Biomedical engineers are medical problem solvers. They apply their engineering knowledge, in collaboration with chemists and other scientists, to create medical instruments, prosthetic limbs and artificial organs. They also design systems for conducting medical tests and recording medical information. For their work, they are generously compensated. The U.S. Department of Labor studied biomedical engineer salaries in 2006, and set the average salary for biomedical engineers at $56,770. The survey indicated that the highest paid biomedical engineers brought home an average salary of $118,730. The lowest earners, likely encompassing entry level workers with little experience, made $43,410.
Salary by Education and Experience
As is the case with all science and engineering based careers, opportunities as well as salaries increase with education and experience. Many fields restrict employment to those applicants with advanced degrees, but there is still some room for entry level candidates, especially in sects where opportunities outweigh candidates. The U.S. Department of Labor found entry-level, bachelor's degree candidates earning an average of $52,000 in 2006. Candidates with a Master's of Science jumped to nearly $66,000. Doctoral level biomedical engineers earned over $75,000. According to researchers at PayScale.com, biomedical engineers have the potential to nearly double their salaries as they gain experience. Their 2008 assessment put biomedical engineer salaries for candidates with one year of experience at around $50,000, with those with 20 or more years experience earning close to $90,000. With four years of experience, salaries increase by $6,000 to $8,000 per year. After five to seven years, candidates are earning an average of $65,000. At 10 years, salaries increase to $75,000 and trend upward from there.
Salary by Industry
Bioengineers who are employed by state and local governments earned the lowest salaries, according to researchers at PayScale.com. They brought in average salaries of $45,000 in 2008. Federal government bioengineers fared better at $69,000. Private contractors and consultants made the highest salaries, averaging $72,000. Colleges and universities employees earned close to the national average at $55,000, while non-profit employees brought home $64,000. Private companies and biomedical engineering firm employees also trended above average, with average salaries of $69,000. These statistics are sum totals, not broken down by education or experience and represent median figures.
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