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What industry areas of Biomedical Engineering are the best for recent college graduates hoping to pursue a lifelong career in biomedical product engineering?

I am hoping to pursue a career in Biomedical Engineering. Since this field is so broad and full of various areas of concentration, I want to know what areas professionals think are the best to begin with. What areas will help those new to industry narrow down their interests and applicable skill set? For reference, I have a concentration in electrical engineering.

#biomedical-engineering #biomed #biotechnology #electrical-engineering #engineering #engineering-industry #first-job


I would be glad to help you on your venture. I have been in Radiology as a Field Service Engineer since 1982. I have worked on all modalities in radiology. Michael Herz, CBET-R

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36 answers


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Natalya’s Answer

I have Master degree s in Biomedical Engineering and Electro-Mechanical engineering, and have been working in medical device companies for over 20 years. I worked in companies that make mechanical devices, and my feel is that that particular part of the industry is on decline, electrical and software are on the raise. Tissue engineering is also on the rise, so is stem cell research.


Companies rarely look specifically for bioengineers, so I would go for electrical engineering or mechanical engineering (or electrical major, mechanical minor) and take at least some software classes. Also learn SolidWorks if you can - most engineering jobs have it as a requirement.


One specialty that is not very glamorous but present in every medical device company is Quality Engineering. Quality Engineers probably have the easiest time finding jobs in Medical Device industry, as they could move between different types of companies. Anyone with "engineering" in their degree could become a Quality Engineer.


Helpful comment Paul Alabi

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Victoria’s Answer

Hi Kristen.


I hope I can give you as full of an answer as possible. I graduated from Drexel with a Bachelor's in Biomedical Engineering last year. My concentration was electrical based in neuroengineering. I went through a co-op program so I had 3 chances in addition to the 2 research opportunities I pursued to yield an idea of what to pursue in Biomedical Engineering. After all of those experiences, I actually found I wanted to be something different (STEAM education tech/toys) but this is what I will say in brief.


If you want to have a fulfilling career and stay in the industry, the best way is to do a Bachelor's in one of the established engineering disciplines: Electrical, Mechanical, Computer Science or ensure that you do a dual degree in Biomedical and one of the established engineering disciplines. If you work in industry, people are greatly confused by what a Biomedical Engineer is even though I believe the major has been around since the 80s. Here's the thing though: Biomedical Engineers are extremely resourceful and I never regret my undergraduate experience. If you're resourceful, creative, and a bit lucky, the Bachelor's is a great route. Getting a master's or PhD and specializing further does help.


As to which area to start? Honestly, everyone here is going to tell you something different. I started as Biomaterials and worked around in different engineering disciplines which is my personal recommendation to understand what you like the most and learn the most. I ended up in neuroengineering and I program now mostly. If you opt to do a bunch of different areas, you also start to gain different perspectives from each, and, for the most part, the purpose of a Biomedical Engineer is to have a diverse set of knowledge. However, if you want to start out, I would start with computer science because if you realize you want to stem into other fields such as biomaterials or neuroengineering then you will have a quite valuable skill set especially for either automation or data analysis that either a company or research facility will want in addition to what you can learn on your own from textbooks or research papers.


Good luck with your path!

Tori S.

Victoria recommends the following next steps:

Start out with research or coop/internship in Computer Science
Saved!
Learn who you are from it. What do you like and what don't you like?
Saved!
Do what you like! Or repeat with a different discipline and find the area that you really like.
Saved!

This is so true. I have a BS in biomedical engineering and often people don’t know what it is! luckily I had a concentration in electrical engineering so I always preface myself as a biomedical and electrical engineer which I have found is the best way to market myself in my preferred field (biotechnology). This is great advice though, dual majoring with a more pinpointed form of engineering will help a lot upon graduating. Good answer! Joshua Powers

Thank you this is helpful Otto W.

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Nishat’s Answer

Biomedical instrumentation and biomaterials are the best areas of biomedical engineering to pursue a long-term career in biomedical products.


