Is a masters in biomedical engineering worth it? Yes, it is if you’re interested in the interface between engineering and medicine.
When it comes to biomedical engineering, many employers prefer to choose master’s degree holders over employee with bachelor’s degrees. A master’s degree can help you unlock a variety of doors in the sector, whether you wish to conduct laboratory research or create medical products that meet industry standards.
You can build multidisciplinary abilities in engineering, the life sciences, and the physical sciences by pursuing a master’s degree in biomedical engineering. Many other fields could benefit from these talents.
What is a biomedical engineer?
Engineering as a whole is an inventive subject that generates ideas for everything from buildings and cars to sonar and airplanes. The specialty of biomedical engineering is in developing innovations that enhance healthcare delivery at all levels and human health.
To promote human health, biomedical engineering integrates elements of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, materials science, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, and engineering.
An objective of a biomedical engineer is to enhance the effectiveness and quality of patient care by analyzing challenges in biology and medicine and developing solutions. The need for biomedical engineers is growing, partly as a result of the trend toward the routine use of equipment and technology in all facets of life.
What does a biomedical engineer do?
The field of biomedical engineering is very diverse. Typical roles could include creating novel pharmacological therapies, designing artificial body parts, and operating and developing biomedical equipment, depending on your interests and program of study.
There is a list of job options in biomedical engineering provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among these are jobs as:
- Bioinstrumentation Engineers
- Biomaterials Engineers
- Biomechanics Engineers
- Clinical Engineers
- Rehabilitation Engineers.
Additionally, some graduates may seek employment in sectors like chemical engineering, materials engineering, and software engineering due to the overlap between biomedical engineering and other related professions.
Engineering design and construction principles are combined with biology and medicine in biomedical engineering (BME). This area of study seeks to advance both therapeutic and diagnostic medical treatment by bridging the gap between engineering and medicine (fusing design and problem-solving abilities with medical biological sciences).
In recent years, biomedical engineering has become recognized as a distinct area of study within engineering and is no longer regarded as interdisciplinary expertise.
The following are typical actions taken by a biomedical engineer:
- Create systems and goods
- Install, adjust, keep up with, fix, or offer technical assistance for biomedical equipment.
- Educate clinicians and other staff members on how to operate equipment properly
- Collaborate with chemists, life scientists, and medical researchers
- Investigate the engineering elements included in the human and animal biological systems.
The development of both life-changing and life-saving ideas and products, such as artificial organs, pacemakers, artificial hips, surgical robots, advanced prosthetics, kidney dialysis, MRIs, EKGs, and therapeutic biologicals, has greatly benefited from the integration of biological knowledge with engineering principles to address medical needs. Even more cutting-edge technologies are now accessible, including stem cell engineering and 3-D printing of biological organs.
The maintenance of modern medical equipment in hospitals in compliance with current industry standards is within the purview of biomedical engineers. This could involve routine testing, upkeep, suggestions for and purchases of new equipment, and even equipment disposal.
These engineers work in a variety of industries. For instance, while having backgrounds in engineering and biology, they frequently create computer software to power complex devices like three-dimensional x-ray machines.
Is a masters in biomedical engineering worth it?
For many students, a masters in biomedical engineering is worth it. The use of technology in medicine and healthcare will advance at a rapid rate as well.
Engineers who specialize in the technology that enables this growth may also become more in demand as medicine continues to advance.
Over the next ten years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates 1,400 job vacancies for biomedical engineers annually. These occupations’ employment is expanding at a positive job growth rate of 5%, which is a little quicker than average.
Biomedical engineering masters curriculum
Even though the area is quite vast, each course in a master’s degree in biomedical engineering frequently focuses on a fairly narrow range of subjects.
You’ll examine the structural and mechanical properties of bodily tissues as well as the host body’s reaction to and the effectiveness of various artificial implants.
- Synthetic Biology
Synthetic biology is an introduction to redesigning biological systems seen in nature. It combines several sciences and engineering fields.
- Tissue Engineering
Though extremely similar to biomaterials, tissue engineering is more concerned with creating biological replacements for human tissue functions.
Drug design, bioconjugate engineering, toxicity, and some of the major flaws in contemporary medicine are just a few of the subjects covered in this course on biopharmaceuticals.
- Orthopedic Biomechanics
In this course, students will learn about the mechanics of the human body, including how to analyze the forces and stresses on bones and joints and use that information to create functional prostheses.
In neuroengineering, you will learn about how the brain works and how neural signals are processed. You will then use these concepts to identify signal irregularities and create appropriate prosthetics.
