What is an online Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering?

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Biomedical engineer testing new medical devices and equipment.

The perfect marriage of engineering, biology and design, biomedical engineering is a dynamic and vital application of these principles. By utilizing and creating cutting-edge medical tools and technology, biomedical engineers play important roles in improving the general public’s health and well-being.

With such responsibility, many of these professionals pursue an advanced degree to further enhance their expertise. Here’s what you need to know about pursuing an online master’s in biomedical engineering:

What can you learn?
As the name implies, biomedical engineering combines principles from both engineering and medical sciences. Biomedical engineers apply these principles to design and produce equipment, devices, procedures, systems, and software used in health care. As such, a master’s degree in biomedical engineering introduces students to these practices, teaching them how to develop prosthetics, pacemakers, robotic or laser surgery devices, diagnostic, therapeutic and physical therapy equipment, medical imaging, and other devices and systems.

At Rutgers University, this program also teaches students how to apply these concepts with strong critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, setting them up with the tools and resources to be influential and innovative biomedical engineering professionals.

Are there areas of specialization?
There are several specialty areas within biomedical engineering, which is why many master’s programs often offer courses or electives dedicated to particular specializations. While developing medical devices or optimizing systems is usually the end goal, the specializations are often segmented by the health issues the tools concern. Some examples are:

  • Bioinstrumentation: Developing the tools used to diagnose and treat medical issues.
  • Biomaterials: Using biological or synthetic materials to create medical devices.
  • Biomechanics: Applying mechanical principles to develop devices that improve mobility.
  • Clinical engineering: Optimizing medical equipment, devices, systems, and health care delivery.
  • Neuroengineering: Developing medical devices related to the body’s nervous system.
  • Pharmaceutical engineering: Developing new drugs, treatments, and manufacturing procedures.

The Rutgers biomedical engineering online program explores six critical areas of the field, including:

  • Biomaterials and tissue engineering
  • Biomechanics and rehabilitation engineering
  • Computational bioengineering, and biomedical imaging
  • Molecular, cellular, and nanosystems bioengineering
  • Neuroengineering
  • Physical systems and bioinstrumentation

What kind of skills are required in biomedical engineering?
Along with specialized knowledge, a master’s program can enhance the skills necessary to succeed in biomedical engineering roles. For instance, advanced problem-solving skills allow biomedical engineers to handle issues in complex biological systems. Strong communication skills make for clear collaboration with patients and teams of fellow engineers and scientists. Creating innovative advances in medical instruments and designing effective health care solutions are also highly valuable skills in the biomedical engineering industry.

Your biomedical engineering master’s degree can also hone your ability to:

  • Apply advanced math skills.
  • Conduct research.
  • Install, maintain, and repair biomedical equipment.
  • Follow proper safety practices.

What are the advantages of online learning?
When you choose to pursue your biomedical engineering master’s degree online, you can embrace the flexibility of distance learning. All you need is a computer and strong Wi-Fi connection to go to class, which means you can learn from anywhere, according to your own schedule. This freedom also means you can balance your studies with personal and professional commitments, continuing to work and spend quality time with family and friends as you complete your degree. Plus, your current employer may even be interested in sponsoring your advanced degree, and perhaps even offering you a more senior engineering role once you finish the program.

At Rutgers, you can rest assured that you’ll receive the same quality education – without ever needing to step foot on campus. You’ll enjoy small class sizes and benefit from online interactions with faculty and peers from around the world. You can also choose to start when it’s most convenient for you, shaping your education to meet all of your needs.

Where can a biomedical engineering master’s degree take you?
With new technologies and medical innovations always on the brink of changing the industry, biomedical engineer graduates can expect a positive career outlook. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted biomedical engineering roles to grow as fast as the national average for most occupations, with 1,500 jobs to be added to the workforce between 2016 and 2026.

Biomedical engineers often pursue roles such as:

  • Biomedical Electronics Technician
  • Biomedical Equipment Technician
  • Biomedical Product Specialist
  • Biomedical Equipment Support Specialist
  • Device Development Engineer
  • Medical Device Engineer
  • Research Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Automation Engineer
  • Analytical Methods Development Scientist
  • Lead Biomedical Engineer
  • Biomedical Manager
  • Engineering Supervisor
  • Product Development Director
  • Biomedical Engineering Director

Titles, responsibilities, and salaries will of course vary slightly depending on the company or industry. The BLS reported that the average biomedical engineer salary is $88,040, with the highest 10 percent earning annual incomes of more than $142,000.

Many biomedical engineers apply their skills in areas such as research and development, physician offices, pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers, and academia. According to the BLS, the average salaries for the top industries include:

  • Research and development in physical, engineering, and life sciences: $95,980
  • Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing: $94,480
  • Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing: $88,190
  • Health care and social assistance: $74,210
  • Colleges, universities, and professional schools: $61,990

While the industry you choose certainly dictates potential job opportunities and income, earning an advanced degree in biomedical engineering can open doors to more senior roles and higher salaries regardless of where you apply your expertise.

Is a master’s in biomedical engineering right for you?
With all that said, a master’s program in biomedical engineering is ideal for those looking to augment and specialize their current knowledge. Many students in these programs have undergraduate degrees in engineering or life, physical, or biological sciences. As such, pursuing a master’s degree in biomedical engineering makes the most sense for those who already have a background in the field. While job opportunities are available with only a bachelor’s degree, advanced programs are designed for those who are ready for more. For instance, leading rather than merely contributing to a research team generally requires a graduate degree.

Why Rutgers biomedical engineering?
If biomedical engineering is the academic and professional path for you, consider pursuing your advanced degree at Rutgers. You can work directly with faculty on independent research projects for priceless hands-on experience. Plus, you’ll have access to the same engineering courses and professors as the on-campus program. With ties to the world’s leading pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology corporations, as well as world-class professors and a growing alumni network, the Rutgers online biomedical engineering program can provide you with the tools and resources for success in your courses and well beyond.

When you’re ready to add Rutgers to your resume, reach out to an advisor for more information about enrolling in the online Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering program.

Recommended Readings:

Rutgers Online Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering Video

Enrollment and Executive Coaching at Rutgers Online



Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering by Rutgers Online

Biomedical Engineers by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Online Master of Biomedical Engineering by Find Your Context

Biomedical Engineers by ONET Online

Biomedical Engineering Master’s Degree Average Salary by PayScale