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Rohail Aslam’s Answer

Hi,

First of all you must figure out your interest according your expertise, let me elaborate the category of BME

There are Four categories of Biomedical Engineering service/sales field

1, Medical Imaging which leads you towards the imaging equipment

Like CT, MRI, Dexa, Flouroscopy, Angiography, Ultrasound machine, Cobalt60, Gamma Cameras, the mentioned modalities which will explore you in radiology or medical imaging,

2, Critical Care

Like All ICU, CCU, Operating Room and Hospital equipment including Life Saving and Emergency equipment,

3, Laboratory equipment, such as Centrifuges, Urine analyzer, chemistry analyzer, bio safety cabinets, fume hoods, TB labs, Stem cell Lab, biotechnology lab, histo pathology lab, Lab Automation, microbiology and molecular lab, all labs contain their specific equipment and you can go for lab depend on your interest,

4, Dentistry, dental side is also an interesting field for Biomedical Engineers,

And other fields are Hospital Management, equipment inventory management, designing and building according to the size and feasibility of equipment,

CSSD, Biomedical Engineer can also be the part of Incinerator and sterilization process on hospital, and Reverse Osmosis and De ionization of water for lab, as well as hospital too,

Biomedical Engineer can serve as a market leader in field of Sales and Marketing engineer for manufacturer and distributor firms,

At the end, i tried my best to convey you actual image of Biomedical Engineer, hope you will like and appreciate

Thanks

Kind Regards!


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Racha’s Answer

Dear Biomedical Engineering student everywhere,
During the past 23 years, I experienced two different paths,
first one, after graduating I was aiming to continue as a lecturer & Instructor in my college where I graduated, so I continued an extra year (Diploma in Biomedical Engineering), then I finished another 3 years (Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering), then I had my Ph.D degree.
I worked in the education field from 1997 till 2012, and that was a great experience, since I was upgrading all my skills in researching and teaching skills.
I helped in teaching students and supervising lots of graduation projects. Dealing and sharing knowledge with the undergraduates is amazing, they have innovative ideas, and passion to learn and achieve more.
I gained a lot in this path, learned more about all concepts of biomedical engineering field, and had a great time while teaching. I encourage you to continue higher studies and work in the education field if you have enough patience to learn, research and teach.

Second path, I had an opportunity in a management role in a (Poly Clinic Medical Center/One Day Surgery Hospital), I worked for 7 years as a general manager, while all protocols of customer service, marketing, operation, purchasing and all details regarding machines and its maintenance were required to be under my supervision , it was a different world from teaching, but it was full of challenges. I learned by practice all aspects of management, and in the same time I achieved a lot in the managerial role.
At this stage I was hoping that if I have enough time to take either a Master degree in Healthcare management or MBA (Master in Business Administration), either one would helped more to lead and understand the healthcare business, so from my previous experience I encourage you to take Master degree in Biomedical Engineering, even if you do not want to work in the university, and then apply for Master in Healthcare management or MBA, this will benefit you to work in higher positions in hospitals, and in the same time you are fully responsible of all machines and its operation, in the end you are a biomedical engineer, you are the core of any hospital like the doctor and the nurse, you are one third of the hospital, and if you have an MBA or a master in healthcare management you will be more than half of the hospital, it worth it!
All the best for all of you

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Biraj’s Answer

There are different routes inside Biomedical engineering. You can go to academia or industry. You can work in academia with findings, conduct research that no one has ever done before, If you are lucky you can publish your groundbreaking results. or You can go to industry work and start earning money.
I have divided career in Biomedical Engineering into categories:
1. Wet lab-based careers: where you do tissue engineering stuff. I would suggest you this If you like microscopy. All of my friends who worked in this field got a Ph.D. and a job. Usually, girls are pretty good at this.
2. Biomedical Electronics: Just like electrical engineering, develop medical devices. You may need knowledge of computer engineering as well as programming Microcontrollers, circuit designs, etc.
3. Data science and signal processing: I think this field is getting popular and will have a big job market in the coming years. You might need expertise in one or more programming languages, statistical background especially for machine learning and Neural networks.
4. Quality control: In this field, you need statistical background. You need certifications such as six sigma, green belt, black belt etc.

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LP’s Answer

I'd say that artificial intelligence and metadata analysis is becoming more and more present in healthcare and a lot of companies emerge from that in Montreal.

However, there will always be old-fashioned surgical instruments, monitors, metallic implants, machines and various hardware used in hospitals so being able to design such hardware using your skills is going to get you far enough without narrowing down your expertise too much. For example, knowing how to do CAD, knowing how things are built, knowing how to code or knowing how to design electrical systems can be useful in many industries and certainly for designing medical devices. Such skills will always be needed.

A general knowledge on the regulatory requirements and the environment in which medical devices are used, but also knowledge on quality standards is already a very good start because it applies everywhere.

