Employment Opportunities

Though growth prospect and salary figures are high for those who have specialized in biomechanics, it is difficult to come up with precise numbers as they work in such varied fields.  Biomedical engineers held about 16,000 jobs in 2008. Manufacturing industries employed 36 percent of all biomedical engineers, primarily in the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing and medical instruments and supplies industries. Many others worked for hospitals. Some also worked for government agencies or as independent consultants. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment prospects and earning potential for biomedical engineers (biomechanists) are excellent in the coming years. The field is expected to increase at a rate of 72 percent through 2018.

The growth of the aging population and focus on health issues will contribute to the increase in the demand for improved medical equipment and devices to be designed by biomedical engineers. For example, computer-assisted surgery and molecular, cellular, and tissue engineering are being more heavily researched and are developing rapidly. In addition, the rehabilitation and orthopedic engineering specialties are growing quickly, increasing the need for biomedical engineers. Along with the demand for more sophisticated medical equipment and procedures is an increased concern for cost efficiency and effectiveness that also will boost demand for biomedical engineers. However, because of the growing interest in this field, the number of degrees granted in biomedical engineering has increased greatly, leading to the potential for competition for jobs.

Salaries are expected to be between US $60,000 to US $100,000 for Master’s trained individuals. Median annual earnings of biomedical engineers were $77,400 in 2008. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the salaries earned by the biomedical area increased to a national mean hourly wage of $39.69 and a national mean annual wage of $82,550, in May 2009. The middle 50 percent earned between $59,420 and $98,830. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $47,650, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $121,970. The industries that employed the highest number of biomedical engineers were medical equipment and supplies manufacturing with a mean annual wage of $81,590; scientific research and development services, $86,150; pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, $81,150; navigational, measuring, electro-medical and control instruments manufacturing, $92,330; and general medical and surgical hospitals, $66,250. Students from the Master of Science degree program would be able to compete for positions in these career fields.