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Specialising in Biomedical Engineering: Career Strategies

Published on: 1 May 2024

Biomedical engineering is an exciting career. A biomedical engineer will use engineering principles and problem-solving techniques and apply them to human biology, healthcare and medicine. 

Specialising in Biomedical Engineering

It’s a career that presents a unique opportunity to merge fundamental engineering principles with medical sciences to advance healthcare. These advances could be life-changing for patients, improving the care they receive and positively effecting their health outcomes.

For instance, a biomedical engineer could be involved in the development of an advanced prosthetic limb or involved in a breakthrough project to identify proteins within cells.

Biomedical engineering is a fast growing career. This growth is largely driven by the medical challenges brought by aging populations, the need for new treatments for chronic conditions such as osteo-arthritis, or diabetes and cardiovascular disease and the need to respond rapidly to new disease challenges as they arise. 

While at university, biomedical engineering students develop excellent engineering and scientific skills that can be applied to a range of biomedical engineering careers once they graduate.

There are many excellent career prospects available to graduates who can use their skills to work in a wide variety of settings and disciplines.

They could work in industry and be involved in innovating, designing, and developing new technologies. This could include working in cutting-edge start-up companies or as entrepreneurs themselves.

They could also choose to work in academia helping to further research and push the frontiers of what is medically possible as well as testing, implementing, and developing new diagnostic tools and medical equipment.

There are also roles in government for biomedical engineers to be involved in establishing safety standards for medical devices.

Having set off on their career path, biomedical engineers may after a time start thinking about how to progress their career. Within the field there are numerous opportunities for career advancement. This could include carving out a niche by specialising in a particular area such as biomechanics, biomaterials, medical instrumentation or rehabilitation.

Strategies to progress your career not only provide direction for personal development but also enhance the ability to contribute to groundbreaking medical advancements.

These career strategies could include:

Increasing your skill level

Biomedical engineers may begin their careers in entry-level positions and then move on to positions with greater responsibility, such as project managers or team leaders. This involves developing skills such as leadership and communication skills.

Strong communication skills are particularly vital in helping engineers successfully coordinate projects and ensure accurate information passes between different individuals and departments. Developing these skills will help open doors to higher-level positions within your chosen field of biomedical engineering. 

Find ways to network

Conferences and events are worthwhile attending as it enables you to meet others within your field. You never know what opportunities may arise through increasing your network.

Joining a professional society is a good way to meet others as these societies often organise events where you will have the opportunity to meet leaders, specialists, and peers in your field who may even be able to connect you to prospective employers.

Further education and training

Further education and training is another pathway for career advancement in biomedical engineering. Graduate degrees and professional certifications will help elevate your skills in the field and deepen your knowledge in the specialised area you’d like to move in to. This will increase your qualification for certain higher-level job positions.

Keep up with latest developments in the field

The biomedical engineering industry is dependent on technology. With the rapid advancements in technology, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry. This will keep you at the top of your game and improve your eligibility to prospective employers.

Equally, keep on top of recently published research in your field. New advances in healthcare are happening all the time. Increasing your knowledge will only stand you in good stead in helping advance your career.