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Lee’s Answer

Hi Kristin! I'm happy that you've found such interest and enjoyment in your career path. I agree with you that healthcare is by far the most fulfilling career for me, and I've tried a few. Great question too! I kind of backed my way in to my position as a Biomedical engineer and supervisor. So I will kind of reverse engineer my path for you. I have an associate's degree in computer information systems, a bachelor's in management information systems. My first career job was as a PACS administrator in an Imaging Center. Then I decided to apply for Radiation Technology school and was accepted! BUT, I declined and stuck with the software side of things. Then I tried a few other fields - hardware, accounting software, bartending!(haha) - but always longed to be back in healthcare. I landed a job with GE healthcare as a software support engineer but wanted to be in the field not an office. So then I went to a medical supply company and learned sales, service and delivery of all their products. Then finally, I found Biomedical engineering. It kind of brings it all together don't ya think. So to answer your question, stick with what you know and what you love and enjoy. Familiarize yourself with the products you'll be working with and learn what you can when you can. I loved digital imaging myself, so get some experience doing what you like, if possible. It uses skills from all areas, but I think the most important one is actually people skills. You can learn or be taught how to fix any medical device, but at the end of the day it's those interactions with your coworkers, the vendors, the clinical staff, and even the patients, that is going to bring the most satisfaction to you and your peers. I hope this helps! Sorry if it wasn't direct or technical enough for this platform, but it's my first time to comment so.forgive me! I wish you all the best!

Lee Crabb

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Muath’s Answer

You can focus on lab equipments which is needed in hospitals and private lab companies, the demands on this equipments are very high and need continues service.
Imaging and non imaging systems are just available in hospitals which make you in small circuit with professional people who already don't share that much of experience.
Dental clinic are very good area too but you need to have many types of skills.

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Zachary’s Answer

Hospitals or working for companies that design the medical devices.


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Peter’s Answer

You need microbiology to know the relevant material.

Anatomy and physiology supplanted by any sort of specialization like pharmacy, hematology, or embryology will give you a more applicable skill set.

Next a contrasting subject to understand from both sides like psychology.

Something like economics or finance might help enlighten the intricacies of insurance.


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Lama’s Answer

Bioinstrumentation and medical imaging are the best fields.

Can you explain why you think these are the best? Gurpreet Lally

Bioinstrumentation and medical imaging are best for many reasons: -Bioinstrumentation are used for diagnosis, treatment of disease, and vaccine research for example Oxford university and astrazenca used Thermofisher instrumentation for vaccine research. - Imaging devices are also play a vital role for diagnosis and cancer treatment; using linacs and gamma knife helped to treat cancer. - Imaging devices such as SPECT CT has the potential to help improve the clinical outcome of pancreas transplant. - Imaging devices are used for Artificial organs research. - Working in these fields will rich you with knowledge and unique skills. - Highest salary. Lama Ismail

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Sara’s Answer

This all depends on what you are interested in. It’s true that there are a wide range of applications, but any job will be pretty specific. With an electrical engineering background, medical devices is a great place to start. Get experience working for a company that makes regulated (FDA/EU approved) medical devices. Once you have that under your belt you can work for any medical device company. Biomedical/electrical engineers work in a variety of roles including R&D, manufacturing, quality, regulatory, clinical. In my experience R&D is hardest to break into. I wouldn’t be too picky about your first job. Any experience will help build your resume and learning what you don’t like is just as valuable as what you do like.

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Kamaleldin’s Answer

field service engineer


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oscar’s Answer

in my Opinion, you should start working in a hospital or in a company who can see a lot of kind of medical equipment. first of all you need to learn how every equip works. after that you can choose what way you want to follow. sorry for my english, Im from Panama, My first language is spanish

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Eliya Mehdi’s Answer

Hi Kristin.
It all depends upon the company. Choice of the company makes your career or if you find the excellent boss, then it is very helpful for your career growth. I worked in Hospital and get lots of good opportunities so I think you should start your career from the Radiology side.It's a vast field and underdeveloped.If you need any help you can contact me through LinkedIn.

I wish you all the best,

Regards

Syed Eliya
Manager Biomedical
https://www.linkedin.com/in/eliya-mehdi-syed-706a4889/

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Victoria’s Answer

Although being a biomedical engineer is usually related to medical technology it can be expanded to a variety of different fields. You can do any kind of research and even consulting jobs. I personally majored in BME with hopes of going to medical school.. so you can do that as well!

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SYED DANISH’s Answer

Critical care is my strongest area of work


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Eman’s Answer

I have a bachelor degree in biomedical engineering and I took three internships and one job related to my major.

