How To Become A Biomedical Engineer In Australia?

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Students want to know how they can become biomedical engineers in Australia.


Are you interested in engineering and willing to improve people's lives? Then, a career as a biomedical engineer can be ideal for you.


Biomedical Engineers apply knowledge of engineering, physical chemistry, materials science, computing, math, and physics to benefit the medical industry. They develop medical machines, computer software, and prosthetics that treat patients and enhance their lives, helping doctors and healthcare professionals.


To become a biomedical engineer in Australia, you must complete an Engineering bachelor's degree with a major in biomedical engineering. You may also consider completing a master's degree that can help with job opportunities.


This guide discusses the steps to becoming a biomedical engineer, what they do, the qualifications required, courses, degrees, job opportunities, how much they earn (salary), the skills they need, and more.



1. What Is A Biomedical Engineer?


Biomedical engineers use their knowledge of engineering and scientific methods to solve issues in medicine and life sciences.


They work at the intersection of biology, medicine, and engineering to enhance patients' lives with devices and equipment.


Biomedical engineers design surgical equipment, devices, tools, instruments, and prosthetics or develop drug therapies and software for medical practitioners.



2. What Tools And Technologies Do Biomedical Engineers Use?


Biomedical engineers use computer-aided design software, lasers, and microcomputers to design and enhance medical research equipment.


They work with biocompatible plastics, electronic components, and metals to develop prosthetics and implantable medical aides such as insulin pumps, artificial limbs, joints, and pacemakers.



3. What Do Biomedical Engineers Do?


Biomedical engineers analyse and design solutions to provide better patient care. Their most common day-to-day duties are as follows:


  • Apply their knowledge of technology and biology to design innovative healthcare devices that help improve people's lives worldwide.

  • Conduct research with chemists, biologists, and medical scientists to identify new materials to develop new drug therapies and solve clinical problems 

  • Use engineering principles to design and develop clinical instrumentation and medical diagnostic procedures.

  • Design prosthetics to substitute absent body parts

  • Teach biomedical engineering 

  • Develop computer simulations of human bio-behavioural procedures to obtain data to measure or control life processes

  • Enhance the performance of surgical systems and devices for safer medical procedures.

  • Assist healthcare professionals by designing computer software/ hardware for medical science applications

  • Evaluate the efficiency, safety, and effectiveness of biomedical equipment.

  • Train patients in using advanced medical technology, prosthetics, and biomedical equipment and offer them technical advice and support

  • Identify and understand bioelectric data with the help of signal processing techniques.

  • Write technical procedures and reports and publish and present research findings.

  • Design diagnostic equipment to assist healthcare professionals in supervising the health of patients.

  • Install and test medical equipment

  • Repair and maintain equipment

  • Carry out quality assurance and electrical safety checks on equipment.

  • May give lectures on the practical use of clinical equipment and electrical safety.



4. Biomedical Engineer Skills For Success


Biomedical Engineers usually require the following hard skills and personality traits to carry out their responsibilities efficiently:



Technical Skills


  • An interest in learning and applying scientific rules and methods

  • Firm grasp of engineering principles, mathematics, and science concepts 

  • Good understanding of medical sciences 

  • Able to work with advanced technology

  • Technical writing skills to write complex and structured research papers and technical instructions



Soft Skills


  • Good communication skills

  • Good observation skills

  • Able to take precise measurements

  • Patience

  • Imaginative

  • Aptitude for design

  • Analytical 

  • Good problem-solving skills

  • Good decision-making skills

  • Attention to detail

  • Good organisation and time management skills

  • Critical thinking skills to understand complex medical issues and develop new medical technologies 

  • Dedication 

  • Motivation 

  • Empathy



5. Biomedical Engineer Qualifications


You usually need a related bachelor's degree and work experience to work as a Biomedical Engineer. Here are the steps to qualify for this role:


  • Gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in one or more prerequisite subjects such as English, chemistry, physics, and mathematics 

  • Complete an engineering degree in biomedical engineering or an undergraduate degree in a related area such as physics, biomedical science, mechanical engineering, and electrical or electronic engineering.

  • Develop industry experience during or after your studies through medical or prosthetic design.

  • Applying for membership in Engineers Australia is beneficial.

  • Some states and territories may require you to register with a professional body to work in this role. 

  • Advance your career by studying for a Master's or PhD in Biomedical Engineering.



