Biomedical engineering is one of the fastest-growing sectors of engineering. With the demand for health care services continually increasing, more and more biomedical engineers are needed to make innovations in lifesaving medical technology. A career as a biomedical engineer usually requires a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering or a closely related discipline.
According to a 2010 study released by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, half of biomedical engineering graduates earned between $50,000 and $62,000 during their first year of employment. The average starting offer for biomedical engineering graduates was $54,291. This was a higher starting salary than for architectural engineering ($49,626), civil engineering ($51,758) and agricultural engineering ($52,585), but lower than for most engineering disciplines surveyed. The highest average starting pay, $74,799, was reported in petroleum engineering.
Starting Pay by Industry Sector
As of 2010, biomedical engineers who accepted jobs with medical device manufacturers reported an average starting salary of $55,917, while those hired by pharmaceutical manufacturers reported an average starting salary of $64,500. Biomedical engineering majors hired by scientific research and design firms earned an average first-year salary of $54,667. Those hired by state and local government agencies reported a low average starting salary of $30,000, while those employed at the federal level started at an average salary of $47,000 for their first year.
Eventually, biomedical engineers tend to earn far beyond their starting salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2012 that half of American biomedical engineers made between $67,440 and $111,610 per year, and the profession had an overall average salary of $91,200. It also turns out that scientific research and development firms eventually offer the biggest paycheck, at an average of $100,780 per year.
In addition to competitive salaries in the field, aspiring biomedical engineers should be heartened to learn that the job outlook for the profession is excellent. From 2010 and 2020, jobs for biomedical engineers are expected to grow by 62 percent, over four times as fast as the average 14 percent growth rate that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects for the American economy. And biomedical engineering is reportedly one of the most satisfying jobs in the market, topping CNN Money's 2012 list of the best American jobs.
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