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PAUL’s Answer

When you think Biomedical, Think hospital Equipment ...

there are hundreds of pieces of equipment to be cared for within Biomed, many fall under general biomed : defibrillators, IV

pumps, blood pressure machines etc. But there are many areas of specialty like dialysis Machines, radiology scanners ( ct, mri, pet, ultrasound ) or even the many machines used in surgical areas. Usually a new Biomed joins a hospital as a Biomed 1 and after showing promise working on general biomedical equipment they might be selected to be sent off to school for a specialty area.

i hope this helps


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ÖZGÜR’s Answer

I hope to give my best advice to you kristen. So you should start to concanrate about human health,anatomy,biology etc. this way shows you how to find their problem to figure out and understading them. my experiences taught me 'first step is understanding how to work' and 'how can I help'. If i help about this questions, i will be happy.

PS: sorry about my english.


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Mohd’s Answer

Biomedical instrumentation and equipment are the best areas of biomedical engineering to pursue a long-term career in biomedical products, in the field of new era...


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Shadi’s Answer

biomedical is a bog field that you have to be creative and in same time to learn as much as you can and have experience


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Ahmad’s Answer

instrumental analysis and Maintenance in general ..Manufacturing and developing equipment


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Forough’s Answer

Biosensors for disease detection, medical image analysis and instrumentation, medical device technician, designing and fabricating implants (artificial heart, vascular grafts, ventricular assist device, artificial limbs, etc)


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Victoria’s Answer

Although being a biomedical engineer is usually related to medical technology it can be expanded to a variety of different fields. You can do any kind of research and even consulting jobs. I personally majored in BME with hopes of going to medical school.. so you can do that as well!

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Derrick’s Answer

Product Development


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Anila’s Answer

I concentrated in Neural Engineering which is basically application of electrical engineering knowledge to Neuroscience. My PhD research was related to suppression of in-vitro epileptic seizure like activity in rat's brain using electrical stimulation. Study of neurons and how they transmit data is a wonderful application of your electrical engineering education.


Hi Kristin. It all depends upon the company. Choice of the company makes your career or if you find the excellent boss, then it is very helpful for your career growth. I worked in Hospital and get lots of good opportunities so I think you should start your career from the Radiology side.It's a vast field and underdeveloped.If you need any help you can contact me through LinkedIn. I wish you all the best, Regards Syed Eliya Manager Biomedical https://www.linkedin.com/in/eliya-mehdi-syed-706a4889/ Eliya Mehdi Syed

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ÖZGÜR’s Answer

I hope to give my best advice to you kristen. So you should start to concanrate about human health,anatomy,biology etc. this way shows you how to find their problem to figure out and understading them. my experiences taught me 'first step is understanding how to work' and 'how can I help'. If i help about this questions, i will be happy.

PS: sorry about my english.


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Prashant’s Answer

I would like to work in field so place is not important, however my goal is to learn new things. Therefore I will choose company.

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Prashant’s Answer

I would like to work in field so place is not important, however my goal is to learn new things. Therefore I will choose company.

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abdul jaleel’s Answer

<span style="color: rgb(93, 103, 106);">Biomedical instrumentation and biomaterials are the best areas of biomedical engineering to pursue a long-term career in biomedical products</span>


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Victoria’s Answer

Although being a biomedical engineer is usually related to medical technology it can be expanded to a variety of different fields. You can do any kind of research and even consulting jobs. I personally majored in BME with hopes of going to medical school.. so you can do that as well!

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visalakshi’s Answer

bioinstumentation, biomaterials, biomechanics, medical devices, manufacturing devices

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Deborah Yayra’s Answer

I have a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering. With your major in Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Instrumentation would be a good choice for you. Almost all medical devices come with electronic components. these electronic boards or components have the same principle you learn in Electrical Engineering, hence you would find your electrical engineering skills more useful in Biomedical Instrumentation.

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Britt’s Answer

Hi Kristen! There are very good recommendations given by the previous responses so I will try not to overlap them...


One of the big areas of healthcare that is relatively new compared to others is the sensors field. I've seen electrical engineers find success the bio-sensors field. You could find jobs in both the product development or the manufacturing areas of the industry.


Another area that is growing exponentially right now is the wearable sensors technologies. This could be anything from the common heart rate monitors and pedometers you see to implantable devices such as the cardioMEMS. There are new devices coming out with this technology every year! Hope this helps!




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