- Biomedical Imaging
In this course, you will learn about contemporary biomedical imaging, as well as image processing and imaging physics. You may also acquire practical experience with biomedical instruments.
To investigate biological systems, this relatively young field of research blends biology, mathematics, and computer science.
- Computational Biology
Similar to bioinformatics, computational biology focuses more on the underlying algorithms and machine learning principles to provide a deeper comprehension of genomic data.
- Genetic Engineering
This course provides a thorough examination of the methods and results of altering an organism’s genes, as well as applications to the development of diagnostic tools and medicinal substances.
These specialist courses make extensive use of the biology, chemistry, math, and engineering underpinnings. The majority of courses will typically need significant projects and hands-on work with the kinds of massive datasets you’ll probably see in the workplace.
Admission Requirements For Masters in Biomedical Engineering
The following may be necessary to get accepted into a master’s degree in biomedical engineering:
- Engineering or science bachelor’s degree: A bachelor’s degree in a related discipline is advised, if not essential, as much of the coursework will build on fundamental concepts in science and engineering.
- GMAT or GRE results: There may not be a definite need for the GRE or GMAT for your program as some schools are beginning to list them as optional.
- Letters of recommendation: You might be asked to provide letters of recommendation that highlight your prior research successes or professional experience.
- A strong GPA in past coursework can increase your chances of acceptance in addition to these requirements.
Biomedical Engineering Career Prospects
Biomedical engineering is at the intersection of two fields that are driving technological innovation in healthcare.
The main force behind medical innovation is biomedical engineering.
Everyone on the earth is concerned about their health. Therefore, significant resources have been devoted to identifying ways to raise the standard of living for all people.
Increased employment growth is due to several factors, including new cardiac imaging technologies that enable doctors to see the precise anatomical location and function of heart tissue.
Additionally, as medical technology advances, practitioners can conduct treatments of higher quality with a lower risk of consequences for their patients.
When compared to other engineering specialties like mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering, biomedical engineering is a relatively new area, and career prospects increased by up to 72% between 2012 and 2018.
Mechanical engineers used to hold the majority of posts in biomedical engineering since they could specialize on the fly. But biomedical engineering necessitates a higher level of specialization. If you choose to major in biomedical engineering, you will be at an advantage.
The field of biomedical engineering has experienced exponential growth. The moment is right for graduates in this field of study to start working. According to BLS data from 2014–2024 predictions, occupational growth rates are expected to reach upwards of 25% by 2022, which is nearly twice as high as most other fields’ 14% growth rates.
The employment rates for biomedical engineers in biomedical research and development firms, healthcare facilities, biomedical manufacturing, hospitals and clinics, medical equipment sales firms, and university biomedical departments are evident from the statistics provided.
According to the BLS, there will be an increase in employment for engineers over the next 10 years, with about 65,000 new jobs.
Careers in Biomedical Engineering
Engineering and biology are combined in the multidisciplinary area of biomedical engineering, which also applies engineering principles and materials to healthcare and medicine.
Among other places, biomedical engineers can work in manufacturing, medical institutions, and research institutes. Their work entails creating life-saving breakthroughs like 3-D printed organs, implants, medical gadgets, and surgical tools.
There are numerous career choices for biomedical engineers. Biomedical engineers can perform the following jobs, depending on their area of specialization:
- Biomaterials Developer
Designing and creating biomaterials for use in the human body, whether they be synthetic materials or actual live tissues, is a part of this employment. Biomaterials can be utilized to restore and replace lost bodily functions as well as detect and image disease.
To provide patients with complete safety, it is your responsibility as a biomaterials developer to make sure implant materials are devoid of toxins and carcinogens. For implants to last a lifetime, they must also be structurally sound, inert, and chemically stable.
Tissue engineering, nano implants, medication delivery, and the development of biomedical implants are additional fields in which you can work with biomaterials.
There is no scarcity of work opportunities in the field of biomaterials development, and the BLS projects a 7% employment rate.
- Software Engineer
Biomedical engineering graduates who work as software engineers concentrate on creating computer programs for a variety of medical applications. These tools enable staff members in healthcare facilities to view and modify recorded medical data.
You require further education and information technology specialization to work as a software developer. This can either be an IT major or continuing to earn an IT master’s degree.
- Biomedical Consultant
A biomedical engineer should consider a job as a biomedical consultant. They get to collaborate with medical and scientific groups, providing them with advice and recommendations on an individual basis.
In addition to other crucial judgments, consultants support medical organizations with workforce organization, process execution, equipment selection, and other decisions. This may continue for a long time even for years.
