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.

Salary Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), biomedical engineers earned an average hourly wage of $43.84, which amounted to an average annual income of $91,200, as of May 2012 (www.bls.gov). The top ten percent of these workers made upwards of $139,450 per year, while the bottom ten percent made $52,600 or less per year.

Salary by Industry

The highest-paying industry was scientific research and development services, which had an average annual income of $100,780 in May 2012, according to the BLS. Offices of physicians paid the second highest salary of $100,270. The highest biomedical engineer employment level was found in the medical equipment and supplies manufacturing industry, which had an average salary of $92,200. Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing also had a high employment level, and the average wage was $92,030.

Salary by Location

According to May 2012 figures from the BLS, average salaries for the five states with the highest biomedical engineer employment levels were $101,570 for California, $96,070 for Massachusetts, $94,110 for Texas, $83,890 for Pennsylvania and $103,440 for Minnesota. The highest average wages were found in Colorado ($104,550), Minnesota ($103,440), California, Virginia ($97,790) and Massachusetts. Lower-than-average earnings of $58,380-$74,030 were found in states that included Arizona, Nebraska, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina and Oklahoma.

Salary by Experience

PayScale.com reported how biomedical engineer salaries varied by experience in January 2014. The salary ranges were as follows:

  • Less than a year: $40,709-$79,631
  • 1-4 years: $46,796-$79,852
  • 5-9 years: $50,650-$97,752
  • 10-19 years: $57,566-$121,624
  • 20+ years: $49,833-$127,477

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. In May 2012, the industries with the highest levels of employment for biomedical engineers were medical equipment manufacturing, scientific research services and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

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