What Is the Employment Outlook for the Biomedical Field?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted above average job growth for the two largest sectors in the biomedical field - biomedical technology and biomedical engineering. Read on to learn about the employment outlook and salaries for professionals in the field. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Employment Outlook for the Biomedical Field

The biomedical field is a blossoming industry currently experiencing a lot of growth. Employment levels for careers within this industry continue to increase, and show little sign of slowing down. Below are some specifics about two prominent careers within the biomedical industry.

Important Facts About Careers in the Biomedical Field

Biomedical Equipment Technicians Biomedical Engineering
Required Education Associate's degree Bachelor's degree
Professional Certification Voluntary; Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET) designation available through the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation Voluntary; Certified Reliability Engineer (CRE) designation available through the American Society of Quality
Key Skills Manual dexterity; physical endurance; troubleshooting ability; time management Creativity; analytical and critical thinking; strong mathematical foundation; problem solving
Similar Occupations General maintenance and repair workers; medical and laboratory technologists and technicians; aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians Biochemists and biophysicists; chemical engineers; physicians and surgeons

Employment Outlook for Biomedical Equipment Technicians

The BLS predicted that there would be 4% employment growth for biomedical equipment technicians over the 2016-2026 decade. There were approximately 47,100 medical equipment repairers employed in 2016, and the projected growth should result in approximately 49,100 employed in 2026. The BLS notes that job growth will be about average and is partly due to the aging population's need for more healthcare services, including testing that uses medical equipment. In addition, this equipment is complex and requires professionals to maintain and repair it.

Job Prospects

The BLS expects excellent opportunities for biomedical equipment technicians. New workers will be needed to fill the positions that open up due to employment growth and turnover. The BLS notes that you can improve your prospects with an associate's degree related to biomedical equipment. Rural areas should also have more opportunities.

Salary

In May 2018, the BLS reported that medical equipment repairers earned a median salary of $49,210 annually. Salaries for most workers ranged from $29,310-$81,970. Professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers employed a high level of workers and paid an average wage of $54,630. The electronic and precision equipment repair and maintenance industry paid an average wage of $54,570. Those working for general medical and surgical hospitals earned an average wage of $58,330.

Employment Outlook for Biomedical Engineering

For biomedical engineers, the BLS estimates job growth of about 7% between the years of 2016 and 2026. However, this field is small and only employed 21,300 professionals in 2016. The increasing number of Americans entering old age is expected to create sustained job growth for this career. Due to medical advances, there are new biomedical procedures and devices that patients demand.

Job Prospects

The BLS notes that very favorable prospects are expected for biomedical engineers because they have diverse training and can provide a variety of services. As technology continues to advance, there will be new activities these professionals can participate in. In addition, new workers will be needed to replace those who retire over the decade.

Salary Information

As of May 2018, the BLS reported a median wage of $88,550 for biomedical engineers. Most of these professionals earned $51,890-$144,350 per year. The medical equipment and supplies manufacturing industry paid an average wage of $93,560, while scientific research and development services paid an average wage of $101,140.

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