What Is the Average Salary of a Bioengineer?

Bioengineers help design medical devices. Keep reading to learn more about a career in bioengineering, along with the average salary and job outlook for this occupation. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Description

Bioengineering is a term used interchangeably with biomedical engineering. This research-intensive career focuses on solving health and medical problems by designing and developing useful procedures or devices with engineering principles. These professionals normally work in the medical industry alongside doctors and medical scientists.

An education in bioengineering may lead you to a career creating life-saving devices and systems, such as medical instruments, prostheses and artificial organs. Other devices you might create include imaging systems and insulin injection machines. In college, you typically focus on another engineering specialty in addition to your biomedical education. Such specialties may include electronics, mechanical, medical imaging, orthopedic and bio-materials engineering.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Math, reading, listening, and science skills; ability to solve problems, communicate with others, and analyze data
Work Environment Varies; hospital, manufacturing, laboratory, and office settings are common
Similar Occupations Biochemist, chemical engineer, mechanical engineer, sales engineer

Salary Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), biomedical engineers earned an average hourly wage of $44.12, which amounted to an average annual income of $91,760, as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov). The top ten percent of these workers made upwards of $139,350 per year, while the bottom ten percent made $52,680 or less per year.

Salary by Industry

The highest-paying industry was employment services, which had an average annual income of $114,080 in May 2014, according to the BLS. Basic chemical manufacturing paid the second highest salary of $104,630. The highest biomedical engineer employment level was found in the medical equipment and supplies manufacturing industry, which had an average salary of $96,610. Scientific research and development services had the second highest employment level, and the average wage was $103,030.

Salary by Location

According to May 2014 figures from the BLS, average salaries for the five states with the highest biomedical engineer employment levels were $102,880 for California, $92,530 for Massachusetts, $66,890 for Indiana, $79,070 for Pennsylvania and $112,740 for Minnesota. The highest average wages were found in Minnesota, New Jersey ($104,150), California, New Mexico ($96,770) and Texas ($96,290). Lower-than-average earnings of $65,680-$76,280 were found in states that included Michigan, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina and Oklahoma.

Salary by Experience

PayScale.com reported how biomedical engineer salaries varied by experience in September 2015. The salary ranges were as follows:

  • 0-5 years: $45,211-$84,788
  • 5-10 years: $50,156-$106,146
  • 10-20 years: $51,104-$121,628
  • 20+ years: $50,796-$121,511

Job Outlook

The BLS predicted that 27% employment growth for biomedical engineers between 2012 and 2022. This is a much faster than average growth when compared to other occupations. The expected increase in demand is due in part to a rising aging population, which has a greater need for healthcare.

As healthcare becomes a bigger focal point, there will be a greater demand for the medical equipment that bioengineers create. Additionally, employment growth will be spurred by a need for better and more cost-effective equipment.

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