How Do I Become a Biomedical Engineer?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2014
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For those interested in biological science and engineering, the decision to become a biomedical engineer is a great one. A biomedical engineer develops concepts and takes the ideas of doctors, biologists, and rehabilitation therapists and converts them into devices, materials, treatments, instruments, procedures, and techniques that are usable and helpful to patients and the medical community. Biomedical engineering can include a wide range of engineering backgrounds – electrical, clinical, mechanical, chemical, aerospace, agricultural, and civil engineering – as they are related to improving the health care industry.

There are several different levels of education for someone who wants to become a biomedical engineer. A bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering is one possibility. There are many programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. A bachelor’s degree is considered an entry level degree for those who decide to become a biomedical engineer. Consequently, a master’s or a doctorate level program is highly recommended.

Despite where a person receives her bachelor’s degree, there are several courses that are common and expected for a person wanting to become a biomedical engineer. For example, most four-year colleges with biomedical engineering programs offer classes in biomedical engineering design and systems, biomedical computers and software, engineering biophysics, biomechanics, biotransport, biothermodynamics, and bioinstrumentation. Depending on whether there is a dedicated bioengineering program at the undergraduate level, there may be more or fewer classes geared toward the degree.

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If someone wants to become a biomedical engineer and work in a university setting as an instructor, she must have a doctorate degree. In addition, the most highly sought after positions in industry laboratories and government laboratories also require a doctorate degree, in most cases. A person does not have to complete an undergraduate program in biomedical engineering in order to enter a biomedical engineering graduate program. In fact, many people receive a traditional engineering background in undergraduate school before they delve into the specialized field of bioengineering in graduate school. Unbelievably, there are more graduate programs in biomedical engineering than undergraduate programs.

There are a few factors to consider before the decision to become a biomedical engineer is finalized. For example, mathematics, science, analytical thinking, logic, and inventiveness, must come naturally. Personal qualities, such as patience and determination, are also valuable in this field of work. The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is also important – as filling out reports and discussing projects are all part of the job. Lastly, someone who wants to become a biomedical engineer should be able to work well with others – most projects are a team effort.

For the right person, becoming a biomedical engineer can be the ideal career path. Science, math, and creativity are all combined with the common goal of saving the lives of people around the world. It is not a field for those who shy away from formal education; however, for those up for the challenge, it can be a wonderful option.

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