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Question by Poptarts23: I’m a biomedical engineering student and have a question about what types of jobs are out there.?
I am currently working an internship at a hospital nearby where I live. I’ve been working there for about 12 weeks. All I have been doing is really basic tech work. Like this sort of work I wouldn’t need a bachelors degree for it. It would be ok for a starting job but I want something that is more of an “engineering” job.
So my question is. Are there biomedical engineering jobs or clinical engineering jobs that are just basic biomed tech jobs? If so what are some options that you can go into that are more challenging and are considered more of an “engineering” job?
Answer by In Science we trust
Yes. There are 3 main types of Biomedical Engineer (BE). BEs generally either work for a hospital maintaining the equipment (x-ray equipment, diagnostics,etc.), work in industry, typically for a medical device or equipment manufacturer or they work in academia doing research on biomaterials and/or devices. Hospital BE jobs are in every city but they do not pay very well compared to other engineering jobs. As you have found out, they involve quite a bit of tech work. And, due to healthcare cost containment pressure, there are not many openings right now. Academic research positions pay fairly well also (slightly less than industry) but there is a relatively limited number of positions and many universities are having budget issues. The medical device industry hires BEs and there are a variety of R&D, quality assurance and clinical engineering positions available. The medical device industry pays well and is generally recession resistant because most medical procedures are not elective. The business and job prospects are good but it is also very competitive. R&D engineers design and develop medical device technology so that health care providers (e.g. doctors) have the tools to treat people. For example, pacemakers, catheters, imaging systems, diagnostic equipment, stents, artificial hearts, dialysis machines, artificial joints, and vascular grafts are some of the devices that biomedical engineers help produce.
If you want a medical device job, you can improve your chances by going to where they are. The industry is highly concentrated geographically with a relatively small number of high density areas that are the best places to find a job. The major areas with a large number of companies are:
S.F. Bay area (specifically Silicon Valley)
Orange County, CA
There are other areas that have an emerging biomedical company presence (e.g. Seattle & Salt Lake City) but they pale in comparison to the big ones above.
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