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Bio-Engineers: Job Outlook and Info About Becoming a Bio-Engineer

Explore the medical advancement job duties of a bio-engineer. Learn about what education and skills are needed in addition to salary and employment outlook to determine if this is a good career option.

Career Definition for Bio-Engineers

Bio-Engineers develop a variety of medical instruments, which are used to enhance, extend and improve human life. Engineers are constantly researching and developing methods to improve devices, such as kidney machines, artificial limbs, heart valves and pacemakers. Not only do bio-engineers work in labs to develop these devises and instruments, but they spend much of their time researching, developing and testing new ideas. In order to ensure these machines work properly on the human body, bio-engineers study human organs and tissue to understand how they work together.

Education Master's degree; licensure and continuing education are required
Job Skills Communication skills, analytical skills, researching aptitude, teamwork, detail-oriented thinking
Median Salary* $88,550 (2018)
Career Outlook* 7% (2016-2026)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

Individuals interested in becoming a bio-engineer are required to complete a master's degree in engineering, medicine or a related field. Students should focus on classes involving biology, physiology, electronics, mechanics and chemical engineering. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends that to become licensed as a bio-engineer, applicants need to have completed their degree, had at least four years of job experience and pass a state examination. Bio-Engineers must continue to study and develop new techniques throughout their career.

Skills Required

Bio-Engineers must be detailed oriented and have strong creative and analytical skills. Engineers need to have research and development skills and be able to work independently or in a team. Bio-Engineers need to be able to communicate effectively by having excellent written and oral abilities.

Career and Economic Outlook

Bio-engineers can find job opportunities in hospitals, research centers and government agencies. Career opportunities are going to increase by 7% in the upcoming years, because of an aging population and the demand for improvement in the health care industry. In May 2018, biomedical engineers (who have the same job duties as bio-engineers) made a median annual salary of $88,550.

Alternative Careers

Related careers in this field can be:

Electronics Engineer

For those who want to pursue a career in creating all types of electronic equipment, a career in electronics engineering might be the right option. Electronics engineers design electrical products used in military, scientific, commercial, medical and other industry activities. After meeting with clients, these engineers draw up schematics, run cost estimates, execute performance tests, suggest improvements and work on future product development.

Entry-level positions are generally available to candidates with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering or a related field of study. Obtaining a Professional Engineer license also provides a competitive advantage when seeking a job. Non-computer electronics engineers can expect job opportunities to increase by 4% during the 2016-2026 decade, but many positions should be found at engineering firms who fill contract labor needs. The median yearly salary for these engineers was measured by the BLS to be $102,700 in 2018.

Medical Equipment Repairer

If repairing and maintaining highly technical medical devices sounds interesting, consider becoming a medical equipment repairer. Also known as biomedical equipment technicians, these professionals diagnose and fix electronics, such as medical imaging machines, electric wheelchairs, defibrillators and heart monitors. Equipment repairers also replace parts, keep records of repairs, reprogram software and set up new devices.

Earning an associate degree in biomedical technology is usually how most gain employment, and some equipment specialties may require a bachelor's degree. Professional certification could also provide a competitive advantage. As reported in 2018, the BLS estimated that over 46,000 people were employed in this field, and 4% employment growth is predicted between 2016 and 2026. The BLS also determined that these repairers received a median income of $49,210, as reported in 2018.


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