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Biological Engineering Major

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Biological Engineering

35 Master's Degrees Annually
27 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#272 in Popularity (Master's)
$99,410 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Biological Engineering Majors Are Getting

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

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 35
Doctor’s Degree 27
Graduate Certificate 1

What Biological Engineering Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to biological 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 Biological Engineering Majors

Biological 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills for Biological Engineering Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to biological engineering:

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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 Biological Engineering Majors

As you progress with your biological 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 Biological Engineering Major?

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

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Architectural and Engineering Managers 5.5% $140,760
Biochemical Engineers 6.4% $96,980
Biofuels/Biodiesel Technology and Product Development Managers 5.5% $140,760
Biomedical Engineers 7.0% $88,550
Engineering Professors 14.7% $101,720

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Biological Engineering?

35 Master's Degrees Annually
29% Percent Women
20% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major attracts more men than women. About 71% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Biological Engineering Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 3
Black or African American 0
Hispanic or Latino 1
White 18
International Students 8
Other Races/Ethnicities 5

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Biological Engineering, too. About 22.9% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

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

How Much Do Biological Engineering Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Biological Engineering majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $95,090 to $113,680 (25th to 75th percentile). 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 Biological Engineering Major  ( 95090 to 113680 )
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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 careers associated with biological engineering require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. 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 biological engineering careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 0.3%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.8%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 1.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 50.4%
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. 3.7%
Master’s Degree 24.5%
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. 1.9%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.7%
Doctoral Degree 11.5%
Post-Doctoral Training 3.6%

Online Biological Engineering Programs

In 2018-2019, 16 schools offered a biological 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) 1 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 0 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 0 0
Bachelor’s Degree 1 0
Post-Baccalaureate 1 0
Master’s Degree 7 1
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 10 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Biological Engineering Worth It?

The median salary for a biological engineering grad is $99,410 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 149% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,190,200 after 20 years!

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

Major Number of Grads
Electrical Engineering 12,934
Mechanical Engineering 9,668
Civil Engineering 6,961
Computer Engineering 5,021
Biomedical Engineering 4,057
General Engineering 3,449
Industrial Engineering 3,359
Chemical Engineering 2,897
Systems Engineering 2,639
Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering 2,163
Materials Engineering 1,863
Other Engineering 1,859
Operations Research 1,273
Environmental Engineering 1,117
Petroleum Engineering 537
Engineering Science 451
Nuclear Engineering 440
Manufacturing Engineering 412
Agricultural Engineering 338
Robotics Engineering 333
Construction Engineering 312
Engineering Physics 282
Architectural Engineering 247
Polymer & Plastics Engineering 205
Geoscience Engineering 176
Engineering Mechanics 168
Ocean Engineering 154
Mining Engineering 142
Textile Engineering 106
Metallurgical Engineering 51
Marine Engineering 48
Ceramic Engineering 30
Surveying Engineering 21
Electromechanical Engineering 17
Paper Science & Engineering 9
Biochemical Engineering 6
Forest Engineering 0

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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