No Experience Necessary
Question by Harley Quinn.: Biomedical Engineers?
I know I can find this information online but I’d rather get it from an actual Biomedical Engineer than a website.
1. Why did you choose Biomedical Engineering as a career?
2. Do you like it? Was it worth it?
3. What school did you go to? What classes did you take? Hard? I think I might go to St. Louis University.
4. How much creativity is involved because I’m not much of a creative person?
5. Where do you work and how hard was it finding a job? Employment?
6. How much do you get paid? Hour? Week? Year?
Answer by Bob S, N3FM
1. I had a strong interest in Engineering, Electronics, computers, and medicine. If you have a strong background in computer systems and math, you may also want to consider modeling (mathematical/computer models of biological, biochemical, drug, and other systems).
2. I have enjoyed it for many years. However, the major downside I have experienced is that many companies will ‘pigeonhole’ people into predefined slots, and most companies don’t have a solid feel for what a biomedical engineer does. I’d suggest ALSO having a degree in EE, ME, computer engineering, or similar (BS/MS, dual BS, any combination) to give the HR person a warm feeling about what you can do, and the broader knowledge needed by someone working in the biomedical field.
3. I went to University of Virginia, and took the Clinical Engineering/Instrumentation track. Of course, the courses are hard — how would you learn anything valuable, otherwise? But ‘hard’ for one person may be ‘easy’ for another… none of the courses are impossible to complete. I don’t know St. Louis University’s program — choose one where there is an affiliation with a medical school, and a strong engineering and math curriculum.
4. Creativity takes several forms — some areas of biomedical engineering have lots of ‘art’ involved (prosthetics, human factors) and others will use the creativity of a new mathematical approach. Don’t shy away because you’re more technical than artistic…
5. I have worked in hospitals, manufacturers, and other programs. Since I didn’t follow my own advice (BS Biology then Masters in BME), I had to rely on my first couple of jobs where I was hired in and promoted as an EE… Employment can be spotty — some areas are medical meccas (Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Denver, Boston, SoCal, etc), and other areas will have only spotty openings for people with your skills.
6. Nobody makes as much money as they should! 🙂 Since there is not a high demand for the degree, the $ $ are not as high as, for example, computer engineers… but what you are doing can be saving lives… There’s a joke about it… “This job is so rewarding, I’d do it for free — unfortunately, management knows that!”
Good luck and find an area where you are passionate about it!
What do you think? Answer below!