n Job Description
Biomedical engineers use engineering principles to solve
medical problems. They conduct research to test and
modify known theories and develop new theories of life
systems. They also design life support apparatus, utilizing
principles of engineering and biobehavioral sciences (e.g.,
artificial hearts and kidneys, pacemakers, artificial hips,
lasers for surgery). Some adapt computers for medical
science or health care use.
Biomedical engineers may conduct testing to ensure
safety of equipment used for patient diagnosis, treatment,
and monitoring. They may also give advice on the
purchase of new equipment and supervise and train
biomedical equipment technicians.
n Job Settings
Hospitals and other health care facilities, industry,
colleges and universities, and government agencies
n Projected Need
Nationally and in Illinois, employment of biomedical
engineers is expected to increase faster than average
through 2010. Prospects look good in all areas of health
care, however the most opportunities may be expected in
research and development of prosthetics, artificial
organs, computer applications, and instrumentation and
other medical systems. In addition, a demand will exist
for professors to train the biomedical engineers needed to
fill these positions.
In Illinois, there were about 480 people employed in this
very small occupation in 2000.
According to a survey conducted by the National
Association of Colleges and Employers in 2001, the
average offer for biomedical engineering jobs to
graduates with a baccalaureate degree was $47,850 per
year. The average offer to those with a master's degree
was $62,600 per year. Nationally, the median wage for
biomedical engineers is $28.75 per hour. In Illinois, the
median hourly wage for this occupation is $29.90.
n Related Careers
Physician, prosthetist, orthotist, nuclear medicine
technologist, medical physicist, biologist, physiologist, and
engineers in other fields