Career Prospects in Medical and Healthcare Technology
Health authorities in the UK are among the largest employers in Europe and are supported by a large and diverse industrial sector supplying diagnostic and monitoring equipment, orthopaedic devices and artificial organs. The mix of professional engineering and health-related skills acquired will enable you to pursue a wide choice of careers in this dynamic and growing sector.
Job prospects for qualified medical engineers are excellent – salaries are above average, with top engineers paid the same as hospital consultants.
Opportunities exist in a wide variety of roles. Many are employed in commercial and manufacturing organizations designing and developing medical devices; some specialize in sales and marketing; while others are employed by hospitals where they work with clinicians to provide care for patients. Still others may be employed in research and development facilities, pioneering the technologies which today might seem unrealistic, but tomorrow may be common-place. However, no matter the specific nature of the role, one factor remains consistent; namely, that medical engineering is interesting, multi-disciplinary and fast moving. Medical engineers therefore need to be 3 people with advanced knowledge and skills, who have a good appreciation of developments in the clinical and biological fields.
Medial engineers may be employed on a wide variety of projects. For example, not only may they specialize in the development of superior artificial joints, they may also develop advanced surgical devices and procedures which enable surgeons to carry out hip or knee or any joint replacement operations more effectively. Other engineers may specialize in medical imaging, developing better ways to see inside the human body without harming patients. Still others may focus on the emerging field of tissue engineering, which involves culturing human cells to grow new body parts. Medial engineers therefore need to be flexible and willing to absorb new ideas – in medical engineering nothing stays still for very long.
In the UK two professional institutions the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) overseas medical and clinical engineering courses. Further information on the role of Medical Engineers is available on the following websites: