Programs at the associate's level typically focus on the maintenance and repair of biomedical equipment, and bachelor's degree programs focus on device design and engineering techniques. Graduates of associate's programs typically are prepared for work as engineering technicians, or for enrollment in a bachelor's program. Those who hold a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering can usually become engineers.
Prerequisites for entry can include a high school diploma or the equivalent and computer skills. Some program specializations include biomechanics or medical device innovation, these are often found at bachelor's level. Other requirements can include internships in a medical setting.
Associate's Degree in Biomedical Engineering Technology
An associate's degree in biomedical engineering technology will prepare students for work in healthcare settings such as hospitals and clinics. Graduates operate, troubleshoot, maintain and repair medical equipment. Students will gain exposure to patient monitors, infusion devices, electrosurgical units, pacemakers, ventilators, anesthesia machines and defibrillators, all of which may be used at their jobs every day. Coursework will include:
- Technical math
- Medical electronics
- Medical equipment and systems
- Information science and technology
Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Engineering
Bachelor's degree students can choose to concentrate on biomechanics or medical device innovation. Those who concentrate in biomechanics study how concepts related to mechanics and dynamics can be applied to physiology and molecular biology. Students of medical device innovation learn about improvements in existing medical technologies and exploring modern biomedical inventions. Some coursework will be based on the student's specific track, but all students are required to take certain science and technology courses. Classes include:
- Quantitative methods
- Computer communications
- Patient safety
- Written communication for science
- Human biology
Popular Career Options
Graduates of associate's degree programs in biomedical engineering technology find careers assisting in the healthcare field. Graduates will have built a solid foundation through coursework and internship experience. Some popular career options include the following:
- Biomedical engineering technician
- Instrument calibration technician
Most engineering and technical manufacturing jobs require at least a bachelor's degree. Those who hold a biomedical engineering bachelor's degree use their engineering design and medical equipment development skills in the following settings:
- Drug companies
- Assisted living facilities
- Public health agencies
For students looking to narrow their focus even further than during the bachelor's degree, a master's degree in biomedical engineering may be in order. This program will better provide students with the experience and knowledge for careers in research, or it will train those interested in working in clinical environments.
Students looking to become a biomedical engineering major can choose from an associate's degree in biomedical engineering technology or a bachelor's in biomedical engineering. Typical courses include computer communications at associate's level and drug compliance at bachelor's level.