Bioengineer or Biomedical Engineer

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Job Outlook:
Faster than average
Education: Bachelor's degree
High: $159,130.00
Average: $108,060.00
Average: $51.95

What they do:

Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, chemistry, computer science, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological, agricultural, and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.

On the job, you would:

  • Conduct research, along with life scientists, chemists, and medical scientists, on the engineering aspects of the biological systems of humans and animals.
  • Adapt or design computer hardware or software for medical science uses.
  • Evaluate the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of biomedical equipment.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Bioengineers and biomedical engineers must assess the needs of patients and customers prior to designing products.

Communication skills. Because bioengineers and biomedical engineers sometimes work with patients and customers and frequently work on teams, they must be able to express themselves clearly in discussions. They also write reports and research papers.

Creativity. Bioengineers and biomedical engineers must be creative to come up with innovations in healthcare equipment and devices.

Math skills. Bioengineers and biomedical engineers use calculus and other advanced math and statistics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. Bioengineers and biomedical engineers typically deal with intricate biological systems. They must be able to work independently and with others to incorporate ideas into the complex problem-solving process.


A3 Your Strengths Importance

Characteristics of this Career

91% Integrity  -  Job requires being honest and ethical.
86% Cooperation  -  Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
85% Attention to Detail  -  Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
84% Persistence  -  Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
84% Analytical Thinking  -  Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
83% Achievement/Effort  -  Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
83% Initiative  -  Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
83% Dependability  -  Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
78% Innovation  -  Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
72% Adaptability/Flexibility  -  Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
68% Independence  -  Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
67% Self-Control  -  Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
A3 Your Strengths Importance


100% Investigative  -  Work involves studying and researching non-living objects, living organisms, disease or other forms of impairment, or human behavior. Investigative occupations are often associated with physical, life, medical, or social sciences, and can be found in the fields of humanities, mathematics/statistics, information technology, or health care service.
78% Realistic  -  Work involves designing, building, or repairing of equipment, materials, or structures, engaging in physical activity, or working outdoors. Realistic occupations are often associated with engineering, mechanics and electronics, construction, woodworking, transportation, machine operation, agriculture, animal services, physical or manual labor, athletics, or protective services.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Values of the Work Environment

83% Independence  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
72% Achievement  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
72% Working Conditions  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
67% Recognition  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
67% Relationships  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
67% Support  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.


A3 Your Strengths Importance

Abilities | Cognitive, Physical, Personality

78% Deductive Reasoning  -  The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
78% Written Comprehension  -  The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
78% Inductive Reasoning  -  The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
75% Oral Comprehension  -  The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
75% Problem Sensitivity  -  The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
72% Originality  -  The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
72% Written Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
72% Oral Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
72% Mathematical Reasoning  -  The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
72% Near Vision  -  The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
66% Speech Recognition  -  The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
66% Flexibility of Closure  -  The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
66% Visualization  -  The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
66% Information Ordering  -  The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
66% Category Flexibility  -  The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Skills | Cognitive, Physical, Personality

73% Reading Comprehension  -  Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
68% Critical Thinking  -  Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
68% Active Learning  -  Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
68% Judgment and Decision Making  -  Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
66% Complex Problem Solving  -  Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
66% Science  -  Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
66% Mathematics  -  Using mathematics to solve problems.

Job Details

Train personnel on proper operational procedures.
Prepare procedural documents.
Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
Communicate technical information to suppliers, contractors, or regulatory agencies.
Communicate technical information to suppliers, contractors, or regulatory agencies.
Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
Design medical devices or appliances.
Research engineering aspects of biological or chemical processes.
Design medical devices or appliances.
Devise research or testing protocols.
Develop operational methods or processes that use green materials or emphasize sustainability.
Develop technical methods or processes.
Create models of engineering designs or methods.
Research engineering aspects of biological or chemical processes.
Maintain operational records or records systems.
Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
Estimate operational costs.
Estimate time requirements for development or production projects.
Prepare detailed work plans.
Prepare technical reports for internal use.
Prepare contracts, disclosures, or applications.
Update technical knowledge.
Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
Research engineering aspects of biological or chemical processes.
Evaluate characteristics of equipment or systems.
Advise customers on the use of products or services.
Research engineering aspects of biological or chemical processes.
Create models of engineering designs or methods.
Research engineering aspects of biological or chemical processes.
Develop software or computer applications.
Analyze operational data to evaluate operations, processes or products.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Attributes & Percentage of Time Spent

