Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers apply the principles of engineering to the human body. They may design, build and maintain medical equipment, or develop artificial body parts, drugs or computer programs to help treat disabilities, diseases, or injuries. Other biomedical engineers are involved with high performance sports and design devices to help athletes measure and improve their performance.

The main employers of biomedical engineers are:

  • Research institutes and universities
  • Public hospitals
  • Companies that design and manufacture biomedical products

Biomedical engineering is a small field in New Zealand, but the number of positions is likely to remain steady or grow as our aging population drives demand for more effective medical procedures and equipment.

Biomedical engineers generally earn: 

  • $45-55,000 starting salary
  • $70-120,000 with over 10 years’ experience

Key qualifications to become a biomedical engineer:

  • Bachelor of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Engineering or Engineering Technology in another specialisation, plus additional science subjects
  • Bachelor of Science or Biomedical Science
  • To work in a research role you will need a Master’s or PhD

Hands-on experience in electronics and/or in the healthcare industry could provide you with useful background knowledge and skills.

Required and recommended school subjects:

  • Calculus (14-17 credits at NCEA Level 3 for engineering)
  • Physics (14-16 credits at NCEA Level 3 for engineering)
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Statistics & Modelling
  • English
  • Technology subjects, especially Design & Visual Communication, Digital Technologies

Careers New Zealand: Biomedical Engineer

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Biomedical Engineer: People who work in this role

  • Michelle Dickinson

    Nanotechnologist, Michelle Dickinson at work

    Shravya Srigiri

    Implementation Consultant, Shravya Srigiri at work

    Samantha Oldfield

    Product Development Engineer, Samantha Oldfield at work

    Vicky Wang

    Bioengineering Researcher, Vicky Wang at work
  • Kate Moorhead

    Regulatory Manager, Kate Moorhead at work

Biomedical Engineer: Companies that employ people in this job role

  • Engineers Without Borders New Zealand
    Engineers Without Borders New Zealand
    Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
    Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

Futureintech is an initiative of Engineering New Zealand, funded by Callaghan Innovation