Biomedical Engineering vs. Bio Engineering

In this post, I would like to address a question that I have wondered about for the past few years, and bring this topic to my readers. I have already depicted what the biomedical engineering field entails in a previous post, but now I would like to address the specific differences and similarities between these two fields by summarizing an article I found written by UC Riverside.

What is Bio Engineering?

  • Bioengineering is the application of engineering to general biology
  • They focus on general theory that can be applied to many areas of natural sciences.
  • It includes many different branches, including agriculture, pharmaceuticals, natural resources, and foodstuffs, among others.
  • If you’re interested in big-picture ideas and creating new theoretical frameworks through which to approach biology, bioengineering could be for you!

What is biomedical engineering?

  • Biomedical engineering is a specialized area of bioengineering that puts many of the discipline’s principal theories into practice to improve human health.
  • It focuses on the production of new tools and processes that can be used in a health care context.
  • If you want to use established doctrine to improve health care by creating or operating advanced biotechnological products, then biomedical engineering might be for you!
  • *** To read more in-depth details about biomedical engineering go to the post titled, “What is Biomedical Engineering? ***

Educational Requirements for each:

  • A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for a career in either field
  • With a bachelor’s degree, you can expect to have access to entry-level engineering roles as well as to low- or mid-level leadership positions.
  • Pursuing a master’s degree after the bachelor’s degree is recommended.
  • With a master’s degree, supervisory and advanced research roles become more accessible, broadening the field of engineering.
  • Finally, it is not necessary to get a PhD for this career, as you can get many opportunities with a master’s degree. However, if you want to continue your education, it will open up the most prestigious research roles.

Curriculum for Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering

  • When we talk about these two fields, there’s a lot of overlap. At their core, both are grounded in a solid engineering curriculum. This includes all the quintessential engineering principles and, of course, a strong grounding in math like calculus, differential equations, and advanced statistics.
  • Moving further into the specialized part, you get a good dose of biology, and of course, other natural sciences like physics and chemistry. You wrap up the degree with a final project, often called a capstone project, which is a perfect way to show off your skills by creating something unique that solves a problem in biological science.

Skills for Bioengineers and Biomedical Engineers

  • Now, if you’re considering either of these fields, there’s a certain skill set you’ll need. It’s all about problem-solving and resilience in seeing projects through. But, even more than that, you’ll need to be eager to take on challenges head-on – this is a given in any engineering field, but it’s especially important here.
  • Decision-making is another huge aspect. It may not be as high-stakes as it is for medical practitioners, but the impact is definitely long-lasting. So, if you’re sure about your decisions and have these skills, then you’re all set to thrive in biomedical and biological engineering.

Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering Salary and Job Outlook

  • BME:
    • Average Salary: $89,500
    • Top 10% Salary: median of $117,500 per year
    • Job Outlook: Biomedical Engineering is expected to grow 13.5% between 2021 and 2031
  • BE:
    • Average Salary: $89,800
    • Top 10% Salary: median of $142,500 per year.
    • Job Outlook: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts 10% job growth for the field of bioengineering between 2021 and 2031

What do bioengineers and biomedical engineers do?

  • Bioengineer job description:
    • On a day-to-day basis, a bioengineer’s duties include designing, installing, maintaining, and supporting devices to inmprove daily life.
    • 3 specific areas of bioengineering include:
      • Bionics — The study of natural systems (such as those in living organisms) and applying that knowledge to the operation of mechanical systems
      • Agricultural engineering — The study of applying engineering concepts to resolve biological production issues pertaining to agriculture
      • Bioenvironmental engineering — The study of applying engineering principles to resolve environmental issues
  • Biomedical engineer job description:
    • The daily responsibilities of a biomedical engineer include many of the same duties of a bioengineer, but with a focus on health care and medicine
    • 3 specific areas of biomedical engineering include:
      • Bioinformatics — The practice of developing data collection and analytical tools
      • Biomechanics — The practice of applying mechanical engineering ideas to resolve medical issues
      • Biophotonics — The practice of light manipulation for imaging biological tissue properties

I hope that this post gives my readers a little more clarity on the differences and similarities between these two fields – because it really helped me!






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