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Biomechanical Engineering Degree

How to Become a Biomechanical Engineer?

The First Step: It Begins at High School

A successful biomechanical engineer is proficient in math and science. Therefore, while still in school, take as many advanced level (AP) math and science courses as possible. Make sure to do well in these courses, since these courses will better prepare you for college classes in biology and engineering.

What more to Take at High School

You should take at least one year of physics, chemistry and biology, and if possible AP versions of these classes. Furthermore, enroll in as many pre-calculus, trigonometry, geometry and algebra classes as possible. Next, talk to your teachers or guidance counselors and find out whether you school has a partnership with a local community college. If possible, enroll in advanced science and math courses in your local community college. These courses will help you better prepare for biomechanical engineering program. And while you’re at community college, audit classes in science or math. This is will be a great opportunity for you to learn some of the more difficult concepts in biomechanics before enrolling in a bachelor’s degree in biomechanical engineering.

While still in high school, you need to take courses in computers. Computer programming is an essential skill for biomechanical engineers. You can begin to learn computer programming by taking an introduction to computer programming course. This course is widely offered at high school level. Furthermore, if available, also enroll yourself in drafting or computer-aided drafting courses. Drafting is an important part of an engineer’s job.

In addition to math, science and drafting, you should also take communication and English courses. Good communication skills are essential for biomechanical engineers since they talk to a variety of people and write reports. If you have a knack for foreign languages, then knowing a foreign language can help you in international assignments. Knowing a foreign language, for example, Spanish, can help you apply for jobs in Central and South America, and Europe.

Bottom Line: Get a well-rounded education in high school. Biomechanical engineers are problem solvers focusing on a wide range of issues. Therefore, only a well-rounded education can help you become a successful biomechanical engineer.

The Second Step: College

Biomechanical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in biomechanical engineering, bioengineering or biomedical engineering in order to enter the occupation. Bear in mind, however that whichever degree you choose to pursue, it must be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET).

As mentioned earlier, college and university level degrees exclusively in biomechanical engineering are not offered by a variety of schools in the US. Therefore, potential biomechanical engineers have the following degree options to choose from:

·         Bachelor of Science: Biomechanical Engineering (BS:BME)

·         Master of Science in Engineering: Biomechanical Engineering (MSE:BME)

·         Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

·         Master of Science in Bioengineering (MSBioE)

·         Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD)

Bachelor of Science: Biomechanical Engineering (BS:BME)

A bachelor’s degree in biomechanical engineering provides fundamental understanding of mechanics in the fields of medicine and biology. A 4-year degree, it is typically pursued by those who are interested in pursuing a career in biomechanics, and future graduate studies in medicine, bioengineering or related fields.

Some of the courses offered within this degree are:

·         Medical Device Design

·         Soft Tissue Mechanics

·         Cardiovascular Biomechanics

·         Biomechanics of Movement

·         Skeletal Development and Evolution

·         Imaging Anatomy

·         Medical Device Innovation

·         Form and Function of Animal Skeletons

Master of Science in Engineering: Biomechanical Engineering (MSE:BME)

The MSE:BME program typically takes 2 years to complete. It is an engineering and math intensive degree. This however does not mean that students are confined to math and engineering courses only. They can take courses in the life sciences as well.  The MSE:BME degree, in general, takes an interdisciplinary approach towards its curriculum.

Some of the courses offered in the MSE:BME degree are:

·         Introduction to Bioengineering Research

·         Tissue Engineering Lab

·         Medical Device Design

·         Biodesign Innovation: Concept Development and Implementation

·         Biodesign Innovation: Needs Finding and Concept Creation

·         Microfluid Device Laboratory

·         Biomechanics of Hearing, Speech and Balance

·         Mechanics of the Cell  

·         Mechanics of Growth

·         Modeling and Simulation of Human Movement

·         Computational Methods in Cardiovascular Bioengineer

·         Biomechanical Research Symposium

·         Biomechanical Engineering Research Seminar

Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD)

Biomechanical students can enroll in a doctorate degree in bioengineering or mechanical engineering. However, a PhD specifically in biomechanical engineering is rarely offered in the US.

Salary & Job Prospects

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not have data on biomechanical engineers. However, BLS has detailed statistics on biomedical engineers.

As of 2014, the following percentage of biomedical engineers was employed in the following industries:

Hospitals; private, local and state


Instruments manufacturing, including control, electromedical, measuring, and navigational


Medicine and pharmaceutical manufacturing


Research and development in the life sciences, engineering and physical sciences


Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing


The following salary statistics from BLS are true as of May, 2015 and show a projected job growth from 2014-24.

Biomedical Engineers






Total, all occupations



A degree in biomechanical engineering may not be offered widely. This is because biomechanics is still largely treated as a field of biomedical engineering. Biomechanical engineers, nevertheless, play a very important role in the provision of a first-rate, functional medical and healthcare system. 

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