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Biomedical Engineering

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Biomedical Engineering Major

Biomedical engineering is a major that typically falls into the Engineering category.

There are 7 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in bio engineering, 161 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 158 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 121 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Bio Engineering Degree?

In 2017, roughly 7,000 biomedical engineering majors graduated with a bachelor’s degree. This makes it #62 in popularity of all the majors we track. According to recent stats this major attracts about equal numbers of men and women. Roughly 46.1% of the graduates are women, and 53.9% are men.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of bio engineering majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 20.7%
  • Black or African American: 3.4%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 9.2%
  • White: 52.6%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 7.3%
  • Other Races: 6.9%
Biomedical Engineering Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in bio engineering. About 7.3% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending bio engineering majors to the U.S. are China, India and Saudi Arabia.

What Will You Learn as a Biomedical Engineering Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to bio engineering to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Bio Engineering Majors

A major in bio engineering should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

Important Knowledge Areas for Biomedical Engineering Majors

Skills for Bio Engineering Majors

Bio engineering majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

Important Skills for Biomedical Engineering Majors

Abilities for Bio Engineering Majors

Bio engineering majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

Important Abilities for bio engineering Majors

What Can You Do With a Bio Engineering Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with bio engineering:

Careers Related to Biomedical Engineering
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Biomedical Engineers



Architectural and Engineering Managers



Engineering Professors



Biomedical Engineering Major Salary

Average salaries range from $95,000 to $149,000 for careers related to bio engineering. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Bio Engineering Major  ( 95000 to 149000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Biomedical Engineering Major Jobs

Some careers associated with bio engineering may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for bio engineering careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Biomedical Engineering
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Biomedical Engineering Programs

There are 161 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, with 0 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.

Is a Biomedical Engineering Major Worth It?

The median salary for a bio engineering grad is $114,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 192% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,495,600 after 20 years!

biomedical engineering salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: UC Davis College of Engineering via License

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