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Biomedical engineer

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Summary of occupation

Biomedical engineers work with medical professionals to investigate, research and design ways to improve health care and medical services. They apply scientific and engineering knowledge and methods to find solutions to problems in the treatment and prevention of human disease.

Biomedical engineers work with doctors and medical scientists to research new medical technology; develop and improve medical equipment, such as dialysis machines, or robotic surgical equipment; or design or modify rehabilitation equipment that may improve the quality of life for people living with a disability.

ANZSCO description: Applies knowledge and methodology of physics, engineering, mathematics, computing, physical chemistry and materials science to problems in biology and the treatment and prevention of human disease. Registration or licensing may be required.
Alternative names:
Specialisations:
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A biomedical engineer needs:

  • to be interested in the practical application of science and engineering
  • the ability to think logically and analytically
  • good problem solving skills
  • a high level of accuracy
  • good communication skills
  • to be able to work as part of a team.
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Working conditions

​Biomedical engineers usually work for hospitals, and may be required to travel between hospitals to manage and maintain medical equipment. They may be required to work shiftwork, including weekends and public holidays. They may be required to be on-call in case of an emergency.

Biomedical engineers may also work for laboratories, research facilities, universities or manufacturing companies.

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Salary details

​On average, biomedical engineers, classified under other engineering professionals, can expect to earn between $1 500 and $1 999 per week ($78 000 and $103 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

​Biomedical engineers may use computer-aided design (CAD) software, microcomputers and lasers to design and improve medical research equipment. They may also work with materials such as electronic components and biocompatible plastics and metals to build prosthetics and implantable mechanical medical aides such as pacemakers, insulin pumps, and artificial joints and limbs.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

​To become a biomedical engineer, you usually need to complete a degree in engineering with a major in biomedical engineering.

There are currently no courses in biomedical engineering available in Western Australia. You can complete degree courses at universities interstate. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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Biomedical Engineer Video Biomedical Engineer Occupation

Applies knowledge and methodology of physics, engineering, mathematics, computing, physical chemistry and materials science to problems in biology and the treatment and prevention of human disease. Registration or licensing may be required.

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