Independent biomedical consultants can work with numerous companies, build strong connections with numerous stakeholders, and profit from a variety of experiences while working for themselves.
- Biomedical Scientist or Biomedical Researcher
Engineers in the biomedical field conduct research. Your work as a biomedical scientist involves employing clinical trials to explore and develop treatments for medical issues by carrying out rigorous laboratory experiments.
Researchers in the field of biomedical engineering spend a large portion of their time looking for knowledge to aid in the design and development of medical devices and biomedical technologies. Additionally, they examine the products to make sure patients can take them without harm.
Biomedical engineers can also do research in the field of biomechanics. To help design biomedical gadgets, the work entails merging medical issues and bodily systems.
University-level instruction is also possible for biomedical experts. An MBA or Ph.D. in biomedical engineering or a similar field is required to work as a researcher.
The BLS projects an 8% increase in employment for biomedical scientists. faster than the 3% average rate of occupation growth.
- Rehabilitation Engineer
You might pursue a career in rehabilitation engineering as a biomedical engineer. Designing and creating prosthetics to aid those who have lost limbs in regaining normal function is part of this employment.
The development of specialized rehabilitative technology solutions using research advancements based on particular demands is another function you might play.
Rehabilitation biomedical engineers have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, such as virtual reality systems for greater limb mobility or mechanical equipment that helps patients regain mobility.
Financial Aids And Scholarships
To help you pay for an online Master’s in Biomedical Engineering program, there are numerous places you can seek financial aid and scholarships. If you work in the private sector, your company may offer programs that cover all or part of your tuition costs.
Additionally, some businesses make provisions for their staff to continue working part-time while they finish their degrees. With this approach, you can continue to get work experience while paying for your education.
You can also look into state and federal aid programs. One of the most common ways to apply for financial aid is by submitting an application form on the official Federal Student Aid website.
Additionally, groups dedicated to bioengineering and biomedicine provide scholarships. In contrast to loans, scholarships don’t need repayment. The majority of scholarships are merit-based, and others may ask you to submit an essay, your transcript, or a letter of recommendation.
Biomedical Engineer Vs Biomedical Science
While the two majors have certain similarities, they also significantly diverge.
Although there are differences between the degrees of biomedical science and biomedical engineering, many individuals mistakenly believe they are the same.
|Parameters||Biomedical Engineer||Biomedical Science|
|Overview||Biomedical engineering applies engineering principles to the study of biology and medicine to develop products or methods that assist people who are seeking medical care for a variety of diseases. Advanced mathematics, physics, and chemistry are heavily emphasized in biomedical engineering courses since they are essential for building biological devices and processes.||Although a major in biomedical science is a prerequisite for medical school, there are other employment options available to those who choose not to pursue a medical degree. Students majoring in biomedical sciences highlight topics including human anatomy, genetics, microbiology, human development, and immunology and concentrate on research prospects.|
|Skills development and application||The knowledge required by biomedical engineers is similar to that of biomedical scientists, but they use it to create devices and create new medical technology that can be used by doctors to better the lives of their patients.||Students majoring in biomedical sciences learn the abilities necessary to examine and diagnose patients. For the goal of providing daily patient care as a medical practitioner or conducting research into novel techniques and technology, they need to be knowledgeable about anatomy, illnesses, and treatments.|
A masters in biomedical engineering is worth it because it can be something you want to think about if you have a strong interest in the development of medical and healthcare technologies.
You’ll advance the next generation of medicine by learning a broad understanding of the issues that the biomedical sectors are currently grappling with in addition to the many technical talents you can gain.
Together with the peers and professionals you’ll meet throughout the program, you might develop the skills necessary to address these problems and make a positive impact on human health in the future. You can set out on this road right now by looking into certified biomedical engineering programs that interest you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which Branch Of Biomedical Engineering Is The Most Lucrative?
- Some of the highest-paying biomedical engineering positions in the United States, according to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, are in research and development ($102,590) and pharmaceuticals ($98,610).
Does The Field Of Biomedical Engineering Have A Future?
- Overall, chances for engineering experts interested in improving human health are abundant in the field of biomedical engineering, especially for those prepared to invest in learning about miniaturization and 3D printing.
Where Do Biomedical Engineers Find The Greatest Demand?
- Biomedical engineers will have high employment rates in biomedical research and development firms, healthcare facilities, biomedical manufacturing, hospitals and clinics, medical equipment sales firms, and university biomedical departments.
You can also read, “Is A Masters In Biomedical Engineering Worth It In 2022?“