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All You Need to Know to Pursue a Career as a Biomedical Engineering

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Advancement of science, especially through devices that can help us maintains our health is gaining prominence. Tissue regeneration, mechanical body parts, etc. seems like a reality in the near future. With the such gain in this field, bio-medical engineering is one of the hottest engineering courses today. So if you love science fiction with the mutilated body being regenerated, it is becoming a reality and you can play a big role by opting for biomedical engineering.

A biomedical engineer is a specialist who designs medical equipment with the help of engineering concepts. As a biomedical engineer, you will be working to help the medical specialist by conceptualizing, designing, and monitoring healthcare treatment, equipment, machinery, and therapies. You will research on medical engineering and come up with solutions. You will conceptualize, manufacture, test, and monitor these products and technologies.

Why become a Biomedical Engineering?

Biomedical Engineers are specialist engineers who apply the knowledge of engineering and design concepts in the field of medicine for healthcare. As a biomedical engineer, you will use design and problem-solving skills to design healthcare treatment and health monitoring equipment (for diagnosis, health monitoring, and therapy). As a biomedical engineer, you will also manage the current medical equipment within hospitals while adhering to industry standards. As a medical engineer, you will be responsible for the procurement, testing, maintenance, disposal, decommissioning, and purchasing of medical equipment. You will develop several medical devices from micro-implants to clinical equipment including MRI machines, regenerative tissue growths, imaging technology equipment, pharmaceutical drugs, etc.

Bioinstrumentation Engineer is a specialist who plans, designs, and produces devices and mechanics used to measure, evaluate and treat biological systems. This set of equipment includes MRI machines, imaging technology equipment, fitness trackers, optical instrument, lenses, glasses, etc.

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What does Biomedical Engineering do?

As a Biomedical Engineer, depending on your field of specialization, you would have the following roles and responsibilities:

  • You will design and develop different types of medical diagnostic equipment and procedures, and clinical instrumentation with the help of principles of engineering.
  • You will conduct research about the engineering aspect of the biological systems of humans and animals along with life scientists, medical scientists, pharmacologists, etc.
  • You will manage a team of engineers. You will create their schedules, you will track inventory, create a budget, utilize the budget as per the plan, and oversee contracts and obligations. You will work within the deadline.
  • You will design computer hardware and software for the purpose of medical science.
  • You will evaluate the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of medical equipment that you manufacture or produce.
  • You will design several biomedical equipment and devices including artificial internal organs, body parts replacements, diagnosing machines, etc.
  • You shall be responsible for the installation, adjustment, maintenance, and repair, and for providing any technical assistance and support for biomedical equipment.
  • You will train technicians and other medical personnel on how to properly use biomedical equipment.
  • You will prepare procedures and then write technical reports. You will also publish your reports and research paper and make a recommendation based on your research.
  • You will present scientific findings with other scientists, medical experts, pharmacologists, clinicians, hospitals, government, engineers, and the public.

How to become a Biomedical Engineering – Eligibility Criteria

To become a Biomedical Engineer, you may either do a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering / Medical Engineering / Biological Engineering/ Electronics Engineering / in a similar field. You may opt to do a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering / Medical Engineering after your bachelor’s degree.

Job Opportunities

  • If you are into production, then you may join as a production engineer trainee/ biomedical engineer.
  • If you are into sales, then you may join as an assistant sales manager/ sales representative.
  • If you are into teaching, then you may join a college or university with the profile of an assistant professor.
  • If you are into research, then you can join a research institute in the role of research associate and pharmaceutical companies as a research engineer.
  • Some of you may also join as service engineers.
  • If you are into scientific research, then you can join as a Scientist with a Grade “C”.

Different types of companies can offer you a job. Such as:

  • Leading biomedical instruments and equipment manufacturing companies like Biocon.
  • Biomedical artificial body parts, stents, etc. manufacturing firms.
  • Government Hospitals like AIIMS.
  • Private Hospitals and Clinics like Apollo Hospital, Max Hospital, etc.
  • Biomedical Engineering department of all IITs and Engineering colleges.

Work Environment

As a Biomedical Engineer, you would mostly work in the biomedical manufacturing sector. The manufacturing sector is may or may not be labor intensive but it is very sensitive and needs the highest level of precaution. Thus, you need to work on the ground with the uttermost care while coordinating with other engineers and scientists. If you are into scientific research or working in a scientific institute, you will work in an intensive environment with work related to developing new machines, and new body replacement parts.

Salary of a Biomedical Engineering

  • At the entry-level, as a Scientist (grade C) or Research engineer, you would be earning around Rs. 80,000 to 100,000 per month. As an assistant professor, you would be earning anything between Rs. 65,000 to 70,000 per month. As a production engineer, you would be earning anything between Rs. 20,000 to 2,00,000 per month. As a sales representative, you might be earning Rs. 25,000 to 100,000 per month. As a service engineer, you might be earning around Rs. 10,000 to 100,000 per month.
  • At the junior level with a work experience of 2-6 years, you would be earning anything between Rs. 40,000 to 3,00,000 per month.
  • At the middle level with an experience of 10-12 years, you would be earning anything between Rs. 1,40,000 to 1,90,000 per month as a scientist and Rs. 1,20,000 to 1,60,000 as a professor and as a production engineer, service engineer, etc. Rs. 80,000 to 4,00,000 per month. As a sales manager, you might earn around Rs. 60,000 to 3,00,000 per month.
  • At the senior level of over 15 years of work experience, you would be earning anything between Rs. 1,60,000 to 2,00,000 per month as a professor and Rs. 2,10,000 to 2,50,000 per month as a Scientist or research engineer. As a production engineer or service engineer, you would be earning anything between Rs. 1,00,000 to 5,00,000 per month.

Career progression in Biomedical Engineering profession

  • If you are into production and joined as a production engineer trainee. Soon, you would become a production engineer. You may be then promoted to production manager (Manufacturing) and then plant manager (manufacturing).
  • The career growth in university and college states from Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor, Professor and Professor Emeritus. Professors can also get administrative positions such as Director/Dean/Vice Chancellor, etc
  • Research laboratories will hire you as a scientist/scientist officer with the lowest grade and the grade changes from low to high. In India, grades are “Scientist “C” as the joining level and then D, E, F, G, H, etc. A senior-level scientist can also get into administrative positions like Principal Scientist, Assistant Director, Deputy Director, Director, etc
  • If you start a career as a sales representative or sales manager, then you may become a senior sales manager and then an area sales manager and then a regional sales manager. Some of you may even become VP of Sales.

The Indian biomedical or medical device industry size was USD 5.2 billion in 2017. It is expected to grow to USD 50 billion in 2025 at a rate of 28% per annum. That will be 10 times increment in 8 years. Around 86% of the devices are exported from India. Thus, even export plays a big role in this industry. Within the field, Orthopaedic prosthetics and patient aids segments are the fastest growing with over 9.6% and 8.8% per annum respectively. With such a high rate of increment and an excellent export record, the industry will offer many new jobs in the field.

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