100% Electronic Mail  -  How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
98% Indoors, Environmentally Controlled  -  How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
91% Face-to-Face Discussions  -  How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
89% Work With Work Group or Team  -  How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
85% Telephone  -  How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
77% Freedom to Make Decisions  -  How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
77% Spend Time Sitting  -  How much does this job require sitting?
77% Structured versus Unstructured Work  -  To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
76% Contact With Others  -  How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
76% Importance of Being Exact or Accurate  -  How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
67% Letters and Memos  -  How often does the job require written letters and memos?
84% Duration of Typical Work Week  -  Number of hours typically worked in one week.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Tasks & Values

92% Making Decisions and Solving Problems  -  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
92% Analyzing Data or Information  -  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
90% Getting Information  -  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
89% Working with Computers  -  Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
85% Processing Information  -  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
84% Thinking Creatively  -  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
83% Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge  -  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
80% Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates  -  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
75% Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events  -  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
75% Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information  -  Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
73% Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings  -  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
73% Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others  -  Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
73% Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work  -  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
71% Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards  -  Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
69% Documenting/Recording Information  -  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
69% Developing Objectives and Strategies  -  Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
69% Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships  -  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
68% Developing and Building Teams  -  Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
67% Providing Consultation and Advice to Others  -  Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

What Bioengineers and Biomedical Engineers Do

Bioengineers and biomedical engineers
Bioengineers and biomedical engineers install, maintain, or provide technical support for biomedical equipment.

Bioengineers and biomedical engineers combine engineering principles with sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software.


Bioengineers and biomedical engineers typically do the following:

  • Design equipment and devices, such as artificial internal organs, replacements for body parts, and machines for diagnosing medical problems
  • Install, maintain, or provide technical support for biomedical equipment
  • Collaborate with manufacturing staff on the safety and effectiveness of biomedical equipment
  • Train clinicians and others on the proper use of biomedical equipment
  • Work with scientists to research how engineering principles apply to biological systems
  • Develop statistical models or simulations using statistical or modeling software
  • Prepare procedures and write technical reports and research papers
  • Present research findings to a variety of audiences, including scientists, clinicians, managers, other engineers, and the public
  • Design or conduct followup experiments as needed

Bioengineers and biomedical engineers frequently work in research and development or quality assurance.

The work of bioengineers spans many fields. For example, although their expertise is in engineering and biology, they often design computer software to run complicated instruments, such as three-dimensional x-ray machines. Others use their knowledge of chemistry and biology to develop new drug therapies. Still others draw on math and statistics to understand signals transmitted by the brain or heart. Some are involved in sales.

Biomedical engineers focus on advances in technology and medicine to develop new devices and equipment for improving human health. For example, they might design software to run medical equipment or computer simulations to test new drug therapies. In addition, they design and build artificial body parts, such as hip and knee joints, or develop materials to make replacement parts. They also design rehabilitative exercise equipment.

The following are examples of types of bioengineers and biomedical engineers:

Biochemical engineers focus on cell structures and microscopic systems to create products for bioremediation, biological waste treatment, and other uses.

Bioinstrumentation engineers use electronics, computer science, and measurement principles to develop tools for diagnosing and treating medical problems.

Biomaterials engineers study naturally occurring or laboratory-designed substances for use in medical devices or implants.

Biomechanics engineers study thermodynamics and other systems to solve biological or medical problems.

Clinical engineers apply medical technology to improve healthcare.

Genetic engineers alter the genetic makeup of organism using recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (rDNA) technology, such as in developing vitamin-fortified food crops to prevent disease in humans.

Rehabilitation engineers develop devices that aid people who are recovering from or adapting to physical or cognitive impairments.

Systems physiologists use engineering tools to understand how biological systems function and respond to changes in their environment.

Other bioengineering occupations are described in separate profiles; see, for example, chemical engineers and agricultural engineers. Some people with training in biomedical engineering become postsecondary teachers.

Work Environment

Bioengineers and biomedical engineers held about 19,700 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of bioengineers and biomedical engineers were as follows:

Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences 23%
Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing 13
Professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers 11
Engineering services 9
Healthcare and social assistance 8

Bioengineers and biomedical engineers work on teams with scientists, healthcare workers, or other engineers. Where and how they work depends on the project. For example, a biomedical engineer who has developed a new device might spend hours in a hospital to ensure that the device works as planned. If the device needs adjusting, the engineer might need to suggest alterations in the manufacturing process.

