2 answers

What is a clinical engineer?

Asked Houston, Texas

2 answers

Sheila’s Answer

Updated Atlanta, Georgia

Hello Emilie: Thank you for your question. I've done some research on Clinical Engineer and hope you find the info below helpful.

What is a Clinical Engineer? Clinical Engineers develop and maintain equipment used for diagnosing illness and treating patients. [https://www.ucas.com/ucas/after-gcses/find-career-ideas/explore-jobs/job-profile/clinical-engineer]

Type of work involved as an Engineer:

  • testing equipment, such as walking aids, wheelchairs and speech synthesizers (known as assistive technologies)
  • developing artificial limbs that attach to the patient's own tissue, giving them greater control
  • making artificial joints, heart valves and hearing implants from new materials to lessen the chance of rejection by the patient’s body
  • designing equipment that allows doctors to try new medical techniques, for example, optical instruments for keyhole surgery
  • day-to-day management of medical equipment, such as scanners, imaging machines and monitoring systems
  • carrying out quality assurance checks to ensure all equipment is working correctly and safely

This role would involve working closely with other medical professionals, technical staff and patients.​

I wish you the best on your journey. Best of luck to you!

~ Sheila

Sheila recommends the following next steps:

  • Read the article on Clinical Engineer https://www.ucas.com/ucas/after-gcses/find-career-ideas/explore-jobs/job-profile/clinical-engineer
  • Review the Bureau of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook - Biomedical Engineers https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/biomedical-engineers.htm#tab-2

G. Mark’s Answer


A clinical engineer is the person who builds and maintains and supports medical devices and services in the hospital. They can do research, evaluate medical statistics and device new machines and methods. As such, they might supervise the users of these machines and other medial equipment. They also will consult in the use, training and development of medical equipment. Doctors and nurses and other medical personnel will often consult with them, particularly in matters dealing with the intersection of medicine and engineering, like recommending uses for devices and other medical resources. They also will be familiar with IT and IT principle and equipment, since computers are such an integral part of hospital environments and processes and becoming moreso as time goes on.

To become a clinical engineer is pretty much like becoming other types of engineers, except that some specialized training like a BS in Healthcare Science, which is Clinical Engineering. Some background includes the typical Liberal Arts Sciences, Mathematics and Language courses, with an especially significant emphasis on the sciences. Eventually that student will seek certification by the Examination Certification for Clinical Engineering tests, followed by an oral examination. So if you want to get into this field, a BS is your first step.