Biomedical Engineer

Job Description:

Develop medical products, such as artificial joints and hearing implants, using engineering principles.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

Your day-to-day will include tasks such as:

  • Install, adjust, maintain, repair, or provide technical support for biomedical equipment.
  • Develop new applications for energy sources, such as using nuclear power for biomedical implants.
  • Diagnose and interpret bioelectric data, using signal processing techniques.
  • Advise and assist in the application of instrumentation in clinical environments.
  • Manage teams of engineers by creating schedules, tracking inventory, creating and using budgets, and overseeing contract obligations and deadlines.
  • Analyse new medical procedures to forecast likely outcomes.
  • Keep documentation of service histories on all biomedical equipment.
  • Conduct research, along with life scientists, chemists, and medical scientists, on the engineering aspects of the biological systems of humans and animals.
  • Develop models or computer simulations of human biobehavioral systems to obtain data for measuring or controlling life processes.


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • knowledge of biology
  • knowledge of physics
  • the ability to read English
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You need a degree to become a biomedical engineer. Relevant subjects include:

  • biomedical science or engineering
  • electrical or electronic engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • physics.

Many employers require at least a 2:1. If you’d like to gain chartered status, you should make sure that your degree is accredited.

Having an accredited degree can help with securing a job or getting onto specific training courses.

Once you’ve completed a degree you’ll be able to apply for work in the private sector, at research units, or medical equipment manufacturers.

School Subjects

To become a Biomedical Engineer in the UK, you should focus on GCSE subjects that provide a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Biomedical Engineering is a multidisciplinary field that involves applying engineering principles and techniques to solve problems in biology and medicine. Here are the recommended GCSE subjects to pursue:

  1. Mathematics: Mathematics is a core subject for engineering disciplines, including Biomedical Engineering. It is crucial for complex calculations, data analysis, and problem-solving in various biomedical engineering applications.
  2. Biology: Biology provides essential knowledge of the human body, physiology, and biological systems, which are fundamental in biomedical engineering projects.
  3. Physics: Physics offers principles related to mechanics, optics, and electricity, which can be applied to medical imaging and other biomedical technologies.
  4. Chemistry: A good understanding of chemistry is beneficial for understanding biomaterials and their interactions with biological systems.
  5. Design and Technology: This subject can provide insights into engineering design principles, materials, and the use of machinery, which are applicable in biomedical engineering projects.
  6. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Familiarity with digital tools and software is essential for data analysis, modeling, and simulations in biomedical engineering.

Working Hours and Environment:

  • Working hours are mainly 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
  • If you’re involved in research you may work in a flexible environment, and longer hours may be necessary at certain stages of a project.
  • On practical grounds, safety and maintenance work on hospital equipment is likely to be performed out of hours.
  • Part-time work is available and career breaks are possible.

Career Path & Progression:

There are three main areas that a biomedical engineer may work in:

  • industry
  • health care
  • research.

If you choose to go into research, your career path will typically involve a PhD in biomedical engineering, followed by a role at a university or academic institute as a lecturer or researcher.

If you wish to work in industry, you can move into a job after your degree and start to work your way up. Senior posts may offer roles in:

  • management
  • marketing
  • production
  • quality assurance
  • research
  • technical advice.

There may be scope for international work if a company has branches in multiple countries.

A career path in public health care has a clearer structure in the early years. A willingness to relocate later in your career may be needed to progress to more senior roles.

Career prospects are reasonable and movement between hospital-based jobs and those in the healthcare industry is possible in either direction. However, those moving into the public health care must obtain registration with the necessary organisation.

In terms of progression to more senior roles, you could expect to manage a department with responsibility for medical equipment and technical staff across a regional area.