How to become a Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers apply engineering and scientific methods to find solutions to problems in medicine and the life sciences.

Personal requirements of a Biomedical Engineer

  • Good communication skills
  • Able to observe and take accurate measurements
  • Patient and imaginative
  • Aptitude for design
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills

Education & Training for a Biomedical Engineer

To become a biomedical engineer you usually have to complete an engineering degree at university with a major in biomedical engineering. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry and physics are normally required. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in engineering with a major in biomedical engineering. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks.

Duties & Tasks of a Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers may perform the following tasks:

  • design new medical monitoring, diagnostic and therapeutic equipment
  • set up and maintain medical equipment
  • specify equipment for particular purposes
  • test the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of equipment
  • plan data processing services and the development of associated computing programs
  • analyse new medical procedures to forecast likely outcomes
  • participate in medical or scientific procedures where biomedical skills are needed
  • design and deliver technology to assist people with disability
  • analyse and design prosthetic and orthotic devices
  • measure and monitor physiological systems
  • diagnose and interpret bioelectric data using signal processing techniques
  • provide computer analysis of patient-related data.

Working conditions for a Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers work in health care and must have a good theoretical and practical knowledge of engineering, a sound understanding of medical sciences and the ability to combine the two. Biomedical engineers usually work in multidisciplinary teams with other professionals, including anaesthetists, surgeons, physiotherapists, occupational and speech therapists and other medical specialists.

Employment Opportunities for a Biomedical Engineer

Most biomedical engineers are employed in public hospital-based engineering departments, by medical equipment vendors or by third-party service organisations. Some may be employed by firms involved in the development of medical devices and instruments and in the development or transfer of medical services technology. Biomedical engineers may also be employed in state and federal government departments and universities, and some are self-employed as consultants. Rehabilitation engineers are usually employed in rehabilitation centres.

Specialisations:


Bio-engineer

A bio-engineer applies engineering principles to the study of biological systems and processes.


Clinical Engineer

A clinical engineer works within a hospital or healthcare facility researching, developing and building instruments or specifying, tendering, commissioning and maintaining instruments and equipment to aid clinical staff.


Rehabilitation Engineer

A rehabilitation engineer deals with systems and devices that improve the quality of life of people with disability. Rehabilitation engineers complement the work of other healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists.

Additional Information
Graduates may be eligible for membership of Engineers Australia. Visit their website for more details.
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