Inside Biomedical Engineering Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Interpersonal Skills Are Important To Being A Successful Engineer...
Most people are surprised to find engineers need to have good social and business skills. Interpersonal skills are extremely important in understanding customer/consumer wants and needs for products you are designing." (Product Engineer; 2014)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Biomedical Engineering at Cornell in New York; completed Master degree in 2011

"Little Value In Masters Degree...
Very little application of mathematical concepts learned in school. I was surprised that a masters degree doesn't significantly impact ones ability to advance." (Development Engineer; 2014)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Virginia, male
School: Studied Mechanical Engineering at University Of Cincinnati in Ohio; completed Bachelor degree in 2011

"Biomedical Engineering Isn't Always Medical...
People are often surprised about biomedical engineering in the fact that we aren't all interested in medicine. BME is often lumped in with medicine and it actually isn't very common for researchers to get an MD." (Research Assistant; 2014)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, female
School: Studied Engineering at Wayne State University in Michigan; completed Bachelor degree in 2010

"Work Across Many Fields...
I was surprised how much of biomedical engineering has to do with being able to take hard science and apply it to clinical settings because people who are only involved in one part of the two areas often overlook or don't know what needs to be done to translate research into a clinical application." (Biomedical Engineering Researcher; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Oregon, female
School: Studied Biological Sciences at University Of Rhode Island in Rhode Island; completed Bachelor degree in 2011

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Biomedical Engineer: "I love that I get to help people, I'm in operating rooms every day making a difference and working with great and intelligent people. It's fun for me to go into work every day and know that I'm going to learn something and that I'm really using my brain. I also love that everyday is different which makes it very exciting. My day can get very chaotic, I never really know when I'll be done so it can get difficult to plan around." (2011)

Career Background

Biomedical Engineering

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Video

Career Tips

"Be Okay With Hard Work And Resulting Failure...
To be successful in the BME field, you must have a great attention to even the smallest detail and be okay with not getting the results you had hoped for. Flexibility in focus and the ability to work in a very diverse atmosphere are incredibly important as well." (Research Assistant; 2014)

"Make Time To Learn How To Communicate Effectively...
Do not spend all of your time focused only on gaining technical ability. Although strong engineering fundamentals are necessary, it is also very important to learn how to talk to people and gain information from them." (Product Engineer; 2014)

"Learn On The Fly...
The ability to learn new software on the fly is more important than your strong technical skills. Managerial skills and business practices should not be ignored in preparation for a promotion." (Development Engineer; 2014)

"Be A Well-Rounded Applicant...
Having the degree just gets you into the applicant pool; if you have hobbies/interests, pursue them and it will pay off." (Biomedical Engineering Researcher; 2013)

"Take Physiology Classes...
1. Spend time in a hospital to make sure you really know what your getting yourself into. To get involved in this field takes a lot of work so you should know you really want it! 2. Taking a lot of physiology classes really helped me adapt in the beginning 3. Being involved in a lot of clubs and my sorority really made my employers see that I was involved and did more then just schoolwork. Being personable is a big part of my career so this helped push me ahead of other candidates" (Biomedical Engineer; 2011)