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If I am interested in building technology that is used in hospitals, would I study mechanical or biomedical engineering?

I am a junior in high school and I am very sure that I want to be an engineer that works on building and testing all types of devices that people in the medical field work with, such as diagnostic machines, operation room monitors, scanning machines, etc., but I am confused about whether that fits in with mechanical engineering or biomedical engineering.


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Mingyang’s Answer

hi Stephanie:

I am very happy to see you have a very clear path for your future.

Basically, there is no such a specific major call medical devices engineer. but, many majors are related to this field. you can major in material science engineer (biomedical material) which build may biosensor or help detector different kinds of sickness. you can also major in physic (medical related) which can learn may fundamental theory that can help develop new diagnostic machines, operation room monitors, scanning machines. like X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging machines or a new one that invented by you. in addition, you can major computer science, learn big database and AI, nowadays, AI technology are widely apply for medical field. that can help doctor to make precise diagnostics.

so, you can see, many majors can help medical field, just pick one that you are most interested and focus on it, i think all of them need many years to learn and get expert. if you want to become a worker in many industries i think a bachelor degree is enough. if you want to make some big things and change the world in a positive way, master or a PhD are needed to make innovations happen.

Hope it can help, you need to find which subject you are good at, physics, biology, computer, or others. it not limited of the major you attended at your collage, but the projects you involved, good and interested.

Mingyang recommends the following next steps:

check the majors that i mention above and see which one you are interested (see what class are needed to finish during collage).
prepare and apply it
join the organization related to medical
learn as much as you can
apply for a master that specific meet your need (you will know this when you get into a collage)

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Carol’s Answer

Hi Stephanie

While I have not recruited specifically for Medical Device Engineers, I have found that the best way to find out about any career is to go online and ask. There is information out there that will tell you what people do in certain careers, other sites that might describe a typical day in the role, jobsites with openings and job descriptions as well as salary ranges for the positions, etc. YouTube may have videos explaining the same. If you look at multiple sites, look for consistencies in what they say. This should help you feel more comfortable that the information you are reading is accurate.


I used Google and typed in your question. Here is what I found so far to get you started.


Hope this helps. Feel free to reach back out.


How To Become A Biomedical engineer | Explore Jobs | UCAS

What qualifications do you need to be a medical engineer?

To do an engineering-related degree, you will usually need five GCSEs (A-C) including maths, English and science, plus three A levels. Maths and physics A level are preferred. Alternatively, level 3 vocational courses in science or engineering may be acceptable for some degrees – check with universities.



Medical Device Engineer Career Info - Study.com


Candidates for a medical device engineering career must first complete a 4-year bachelor's degree program in engineering accredited by ABET (formerly the ...

Job Skills: ‎Researching and analyzing, knowle...

Education‎: ‎Master's degree or Ph.D

Career Outlook (2014-2024)*‎: ‎23% (for all bio...

Median Salary (2015)*‎: ‎$86,220 (for all biome...

Carol recommends the following next steps:

see above

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Ayshka’s Answer

My answer would be it depends.

My degree from school is in electrical engineering. My title at work is software engineer and I work on medical devices used in surgeries by doctors and nurses.

Mechanical, electrical, electronics, and a few other disciplines will allow you to not only work in medical devices but in a variety of fields. It is great to have a clear vision and path of what you would like to study. But it is also ok to keep a variety of options open.

Biomedical engineers are specifically tied to the medical industry, while a mechanical engineer can be in the medical industry, in the automotive industry, and even in aerospace. Many schools have programs that emphasize collaboration between mechanical and biomedical. Consider those options as well.

Ayshka recommends the following next steps:

Research school that have the multiple disciplines you are interested in.
Research how the curriculum's collaborate (between mechanical & biomedical)

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Nick’s Answer

Hi Stefanie,

There are a variety of majors that can help you get where you want to go. In my opinion the the biomedical engineering major is the most direct path. However, if you are not interested in the courses required for Biomedical then you should consider electro-mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, or mechanical engineering. My company has a division that develops thermometers and blood pressure monitors and the engineers are either biomedical or mechanical, but they collaborate with electrical engineers, software engineers and quality engineers.

Hope this helps. Happy Holidays


Nick recommends the following next steps:

Research job responsibilities for Biomedical Engineering, Electro-Mechanical, and Mechanical engineering.
Research courses required for each major
Speak to your guidance counselor about what you found in your research and what you are interested in

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Stephanie’s Answer

You can study any field of engineering and help to build clinical technologies. For instance, electrical engineers work on heart monitoring and brain scanning technologies. Computer engineers help to write the systems that store patient data. Aerospace engineers sometimes study the blood flow and arterial pressure of patients to understand how platelets work in different conditions. Chemical and biomedical engineers help to design drug delivery devices. Systems engineers map the processes behind clinical workflows to develop new, more efficient technologies.

Any engineering field will help to prepare you to develop new tools for hospitals.

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