Work Schedules

Most bioengineers and biomedical engineers work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week.

Getting Started

Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree

How to Become a Bioengineer or Biomedical Engineer

Bioengineers and biomedical engineers
Bioengineers and biomedical engineers frequently work in research and development or in quality assurance.

Bioengineers and biomedical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering, biomedical engineering, or a related engineering field. Some positions require a graduate degree.


In high school, students interested in becoming bioengineers or biomedical engineers should take classes in sciences such as chemistry, physics, and biology. They should also study math, including algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. If available, classes in drafting, mechanical drawing, and computer programming are also useful.

At the bachelor’s degree level, prospective bioengineers should study bioengineering, biomedical, or other engineering fields. Students who pursue other engineering degrees, such as mechanical or electrical, may benefit from taking biological science courses.

Bachelor’s degree programs in bioengineering and biomedical engineering focus on engineering and biological sciences. These programs typically include laboratory- and classroom-based courses in biological sciences and subjects such as fluid and solid mechanics, circuit design, and biomaterials.

These programs also include substantial training in engineering design. As part of their study, students may have an opportunity to participate in co-ops or internships with hospitals and medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies. Bioengineering and biomedical engineering programs are accredited by ABET.


Bioengineers and biomedical engineers may increase their responsibilities as they gain experience or advanced degrees. To lead a research team, a bioengineer or biomedical engineer typically needs a graduate degree. Those who are interested in basic research may become medical scientists.

Some bioengineers attend medical or dental school to specialize in techniques such as using electric impulses in new ways to get muscles moving again. Others earn law degrees and work as patent attorneys. Still others pursue a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and move into managerial positions. For more information, see the profiles on lawyers and architectural and engineering managers.

Job Outlook

Employment of bioengineers and biomedical engineers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations.

About 1,200 openings for bioengineers and biomedical engineers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.


Bioengineers and biomedical engineers are expected to see employment growth as demand for biomedical devices and procedures, such as hip and knee replacements, continues to increase. In addition, with continued public awareness of medical advances, increasing numbers of people will seek biomedical solutions to their health problems.

Bioengineers and biomedical engineers continue to collaborate with scientists, other medical researchers, and manufacturers to address a range of injuries and physical disabilities. Their work in healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, and other fields is expanding the possibilities for biomedical engineering products and services.

Contacts for More Information

For information about education and career resources for bioengineering, biomedical engineering, and general engineering, visit

American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering

American Society for Engineering Education

Biomedical Engineering Society

IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society

Technology Student Association

For information about accredited engineering programs, visit


Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of bioengineers and biomedical engineers.

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2022
Agricultural engineers Agricultural Engineers

Agricultural engineers solve problems concerning power supplies, machine efficiency, the use of structures and facilities, pollution and environmental issues, and the storage and processing of agricultural products.

Bachelor's degree $83,260
Architectural and engineering managers Architectural and Engineering Managers

Architectural and engineering managers plan, direct, and coordinate activities in the fields of architecture and engineering.

Bachelor's degree $159,920
Biochemists and biophysicists Biochemists and Biophysicists

Biochemists and biophysicists study the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes.

Doctoral or professional degree $103,810
Chemical engineers Chemical Engineers

Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry, physics, and engineering to design equipment and processes for manufacturing products such as gasoline, detergents, and paper.

Bachelor's degree $106,260
Electrical and electronics engineers Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of electrical equipment.

Bachelor's degree $104,610
Materials engineers Materials Engineers

Materials engineers develop, process, and test materials used to create a wide range of products.

Bachelor's degree $100,140
Mechanical engineers Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices.

Bachelor's degree $96,310
Medical scientists Medical Scientists

Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health.

Doctoral or professional degree $99,930
Physicians and surgeons Physicians and Surgeons

Physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses and address health maintenance.

Doctoral or professional degree $229,300
Sales engineers Sales Engineers

Sales engineers sell complex scientific and technological products or services to businesses.

Bachelor's degree $108,530

Information provided by CareerFitter, LLC and other sources.

Sections of this page includes information from the O*NET 27.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.

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