6. Steps To Become A Biomedical Engineer In Australia


Here are step-wise instructions on how to get started as a biomedical engineer:



Step 1: Complete A Bachelor's Degree


A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement to pursue this career.


You can consider completing an engineering degree with a major in biomedical engineering or an undergraduate degree in a related field, such as biomedical science, mechanical engineering, physics, and electrical or electronic engineering.


Biomedical engineering incorporates theoretical and practical components teaching the basics of medical sciences, such as:


  • Bioelectrics

  • Biomedical science

  • Human biology

  • Physics

  • Engineering

  • Computing

  • Mathematics

  • Scientific writing


A bachelor's degree helps develop a distinctive set of biomedical, engineering, and science skills you can apply to design new medical treatments, devices, and instruments. Moreover, it provides a pathway to study for a master's degree to qualify for senior roles or pursue a specialisation.


Below are the top Australian universities that offer this degree course:  




Step 2: Complete Internships And Gain Work Experience


Once you have the fundamental qualification, apply for an internship in medical supply and manufacturing, electromedical equipment, or other areas within the medical industry that aligns with your passions and goals.


Completing an internship is the best way to build valuable work experience that may provide you with knowledge and expertise in your chosen field.


Some of the tasks and duties you undertake as an intern are researching, building, and testing computer software, clinical equipment, and biomedical devices. The expertise and work experience you gain will improve your chances of securing a career in biomedical engineering.



Step 3: Consider Postgraduate Studies


The Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering provides you with the expertise to develop technologies and solutions in various healthcare-related fields that enhance human lives, including:


  • Implantable bionics

  • Medical devices

  • Drug-delivery system

  • Orthopaedic devices

  • Medical imaging and radiotherapy

  • Robotic surgery

  • Physical rehabilitation

  • Cell and tissue engineering


When completing this course, you gain the specialist skills needed to create new medical devices, treatments, and instruments. You can choose to specialise in varied roles, such as:


  • Clinical engineering 

  • Bio instrumentation

  • Biomechanics 

  • Systems physiology 

  • Rehabilitation engineering


Though the degree is optional to become a biomedical engineer, it makes you more desirable to potential future employers. It opens the door to more job opportunities.


The duration of a master's degree is between 1.5 and 3 years full-time. If you do any internships, you may gain an advantage with recognition of prior learning, which may shorten the course duration.




Step 4: Apply For A Biomedical Engineering Role


Biomedical engineering is a vast field where you can find various job opportunities based on your work experience and personal traits. 


With a formal qualification and work experience, you are ready to hit the job market and find your perfect job as a biomedical engineer.



Industry Bodies




7. What Are The Biomedical Engineering Requirements In High School?


To study for a university-level Biomedical engineering degree course, you must complete your high school in prerequisite subjects, including English, mathematics, physics, biology, and chemistry. Work hard to secure a high percentage to get into the top universities.


To qualify for a Bachelor of Engineering (Biomedical Engineering) (Honours) course at RMIT University, you need a biomedical engineering ATAR of 79.60. 



8. How To Become A Biomedical Engineer With A Biology Degree?


The University of Melbourne suggests two pathways to achieve your dream career in biomedical engineering.





9. How Much Salary Does A Biomedical Engineer Earn?


The average biomedical engineer salary in Australia can vary based on your education and work experience. Gaining postgraduate qualifications and more work experience may increase your salary as a biomedical engineer.


According to Pay Scale, the average biomedical engineer's salary is AU$ 66,379 per year or an hourly equivalent of AU$ 32.00.



Salary Based on Experience Level


  • Entry-level Biomedical Engineer (< 1-year experience): AU$59,999 per year

  • Early career Biomedical Engineer (1-4 years of experience): AU$65,563 per year

  • Mid-career Biomedical Engineer (5-9 years of experience): AU$79,535 per year. Experienced Biomedical Engineer (10-19 years of experience): AU$80,000 per year 



Highest-Paying Australian Cities For Biomedical Engineers


  • Sydney: $201,136 per year

  • Camperdown: $103,798 per year

  • Nedlands: $97,979 per year

  • Melbourne: $92,497 per year

  • Canberra: $88,409 per year



10. Working Conditions For A Biomedical Engineer


Biomedical engineers work in various healthcare settings to address a range of injuries and physical disabilities. They usually work in laboratories, advanced manufacturing centres, hospitals, government regulatory agencies and research facilities.


