According to the US Department of Labor, Biomedical Engineers “advance knowledge and technology in engineering, biology and medicine, and combine engineering sciences with biomedical sciences and clinical practice. Biomedical engineers develop devices and systems that advance biology and medicine, and improve medical practice and health care provisions. They work cooperatively with biologists, life scientists, chemists and medical scientists to develop products, such as prostheses, instrumentation and medical information services, for use in the biology and medical-related fields.” 

Biomedical engineers are employed by places including hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, consumer products companies, medical device and testing companies, government agencies, universities in research and academia, and medical schools. The department at Columbia prepares students for careers in areas such as the medical device industry, engineering consulting, biomechanics, biomedical imaging, and biotechnology; graduate studies in biomedical engineering or related fields; and attendance at medical or dental school.

Biomedical Engineering Job Search

While some large organizations may recruit in the Fall semester, many others will seek full-time hires on an “as needed” basis. The key is to start your search early so that you do not miss opportunities. Use resources like the professional associations listed below to apply to positions and seek out networking opportunities, attend CCE’s Engineering Career Fair and Engineering Industry Showcase, and pay attention to your departments’ emails and your LionSHARE saved searches. Most managerial and top research positions require a masters degree, and a doctorate is required to pursue a career in academia. California and Massachusetts have the largest number of biotechnology companies. Other states with a large number of biotechnology companies include North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New York, Texas, and Florida.

Columbia Resources

    External Resources

    Professional Associations

    Internship/Job Boards 

    • Navigate the Circuit: A career webpage by the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
    • Pathways to Science: To find programs such as undergraduate summer research opportunities, graduate fellowships, postdoctoral positions, as well as resources and materials pertaining to recruitment, retention, and mentoring
    • American Academy for Advancement of Science: A resource list of AAAS career development programs
    • National Science Foundation REU Sites: The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation
    • List of BME summer programs (research/internships)
    • BME Career Alliance: Internship and job posting database from the BME Career Alliance. BME students at CU can email Professor Hillman for assistance locating discount access codes. Also shares free resources here for career research
    • BMES Job Board: Internship and job posting database from the Biomedical Engineering Society
    • EMBS Job Board: Internship and job posting database from the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
    • Engineering Jobs – Biomedical: A very broad range of jobs specifically limited to biomedical engineering opportunities
    • Hum-molgen: A specialty site dedicated to collecting available career positions in bioscience and medicine
    • Research Gate: A network dedicated to science and research. Connect, collaborate and discover scientific publications, jobs and conferences
    • Engineering Central: Lists engineering positions and resumes across all engineering disciplines
    • A broad-scale engineering job-search engine that many companies use to find new talent

    Professional Journals 

    Top Employers

    • Boston Scientific
    • Bristol-Myers Squibb
    • Celgene, Genentech
    • Genzyme
    • Johnson & Johnson
    • Kimberly Clark
    • Mayo Clinic
    • Medtronic
    • Merck
    • Colgate-Palmolive
    • Pfizer

    The Columbia Biomedical Engineering Department and the Sloan Cornerstone Career Center host lists of other employers to explore. See what Columbia students have gone on to do with their degree with CCE’s What Can You Do With A Degree in Biomedical Engineering tipsheet.