Medical Equipment Engineers and Technicians
If you have already considered the field of engineering, you might want to take some time to think about specialising as a medical equipment engineer or technician. Through a unique combination of biology and medicine, a medical engineer designs and creates special devices to handle medical issues and challenges in the health care field.
While some medical equipment engineers will work in research with various health professionals, others will assess and investigate different systems and products that are used in health care. For instance, a medical engineer might design or improve upon artificial organs or perhaps create a better prosthesis. Medical engineers even work in systems applications, where they may develop more secure or effective information systems such as those used in medicine and health.
Your Education for a Career in Medical Equipment EngineeringTo really excel in a career as a medical equipment engineer, you will need at least an undergraduate degree in one of the engineering specialties but you should aim for a graduate degree for the best; salary, job stability and choices for a working environment. Your educational background can involve mechanical engineering or you might prefer the technology field, where you can train in electronics engineering. Not only that, but you will also receive training in the biomedical sciences, which means you will focus on areas such as orthopaedic engineering or biomechanics.
As mentioned, a graduate degree is ideal; in fact, some entry-level engineering positions will require a graduate engineering degree. You will take courses in medicine, computer technology, physics, mathematics and many others. You will also likely have a practical component to put the theoretical learning into practice.
The United Kingdom (UK) has a breadth of choices for engineering courses, particularly those geared to the medical profession, so you should have no difficulty finding options for your studies.
Employment Prospects as a Medical Equipment Engineer or TechnicianBiomedical engineering is one of the most rapidly advancing fields in health care right now. Most engineers in the health care field are employed in pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing areas or they work in instrumentation and supplier aspects of health care. Some, however, work in hospitals, particularly those in the area of orthopaedics. There are also engineers who work independently or in research.
As our population ages and the morbidity and mortality from diseases and their complications increases, the demand for better medical equipment and devices is rapidly growing, particularly in hospitals and for home use. Tissue engineering and the use of computers for surgeries means that highly advanced and sophisticated equipment and methods are needed. Biomedical engineers fill the need for effective equipment and programs to improve our health care.
Salaries for medical equipment engineers and technicians vary but technicians work in a more supportive role and will make less than engineers. A biomedical engineer usually makes a minimum of £30,000 but this can climb to substantially more, growing to £50,000 or more each year.
If engineering is an area you enjoy but you also have a passion and interest in medicine, you should think about embarking on a career as a medical equipment engineer or technician. You will have the opportunity to train in a field that brings new, more advanced equipment to help improve and save lives.