Biomedical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from an accredited program to enter the occupation. Alternatively, they can get a bachelor’s degree in a different field of engineering and then either get a graduate degree in biomedical engineering or get on-the-job training in biomedical engineering.
Prospective biomedical engineering students should take high school science courses, such as chemistry, physics, and biology. They should also take mathematics, including calculus. Courses in drafting or mechanical drawing and computer programming are also useful. Bachelor’s degree programs in biomedical engineering focus on engineering and biological sciences. Programs include laboratory-based courses in addition to classes in subjects such as fluid and solid mechanics, computer programming, circuit design, and biomaterials. Other required courses include in-depth training in biological sciences, including physiology.
Biomedical engineers must be able to analyze the needs of patients and customers to design appropriate solutions. Because biomedical engineers sometimes work with patients and frequently work with other professionals, such as medical scientists or other engineers, they must be able to express themselves clearly. Biomedical engineers often work in teams and gather input from patients, therapists, physicians, and business professionals. They must seek others’ ideas and incorporate them into the problem-solving process. Biomedical engineers use the principles of calculus and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.
Some biomedical engineers attend dental or medical school to specialize in applications at the front lines of patient care, such as using electric impulses in new ways to get muscles moving again. Some earn law degrees and work as patent attorneys.