Characteristics of a Biomedical Engineer


Biomedical engineers work at the intersection of engineering, medicine and science to design and build innovative life support devices, such as artificial limbs and organs, and improve health care processes. These individuals must often solve complex problems and apply advanced technologies to the complicated systems of living organisms. To be successful, biomedical engineers must have an advanced level of education and training. In addition, biomedical engineers will do well if they love math, chemistry, physics and engineering.


  • According to the Washington University Biomedical Engineering Society, entry-level biomedical engineering jobs require a four-year bachelor's degree, with many students continuing on to obtain master's and doctorate degrees. Students interested in research or teaching must obtain a graduate degree. Students can major in either biomedical engineering or a different form of engineering, such as chemical engineering, with a specialty in biomedical engineering.

Creativity and Inquisitiveness

  • Biomedical engineers must solve very complicated problems and deal with many safety restrictions necessary to protect living people. This means they must be very creative when designing new technologies and finding new solutions to problems. Biomedical engineers are often inquisitive, looking at the health care field with a desire to find and improve any inefficiency. The Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society lists creativity as among the personal characteristics of a successful biomedical engineer.

Analytical and Precise

  • Since biomedical engineers work with technology that doctors will use on, and in, humans -- lasers for eye surgery, for example -- this means engineers must produce products that meet high safety standards and do not overlook any potential issue or interaction. Precision and accuracy are key, because even a slight mistake can endanger lives.

Communication Skills

  • Biomedical engineers often work in a team-based environment. In addition, they must work with scientists and physicians to bring their products to the market. For these reasons, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends that biomedical engineers be excellent at both oral and written communication.

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