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Biomedical Engineering Major

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Biomedical Engineering

7,921 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
2,909 Master's Degrees Annually
#61 in Popularity
$113,680 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Biomedical Engineering Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many biomedical engineering graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 7,921
Master’s Degree 2,909
Doctor’s Degree 1,127
Graduate Certificate 21
Associate’s Degree 18
Basic Certificate 5

What Biomedical Engineering Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to bio engineering and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Bio Engineering Majors

Bio Engineering majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skills for Bio Engineering Majors

When studying bio engineering, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities for Bio Engineering Majors

As you progress with your bio engineering degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

What Can You Do With a Biomedical Engineering Major?

People with a bio engineering degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Architectural and Engineering Managers 5.5% $140,760
Biomedical Engineers 7.0% $88,550
Engineering Professors 14.7% $101,720

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering?

7,921 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
49% Percent Women
38% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 7,921 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering in 2019, making it rank #61 in popularity. Roughly 49% of the graduates are women, and 51% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Bio Engineering Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 1,595
Black or African American 293
Hispanic or Latino 757
White 4,118
International Students 568
Other Races/Ethnicities 590

Geographic Diversity

Bio Engineering appeals to people across the globe. About 7.2% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea
  • Iran

How Much Do Biomedical Engineering Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in bio engineering was $57,050 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $50,725 (25th percentile) and $63,400 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in bio engineering, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $95,090 to $148,970 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to bio engineering. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Biomedical Engineering Major  ( 95090 to 148970 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees 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.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to bio engineering have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 0.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 45.7%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 5.7%
Master’s Degree 26.5%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 3.2%
Doctoral Degree 13.0%
Post-Doctoral Training 5.4%

Online Biomedical Engineering Programs

In 2018-2019, 232 schools offered a bio engineering program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 4 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 0 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 7 1
Bachelor’s Degree 13 1
Post-Baccalaureate 4 0
Master’s Degree 166 6
Post-Master’s 4 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 127 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Biomedical Engineering Worth It?

The median salary for a bio engineering grad is $113,680 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 185% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,475,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to bio engineering.

Major Number of Grads
Mechanical Engineering 47,405
Electrical Engineering 31,384
Civil Engineering 21,938
Computer Engineering 15,891
Chemical Engineering 14,406
General Engineering 11,739
Industrial Engineering 9,410
Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering 7,069
Materials Engineering 3,538
Systems Engineering 3,491
Other Engineering 2,982
Environmental Engineering 2,850
Petroleum Engineering 2,269
Operations Research 1,745
Agricultural Engineering 1,554
Engineering Science 1,515
Architectural Engineering 1,019
Nuclear Engineering 1,014
Engineering Physics 979
Robotics Engineering 943
Manufacturing Engineering 932
Construction Engineering 865
Marine Engineering 481
Geoscience Engineering 424
Polymer & Plastics Engineering 387
Biological Engineering 374
Textile Engineering 366
Ocean Engineering 346
Mining Engineering 340
Engineering Mechanics 314
Metallurgical Engineering 235
Biochemical Engineering 118
Ceramic Engineering 101
Surveying Engineering 89
Electromechanical Engineering 65
Forest Engineering 52
Paper Science & Engineering 44
Engineering Chemistry 9

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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