The Career Of Biomedical Engineers: Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineers typically work in manufacturing, universities, hospitals, and research facilities of companies and educational and medical institutions. Biomedical engineers tend to work full time as well. Surgical technologists mostly work in hospitals, and maybe offices of physicians or outpatient care centers and a small number of surgical technologists work in dentist offices as well. And just like biomedical engineers, they tend to work full time. Surgeons and surgical technologists tend to work side by side and share a lot more in common.

Just like surgical technologists, surgeons typically work in hospitals, but also work in physician offices.

They also work long hours, and some surgeries may be long and require them to stand on their feet for a long time. Biomedical engineers make around $42.33 per hour, and $88,040 annually. Surgical technologists make around $22.26 per hour and $46,310 per year. Surgeons make around $100.00 per hour and $208,000 per year. All three make various amounts, but they all make good money. Job outlook statistics for biomedical engineer are only projected to grow 7%, whereas surgical technologists and surgeons have a much higher projected growing rate.

Surgical Technologists with 12% and surgeons with 13%, which are both faster than average.


For a biomedical engineer, two good schools would be Michigan Technological University and Johns Hopkins University. For a surgeon, and just like a biomedical engineer, Johns Hopkins University would be a good school, as well as Columbia University. For a surgical technologist, two good schools would be Lansing Community College and Harvard University.

Primary Tasks and Responsibilities

Biomedical engineers typically combine engineering aspects and medical aspects to design and create different things used in healthcare.

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They create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software. Work for Surgical technologists may be physically demanding, requiring them to stay on their feet for long periods of time. Some things they do are move patients, lift heavy trays of medical supplies, and attend surgeries. Surgical technologists go in operating rooms and hand over supplies to the surgeon when needed, and in general will assist in surgical operations. Not only do they just assist in the surgery but they will also prep the operating room and equipment. They get the patient ready for surgery, and afterwards they might take the patient to the recovery room and then begin preparing for the next surgery. Surgeons are similar to surgical technologists but they obtain the patient’s medical history and review it. And then they will examine the patient to figure out if they are a good candidate for surgery. If they are, then they explain the procedure to the patient. After that, the patient will get prepped and taken to the operating room where the surgeon will then perform the surgery. Biomedical engineer essentially does the making of the medical equipment and whatnot, and the surgeons and surgical technologists then use it, as well as other healthcare workers.

Historic Developments

Biomedical engineers have created many important things. Going back into the 1950’s, some of the developments are artificial kidney, X-ray, cardiac pacemaker, and cardiopulmonary bypass. Some other things from then on are defibrillator, heart valve replacement, blood analysis and processing, artificial hip and knee replacement, and biological plant and food engineering. Some historic developments for surgical technologists were that the national board of surgical technology was established in 1974. Though surgical technologists started all the way back in world war one. Starting in the 70’s more and more institutions started to develop surgical technology programs. As for surgeons, historic developments include, medical instruments used for surgery being greatly improved, as well as the methods used too. Back then it also wasn’t as clean then. Another thing that’s changed too, is that they didn’t do much for pain back then. Now we put people under typically, in sterile environments, with great medical tools.

Education Needed

To be a biomedical engineer you will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering or bioengineering or in any other engineering degree. Some positions in that field may require a graduate degree as well. It’s a lot less strenuous schooling wise for surgical technologists. For example, at LCC you could go to school for two years and get an associates degree in this career. Most places with programs, you can obtain a certification, or an associates degree as well. Surgeons have to go through a lot more schooling than both surgical technologist and biomedical engineer. For surgeons, they must complete at least three years of college before entering medical school. Medical programs are four years long. But, some schools offer a college degree and medical program for only six years. After that, they need to pass their board exams and then they have to complete an internship. Following that, they have to complete their residency which can take up to three or more years.

Certification and License

A Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from an accredited school is the usually requirement for a career as a biomedical engineer, therefore there is no required license. But if you want to become a biomedical engineer who can offer their services to the community or the public you must first become a licensed professional engineer. In order to do that, you have to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam before passing the exam to become a licensed engineer. In order to take the initial exam, it requires that you hold a degree from an ABET-accredited program. After that you will need to work for a minimum of 4 years in that field in order to take the next exam, to become a professional engineer. That exam is called the Principles and Practice of Engineering. For a surgical technologist all you need to do is complete a program, whether it be a one year program, or two year, and then you will get certified with a certificate. For a surgeon, you have to take the licensing exam, and then after you complete residency, you can voluntarily take board exams to be specialized in one or more things.

Continuing Education

none, because biomedical engineers do not require a license. Surgical technologists must earn 60 continuing ed credits before their four year cycle expires to renew their credentials. For surgeons you have to have at least 15 credits per every 24 months, to maintain your certification. And you can only get 8 of those credits from in house training. The rest you need to get from other sources.


For biomedical engineering, one of my values is financial security, and it would certainly match that because you make a lot in this career. Another one of mine is happiness, and I think it would also match because reading in depth about the things you can do in this career really peak my interest and I think it would be fulfilling. It also fulfills my education value, because in this career it seems like it would be lifelong learning considering this is a field that is always changing and expanding and you would constantly be learning. And you initially go to school for some time learning about anything in that field, so overall it would really be fulfilling in that sense.

Being a surgical technologist, it would fill my financial security value for a little while, because you do make pretty good money as a starting job which is how I see this. It fills my happiness value for sure because I do have a love for surgery and assisting is beyond cool to me. And then it also fill education because the medical field is always developing, especially technology wise, so there is always more to learn, and I highly enjoy that. Being a surgeon would certainly fill my financial security beyond imaginable. It would fill my happiness value, but also not. Surgery is great, and it has such a rewarding side to it, when you save someone’s life. But to also get put through the emotional stress of maybe not saving someone’s life would be very tough. Education would be very fulfilling too. Always learning about new procedures, and ways to do something is pretty interesting. And experiencing to do your many firsts of all kinds of procedures is most likely a crazy feeling.

Employability Skills

Employers often seek for people in the biomedical engineering field to have skills like critical thinking, reading comprehension, complex solving problem, speaking, writing, active learning, time management, and programming. For surgical technologists, an obvious one is to not be squeamish. As well as, be able to work in groups, good communication skills, be dedicated and reliable, and being able to expect the unexpected. You also need to have the willingness to learn.

For surgeons, they need all of the surgical tech skills, as well as compassion, good bedside manners, have good judgement, be able to work under pressure, emotionally stable, stamina, and also have good manual dexterity.


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The Career Of Biomedical Engineers: Biomedical Engineering. (2022, Apr 26). Retrieved from

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