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Career and Education Opportunities for Biomedical Engineers in Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for biomedical engineers. Currently, seventy people work as biomedical engineers in Alabama. This is expected to grow 27% to about eighty people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for biomedical engineers are expected to grow by about 72.0%. Biomedical engineers generally apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.

Income for biomedical engineers is about $34 per hour or $71,380 per year on average in Alabama. Nationally, their income is about $37 hourly or $77,400 yearly. Incomes for biomedical engineers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Engineering in Alabama, and not quite as good as the overall Engineering category nationally. Biomedical engineers work in a variety of jobs, including: biomedical field service engineer, imaging engineer, and clinical engineer.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can study to be a biomedical engineer, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Birmingham area. The most common level of education for biomedical engineers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become a biomedical engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical Engineer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, biomedical engineers apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.

Every day, biomedical engineers are expected to be able to think through problems and come up with general rules. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for biomedical engineers to advise hospital administrators on the planning and use of medical equipment. They are often called upon to set up and/or repair biomedical equipment. They also advise and help in the application of instrumentation in clinical environments. They are sometimes expected to layout and deliver technology to help people with disabilities. Somewhat less frequently, biomedical engineers are also expected to teach biomedical engineering or disseminate knowledge about field through writing or consulting.

Biomedical engineers sometimes are asked to layout and develop medical diagnostic and clinical instrumentation, equipment, and procedures, using the principles of engineering and biobehavioral sciences. They also have to be able to design models or computer simulations of human biobehavioral systems to obtain data for measuring or controlling life processes and research new materials to be used for products. And finally, they sometimes have to conduct research, along with life scientists and medical scientists, on the engineering aspects of the biological systems of humans and animals.

Like many other jobs, biomedical engineers must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
  • Computer Engineer. Research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.
  • Electrical Engineer. Design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
  • Electronics Engineer. Research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. Design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.
  • Fire Prevention Research Engineer. Research causes of fires, determine fire protection methods, and design or recommend materials or equipment such as structural components or fire-detection equipment to assist organizations in safeguarding life and property against fire, explosion, and related hazards.
  • Health, Safety, and Environment Manager. Plan, implement, and coordinate safety programs, requiring application of engineering principles and technology, to prevent or correct unsafe environmental working conditions.
  • Materials Engineer. Evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications. Develop new uses for known materials. Includes those working with composite materials or specializing in one type of material, such as graphite, metal and metal alloys, ceramics and glass, plastics and polymers, and naturally occurring materials.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.
  • Product Safety Engineer. Develop and conduct tests to evaluate product safety levels and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate hazards.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Biomedical Engineer Training

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Biomedical/Medical Engineering which graduated nineteen and eight students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.

For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.

Certified Water Technologist: The Certified Water Technologist (CWT) program represents the highest professional credential in the industrial and commercial water treatment field.

For more information, see the Association of Water Technologies website.

LICENSES

Engineer, Professional

Licensing agency: AL State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors
Address: P O Box 304451, Montgomery, AL 36130-4451

Phone: (334) 242-5568
Website: AL State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.