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Biomedical Engineering Major

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Biomedical Engineering

2,909 Master's Degrees Annually
1,127 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#56 in Popularity (Master's)
$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
Master’s Degree 2,909
Doctor’s Degree 1,127
Graduate Certificate 21

What Biomedical Engineering Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, bio engineering majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the 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

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

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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

A major in bio engineering will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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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?

Below is a list of occupations associated with bio engineering:

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 Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering?

2,909 Master's Degrees Annually
45% Percent Women
29% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This major attracts more men than women. About 55% of the graduates in this field are male.

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 Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 445
Black or African American 82
Hispanic or Latino 212
White 1,137
International Students 872
Other Races/Ethnicities 161

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Bio Engineering. About 30.0% 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?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of biomedical engineering students with a master’s degree is $67,200 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $65,600 (25th percentile) and $72,225 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a bio engineering degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Bio Engineering majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $95,090 to $148,970 (25th to 75th percentile). 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, 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 careers associated with bio engineering require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

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

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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
Electrical Engineering 12,934
Mechanical Engineering 9,668
Civil Engineering 6,961
Computer Engineering 5,021
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
Biological Engineering 63
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

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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