Biomechanical engineering is a field of engineering that combines mechanical engineering principles plus biological knowledge. The goal of this engineering field is to use these two principles together to improve the quality of life today.
Biomechanical engineering is a sub-discipline of biomedical engineering. You can expect to work in medical, sports and rehabilitation industries once you become a biomechanical engineer. Since it is a subset of biomedical engineering, some degree programs will offer this together. Just like other engineers, biomechanical engineers need a solid foundation of math and science principles. Further, biomechanical engineers should have a strong background in biology too.
Becoming A Biomechanical Engineer
Do you want to make a difference in this world? You can become a biomechanical engineer and help improve people’s quality of life today. How can you become one? Preparation must start when you are still in high school. You should have good grades in math and biology. Further, you must also practice your communication skills because this will be important when you try to apply for managerial positions in the future.
After high school, you must pursue a bioengineering degree program from an accredited engineering school. The degree program should be approved too. Courses under a bioengineering degree include mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and engineering fundamentals. The minimum requirement for entry-level positions is a bachelor’s degree. Engineers are strongly advised to pursue graduate degree programs after their bachelor’s degree. This is how they can specialize in biomechanical engineering and become a professional biomechanical engineer.
During college, it is important that you gain as much experience as you can through the internship program. Bioengineering degree programs require students to complete practical work hours in order to complete the entire coursework. This work experience will be helpful when you start to apply for jobs. After you graduate, prepare for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam. This is given by the National Society of Professional Engineers.
After getting your Engineer In Training license, focus your efforts in gaining more work experience so you can qualify for application of the Professional Engineer license. This is a license required for all engineers that are offering their services to the public. Having this license is important in your career as it shows employers that you are skilled and knowledge in the field of biomechanical engineering. The exam you will prepare for is called the Principles and Practice of Engineering Examination.
When you pass the exam and earn the title of Professional License, education will not stop. There are states that will require you to complete continuing education courses to retain your license. Even without this requirement, it is always best that you do continuing education to keep up with the new technology and discoveries in biomechanical engineering.
The bachelor’s degree in bioengineering is only for your engineering degree. For the medical training, you will get it from pursuing a master’s degree specializing in biomechanical engineering. Now, if you want to focus on a career in research, you will have to pursue a doctorate later on.
The Work Of A Biomechanical Engineer
What are the job duties of a biomechanical engineer? Biomechanical engineers have to conduct research alongside fellow engineers, life scientists, medical scientists and chemists. The research focuses on biological systems. Biomechanical engineers use this research to design and develop technology that can help people with disabilities. They develop biomedical equipment to improve quality of life. These engineers have to keep all documentations. Biomechanical engineers have to education and train clinicians on the proper use of the biomedical equipment made.
Biomechanical engineers have to ensure the effectiveness, safety and efficient use of the biomedical equipment. They have to forecast possible outcomes before allowing the public to use the equipment. Biomechanical engineers also research new materials that can be used for biomedical products like artificial organs.
There are about 15,280 biomechanical engineers employed in the US right now. The median annual wage is $84,780 while the median hourly wage is $40.76. Being under biomedical engineering, the employment outlook is expected to grow by 62% until 2020. This equates to around 9,700 new jobs.
There is a good demand for biomechanical engineers due to the aging population. More biomedical devices and procedures are needed to be done. As the public becomes more aware of medical technology, they also seek biomedical devices to improve their quality of life.
Possible Careers To Pursue
Most of the biomechanical engineers work on researching and developing biomedical products. But, there are specific careers that you may want to focus on starting with the medical field. The medical field highly needs the services of biomechanical engineers due to the increasing number of sickness and disabilities. Biomechanical engineers working in this field focuses on mechanics and mechanobiology of cells. Medical biomechanical engineers try to focus on preventative medicine that treats diseases. Further, they also design medical implants and devices used for cardiovascular illnesses. You can specialize in speech and balance, soft tissue mechanics, cell mechanics and hearing biomechanics in this field.
Biomechanical engineers can work in rehabilitation by developing corrective devices to patients with different disorders. Children and adults suffering from musculoskeletal, motor function and brain disorders can use these corrective devices. A rehabilitation biomechanical engineer has to study the sensory systems and neuromuscular system to determine the best approach to treating an injury. In addition, they improve corrective devices with the help of robotic technology.
Biomechanical engineers can work in the sports industry too. In sports, athletes have high chances of obtaining injuries especially in contact sports. More than this, biomechanical engineers are needed to develop devices and equipment that may help in improving the performance of an athlete. Sports biomechanical engineers study kinesiology and physics to better understand the human body and how it moves. Through the application of mechanic principles and studying sports anatomy, biomechanical engineers help athletes do what they do better. To work in this field, a master’s degree is required. Biomechanical engineers can work for sporting gear manufacturers, a sports franchise team or work in research institutes.