Biomedical Engineer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: April 21, 2022

A Biomedical Engineer, or Biomedical Engineering Specialist, is responsible for developing biomedical equipment and medical devices to aid the quality of life for medical patients. Their duties include creating equipment, devices or software programs to benefit healthcare professionals and their patients, ensuring the safety and functionality of their creations before the start of manufacturing and helping healthcare professionals learn how to use their inventions in their daily practice.

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Biomedical Engineer duties and responsibilities

Maintaining equipment and working with Scientists to research and develop life-changing products is just the beginning of the important work a Biomedical Engineer does during their day. Their typical daily responsibilities include:

  • Designing products and systems, such as artificial organs, body replacement parts and medical diagnostic machines
  • Installing and maintaining equipment to use in a medical setting
  • Providing technical support for biomedical equipment
  • Assessing the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of biomedical equipment
  • Working alongside Scientists to research the biological systems of humans and animals
  • Training other personnel and clinicians to use equipment properly
  • Writing and publishing technical reports and research papers
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What does a Biomedical Engineer do?

Biomedical Engineers typically work for research facilities, colleges and universities, hospitals and medical equipment companies to create and test products. They combine their knowledge of biology and engineering principles to develop systems and revolutionary equipment to improve the efficiency of patient care. Their job is to work closely with other Biomedical Engineers and Scientists and Doctors to brainstorm ideas, troubleshoot defects and make upgrades to current products. They may also be responsible for creating artificial limbs, organs and other devices to provide medical patients with a prolonged or better quality life.

Biomedical Engineer skills and qualifications

A successful candidate for a Biomedical Engineer role should have various prerequisite skills and qualifications, including:

  • Ability to analyze the needs of patients and customers and provide solutions to problems
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills to interact with others, including Medical Scientists, other Engineers and patients
  • Advanced presentation skills to express their ideas clearly
  • Analytical skills for assessing patient needs and coming up with appropriate design solutions
  • Good listening and interpersonal skills for dealing with patients, Therapists, Physicians and other business professionals
  • Advanced math skills to analyze, design and troubleshoot work
  • Excellent problem-solving skills for addressing problems in complex biological systems

Biomedical Engineer salary expectations

A Biomedical Engineer makes an average of $75,563 per year in the United States. This salary can vary depending on the size of your company and the experience and background of the applicant.

Biomedical Engineer education and training requirements

Biomedical Engineers should have a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering or bioengineering from an accredited program. Occasionally, these applicants may instead have a bachelor’s degree in a different field of engineering and training in a biomedical engineering environment. Some employers may prefer to hire individuals who have a master’s degree in biomedical engineering as well. Candidates should also have a Fundamentals of Engineering license and a Principles and Practice of Engineering license in order to become a licensed professional engineer.


Biomedical Engineer experience requirements

Experience requirements vary depending on the position, but in general, Biomedical Engineers should have a thorough knowledge of their industry and strong problem-solving skills. Many Biomedical Engineers gain experience by completing internships or volunteering in their field while pursuing their degrees and licenses. This may be enough for entry-level roles, but some organizations may prefer to hire more experienced Biomedical Engineers with a few years of practical experience in related positions.

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Frequently asked questions about Biomedical Engineers


What is the difference between a Biomedical Engineer and a Biomedical Equipment Technician?

The difference between a Biomedical Engineer and a Biomedical Equipment Technician is that Biomedical Engineers hold more seniority. This is because they have the responsibility of designing and testing medical equipment and devices. Further, even though Biomedical Engineers can aid in the installation and repair of medical equipment, they typically have more involvement in the design and creation phase. In contrast, Biomedical Equipment Technicians specialize in the installation, troubleshooting and repairing of specific medical equipment, devices or systems.

It is important to note that Biomedical Equipment Technicians may work closely with Biomedical Engineers to install medical equipment at a facility.


What are the daily duties of a Biomedical Engineer?

On a typical day, a Biomedical Engineer starts by reviewing their goals for the day. They determine upcoming project deadlines and communicate with leadership to receive extensions on specific projects. Throughout the day, Biomedical Engineers develop prototypes, create blueprints and choose the best materials for a particular piece of equipment. Biomedical Engineers also participate in meetings with other Engineers and medical professionals to generate product ideas that benefit a specific area of medicine. They may also travel to healthcare facilities to perform emergency maintenance on complex medical equipment.


What qualities make a good Biomedical Engineer?

A good Biomedical Engineer uses their innovative mindset to streamline healthcare processes and support the growth of medicine. They should also analyze their designs to identify potential flaws or safety concerns and revise them accordingly. They have excellent verbal communication that enables them to discuss their ideas with other Biomedical Engineers. Great verbal communication also allows them to oversee training initiatives for medical professionals on how to best use their equipment. 

Further, a good Biomedical Engineer desires to help others, which motivates them to develop new ideas for life-saving medical devices and diagnostic equipment.


Who does a Biomedical Engineer report to?

A Biomedical Engineer typically reports to a Senior Biomedical Engineer or a Biomedical Engineering Manager to discuss their progress with developing or improving medical devices. They also report to them to get a second opinion on their work and ask for suggestions going forward.

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