Some also work as a lecturer in universities or educational and medical institutions. Biomedical engineers work in teams with the following: anaesthetistssurgeonsphysiotherapistsspeech therapists, medical researchers, and more.


They usually work full-time and may require to work in shifts, including on public holidays and weekends. They may even need to be on-call in emergencies. The job may also involve travelling between hospitals to manage and maintain medical tools and devices.



11. Biomedical Engineering Jobs In Australia


After graduating as a biomedical engineer, you can find exciting careers in the expanding and vibrant medical technology and biotechnology industries. Some of these areas include:


  • Medical equipment and device manufacturing and design 

  • Biomedical instrumentation industries

  • Medical and healthcare services

  • Med-tech entrepreneurship

  • Engineering consultancy

  • Research and development (in one of Australia's most extensive research and government-funded industries)

  • Implant engineering

  • Nanotechnology

  • Biotechnology


Biomedical engineers work in a variety of settings, including:


  • Public hospital-based engineering departments (servicing and optimising equipment)

  • Defence sector companies

  • Start-up firms 

  • Companies that develop medical devices, instruments, and medical service technology.

  • Private medical and pathology laboratories

  • As a researcher for universities, state and federal government departments, or private companies

  • As a regulator in government organisations

  • As a Rehabilitation biomedical engineer in rehabilitation centres

  • Some even work self-employed as consultants or run their company. You will find significant financial support to set up your company provided by governments.



12. Specialisation Opportunities


A biomedical engineer can further study to specialise in Humanitarian Engineering, Biocomputation, Bionics and Bioelectronics, Biomedical Modelling, Thermofluids, and Nanoscale Biotechnology to pursue the following specialist roles:


  • Bio-Engineer

  • Clinical Engineer

  • Rehabilitation Engineer

  • Biomedical Engineer

  • Medical Engineer



13. Job Prospects Of Biomedical Engineer In Australia


ANZSCO Occupation Group: 233913 Biomedical Engineers


Biomedical engineers design and manufacture everyday innovations thought once as being impossible. 


They are also behind some of the greatest inventions that have enhanced the way of living. Some are cochlear implants, bionic organs, heart pacemakers, heart assist pumps, heart valves, MRI scanners, hip and knee replacement, robotic limbs, laser surgery, and implantable medical devices.


Biomedical engineers also work on future technologies that improve and save people's lives. These include tissue-engineered organs and tissues, data-oriented solutions like e-medicine, and external medical devices such as augmented reality technology and medical imaging equipment.


According to Labour Market Insights, biomedical engineering is one of the fastest-growing branches of engineering in Australia. The employment of biomedical engineers is estimated to grow faster than the average for all occupations.


Since the ageing baby-boom generation stays active and lives longer, there is an increased demand for biomedical procedures and devices such as hip and knee replacements.


Furthermore, with increasing awareness of medical advances, many people will continue to seek biomedical solutions to solve health issues.


Thus, the rising need for healthcare and technological advances indicates high growth and limitless future opportunities for future biomedical engineering innovations.



Working Arrangements


Around 90% of employed Biomedical Engineers work full-time for an average of 42 hours per week. (All jobs average: 44 hours per week).



Primary Industries For Employment


  • Health Care And Social Assistance: 39.9%

  • Professional, Scientific, And Technical Services: 13.5%

  • Wholesale Trade: 12.8%

  • Manufacturing: 12.6%

  • Other Industries: 16.2%



Percentage of Employment Across Australia


Victoria and New South Wales have the largest share of employment.


  • New South Wales: 35.9%

  • Victoria: 28.6%

  • Queensland: 13.7%

  • South Australia: 8.8%

  • Western Australia: 9.5%

  • Tasmania: 1.2%

  • Northern Territory: 0.5%

  • Australian Capital Territory: 1.7%



Worker's Age and Gender Profile


  • Average Age (in years): 38 (all jobs average: 40 years)

  • Female Share: 15% of the workforce (all jobs average: 48%)



14. Conclusion


Biomedical engineers play a noble role in helping people live healthier and longer lives. The profession allows you to use your knowledge and skills to care for patients.


Aspiring biomedical engineers should know that it can be a challenging yet rewarding career to pursue. You may need immense dedication to be a successful biomedical engineer. Still, the reward you receive from assisting patients and scientific breakthroughs is satisfying.


If your passions suit the role of a biomedical engineer, you will find the process of becoming one easy.


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