How to Get into Medical Device Engineering
If you’re looking for a career in an exciting, growing field with plenty of room for advancement and high salaries, then medical device engineering might be the right fit for you.
So how do you get started?
In this post, we’ll go over what medical device engineering entails, what kinds of jobs are available in this field, why they’re so popular right now, and whether or not it’s worth pursuing for you—all so that when the time comes for you to make a decision about your career path, you can do so thoughtfully.
What Does a Medical Device Engineer Do?
Medical device engineering is the application of engineering principles to the design, development and manufacturing of medical devices. It is a specialized field that requires an understanding of both mechanical and electrical engineering, as well as knowledge of materials science and other disciplines. This field encompasses many kinds of devices, including diagnostic equipment, surgical tools and equipment, and surgical implants.
Is It Hard to Get into Medical Device Engineering?
Spoiler alert: getting into medical device engineering is more challenging than some other professions. But that’s why it’s such a fruitful, rewarding and esteemed path to take. It’s a formidable field, and you’ll have to have some key components in order to get in.
First, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related subject— this can be from any accredited college or university.
Second—and this is where things get tricky—you’ll need good grades and test scores (specifically GREs). A medical device engineering degree will give you the skill set to succeed in this challenging field, but even with that knowledge, it will take hard work and perseverance. But if you’re already considering this career as an option for you, we’re sure you have the requisite traits to be a successful engineer.
A Day in the Life of a Medical Device Engineer
While the specifics will always depend on your employer, specification and experience level, most medical device engineers spend most of their time in an office or lab. Still, they also travel to meet with clients and even patients.
A typical day in the life of a medical device engineer might look something like this:
- Whether you’re commuting to the office or booting up your laptop at home, you’ll most likely start your days off by taking stock of your priorities for the day—checking emails, seeing what meetings you have on your plate and determining what tasks need to be tackled before end of day.
- As a medical device engineer, your day-to-day responsibilities can vary greatly and often change throughout your workday. Flexibility is an essential soft skill every medical device engineer needs to stay productive.
- Depending on what phase you’re in on a project, your daily duties will differ. In the conceptualization phase, you may brainstorm how you want a product to perform and what challenges you’d like this to address. If you’re in the development phase, you’ll be conducting a lot of troubleshooting and problem-solving as issues arise. Once the development is complete, it’s time for verification testing, approval and putting your product to market.
- Another significant aspect of the job is rigorous documentation—from the smallest design change to any major decision. Do your due diligence so you have a solid explanation as to why your product is the way it is.
What Kinds of Medical Device Engineering Jobs Are in Demand?
You can get a job as a medical device engineer in many different industries, from aerospace to automotive. You’ll also have options for where you work, as many styles of medical devices need to be made and tested.
Your specialization will depend on your interests and skills. However, regardless of your choice, the median annual salary for this profession is $91,000, which is higher than other related fields like biomedical engineering ($76,000) and industrial engineering ($65,000).
Why Choose a Career in Medical Device Engineering?
There are many benefits to choosing a career in medical device engineering:
- It’s a growing field: The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demand for medical device engineers will grow by 20% through 2022, making it one of the fastest-growing occupations on their list.
- It’s high-tech: Medical device engineering is an exciting and challenging field with some of the most cutting-edge technologies available today. You’ll be able to use your knowledge and skills to help improve people’s lives while bringing new products onto the market at lightning speed.
- It’s stable and secure: When you work in this field, there aren’t many things that can happen where you don’t know what your next step will be. You’ll know exactly how many hours per day you’re working (and when they’ll be) and what kinds of tasks need to be done during that time. The whole thing runs smoothly, thanks to the field’s predictability which means less stress overall.
The Three Keys to Getting Hired as a Medical Device Engineer
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a medical device engineer, there are three elements to getting hired.
1) Education and Certifications
Medical device engineers need a solid educational background and some certification to be desirable in the hiring market. As we mentioned, your education can come from an engineering school or even one of the many online schools like Udacity that offer relevant degrees.
Once you’ve finished school and passed all exams required by your state, it’s time to choose a specialization within medical device engineering. Specializations help employers know what skills are needed for each position since different jobs require different skill sets based on what type of work is being done within each role type.
Like in most professions, it’s critical to follow the golden rule: network, network, network. Whether through your school network or peers, be sure to leverage the contacts of those you know to increase your chances of getting your foot in the door.
Take the Next Step in Your Career
Ready to take the next step in your medical device engineering career? Zing Recruiting is here to help. Our team of expert recruiters exists to support people like you in finding jobs that are a perfect fit for their career and personal goals. Contact us today to get started!