research and practice that deals with the human body from a biological standpoint, offering therapies and diagnostic tools for disease and other ailments through new and developed processes. Individuals in this field generally work in laboratories, working on cells and living organisms to provide models and other tools that may then be applied to a given problem.
What Does a Biomedical Scientist Do?
A biomedical scientist will generally work in a lab performing experiments using cultured cells of animals and/or humans for clinical research purposes. The clinical studies will use a variety of medical techniques in the experiments to achieve optimal results. Lab experiments will leverage technology from an array of scientific and medical disciplines that include: bioinformatics, EKG, MRI, PET, X-Ray, electron microscopes, EEG, ERG, computational biology, genetic engineering, mass spectronomy, chromatography, biochemical science, and molecular biology techniques.
What Can You Do with a Biomedical Science Degree?
Biomedical scientists typically work collaboratively in small groups performing studies in a defined area of interest. Trained biomedical scientists will generally have the latitude to perform experiments as they see fit within the nexus of the research project. Scientists can work for non-profit organizations, government agencies, hospitals, public research facilities, or private consulting firms in a variety of capacities. A biomedical scientist will possess specialized knowledge in the field leading to unique opportunities to share information with others in a formal teaching capacity, as an adjunct professor, or at nationwide conferences. In addition to teaching, biomedical scientists often publish unique articles or white papers for scientific journals or similar publishing organizations.
Industry jobs for a biomedical scientist may include partnering with pharmaceutical companies or biotech corporations to develop marketable products. Outside the lab, a biomedical scientist may be called to be an expert witness for a law firm, asked to write for a scientific journal, help legislators establish sound public policy, or act as an independent consultant in a variety of capacities.
How Do You Become a Biomedical Scientist?
To become a biomedical scientist, you will need to invest in your education. Each job will have specific requirements of a biomedical scientist prescribing degree type and work experience. The types of degrees for a biomedical scientist include a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate degree. A brief outline of each type of degree in biomedical science is listed below to help you understand the basics of each.
Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Science
The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in biomedical science is a 4-year program consisting of general education courses and core science classes such as: chemistry, physics, microbiology, immunology, biochemistry, informatics, infectious diseases, parasitology, genetics, anatomy, physiology, tissue engineering, and supporting science labs.
Master’s Degree in Biomedical Science
The master’s degree track is a 2-3 year program beyond the bachelor’s degree program conferred as a Master’s of Science (MS) and designed to go deeper into the sciences. Upper level classes in the master’s degree program may include such classes as: neurobiology, neuroanatomy, histology, neuroscience, human physiology, endocrinology, stem cell biology, immunodiagnostics, technological entrepreneurship, pathogenetic microbiology, and bioimaging.
Doctoral Degree in Biomedical Science
The doctoral degree in biomedical science can be conferred as a PhD, DO, MD, or PharmD depending on the school and curricular design. PhD programs are 5-6 year programs that teach students the intricacies of independent research, theoretical science applications, analysis of empirical evidence, and collaborative team activities. PhD students will take advanced classes in the field such as: medical informatics, polymer chemistry, organic synthesis, forensic analysis, infectious processes, microbial stress response, molecular virology, cellular metabolism, cancer biology, signal transduction mechanics, advanced genetics, and clinical neuroanatomy.
Education and Schools
Students enrolled in a biomedical science program will receive a focused education that combines medicine and biology. Understanding of the sciences, as well as ailments, diseases and other problems that may affect the human body is a cornerstone of this field. Students will be instructed on the methodologies used for research and development. Students will generally earn at minimum a master’s degree, although doctorate level education has become more and more commonplace.
A curriculum may include:
- Research Methodology
Schools for biomedical studies should be able to offer facilities that emulate real world settings and allow student to develop real practical experience under the supervision of professionals. Schools that maintain active research projects may be even more desirable as they offer opportunities which may then be parlayed into real employment. Student should contact program or department heads to see what options available in order to better evaluate their final decisions.
Schools Other Students Requested Information From:
Individuals choosing to pursue a career in biomedical science will typically seek employment in a laboratory or similar setting on a order to conduct research on a specific issues or group of issues. Some individuals may choose to perform their own research as part of a medical collaboration, or independently if they also hold a medical degree and license. Job growth is expected to increase at a rate of 8% over the coming decade as demand for healthcare and newer treatments increases the amount of research and development available in the coming decade. This increase in employment will equate to some 9,000 additional jobs in biomedical science during that time frame. The median annual income for a biomedical scientist is $80,530 which is more than twice the national average income.
Top Employers of Biomedical Scientists
- Research and Development Firms
- Colleges and Universities
- Medical and Surgical Hospitals
- Pharmaceutical Companies
- Physician’s Offices
States Employing the Most Biomedical Scientists
- California 24,260
- New York 9,900
- Massachusetts 9,710
- Pennsylvania 6,750
- Maryland 5,010
Top Paying States for Biomedical Scientists
- New Jersey $128,620
- Connecticut $116,040
- Arkansas $115,210
- Delaware $114,430
- Virginia $114,470