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Biological engineering degree jobs: All of your options

A biological engineering degree gives you the opportunity to find jobs in manufacturing, research, and development.
Written by Melissa Sartore on

The interdisciplinary nature of biological engineering, often referred to as bioengineering, leads to jobs in healthcare, business, education, and government.

Biological engineering blends engineering and biology coursework. A degree in biological engineering can prepare you to work as a physician, manufacturing engineer, biomedical scientist, or researcher.

What is it like to work in a biological engineering job?

Biological engineering degrees blend coursework in engineering theory with classes in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Bioengineers work for private and public companies to solve problems facing the environment and our health. Biological engineers take on challenges such as carbon sequestration and providing access to clean water.

Bioengineers develop pharmaceuticals, cell and gene therapies, and create medical equipment to improve the health of humans, plants, and animals. Biological engineering jobs extend from hospitals and clinics to the labs and conference rooms of leading manufacturing companies across industries. Remote work for bioengineers remains limited. 

Biological engineering jobs require analytical, math, and problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and knowledge of laboratory processes and practices. 

How much money can you make in biological engineering?

According to Payscale, the average base salary for a biological engineer in 2021 was over $73,000. Biological engineering is projected to add more than 19,000 new positions from 2020 to 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Top-paying biological engineering degree jobs are in general bioengineering and biomedical engineering settings. The BLS reported that Individuals who worked in navigational, measuring, and control instrument manufacturing earned median annual wages of over $104,000 in 2020. Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing professionals earned median annual wages approaching $95,000 during the same year. 

Payscale indicated that biological engineering salaries increase significantly with experience, peaking for mid- and late-career professionals. Earning a graduate degree alongside professional engineering licensure can boost your overall earning potential. 

What can you do with a biological engineering degree?

Bioengineers can find employment in research and manufacturing. Biological engineering degrees can open doors to positions in medicine, engineering, and information technology. Below is a sample of the kinds of jobs you can find with a biological engineering degree.

Biomaterials developer

Biomaterials professionals focus on natural and laboratory-designed materials to use in medical equipment and implants. Biomaterials developers research the use of biomaterials in laboratory settings to create and test new materials. They collaborate with fellow scientists and developers to contribute to the manufacture of projects that use biomaterials. Biomaterials developers may specialize in types of materials like metals, ceramics, and polymers.

Biomedical scientist/researcher

Biomedical scientists and researchers study how the body works to gain insight into preventing and treating disease to improve human and animal health. Biomedical scientists and researchers work at pharmaceutical companies, healthcare facilities, and educational institutions. They create, test, and assist in manufacturing medical compounds and equipment. Within the field of biomedical science and research, individuals may specialize in areas like statistics, software, and genomics. 

Cellular, tissue, and genetic engineer

Cellular, tissue, and genetic engineers use biological materials to create, modify, and improve existing organisms and products. Cellular engineers clone and create cells, while tissue engineers restore, maintain, and improve damaged tissues. Genetic engineers change, rearrange, and eliminate genes in living organisms. 

Cellular, tissue, and genetic engineers work in healthcare organizations, with pharmaceutical companies, and as part of manufacturing teams. They collaborate with biomedical and biochemical engineers and geneticists.

Computational biology programmer

Computational biology programmers write software to assess biological data. They also build models for experimental data, developments for data analysis, and create bioinformatics databases. As individuals who transition biomedical and biological problems to computational problems, computational biology programmers know programming languages like Python, C++, and Javascript.

Laboratory technician

Laboratory technicians carry out research using biological material. They collect blood, cells, tissue, and other samples to carry out tests. The clinical nature of their work requires attention to detail, patience, and knowledge of complicated technologies. Laboratory technicians log test results, prepare reports, and collaborate with researchers.

Rehabilitation engineer

Rehabilitation engineers design and manufacture devices and equipment to aid in rehabilitation and for use by persons with disabilities. Rehabilitation engineers integrate mathematics, engineering, and biomechanics principles into their work. They work with fellow engineers and rehabilitation professionals to develop devices to facilitate mobility, aid in communication, and adapt workplaces to employee needs. 

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