Getting a job in the medical products area is typically more difficult than in the consumer field for a number of reasons. Although growing the medical products industry is relatively small compared to the consumer product industry. Engineering hiring managers at large corporations tend to require more experience because of the high risk involved in creating a medical product. They can afford to be choosy because they get a lot of applications. Smaller companies are less demanding but will still put a premium on experience because errors that can be absorbed by a large corporation can sink a small one. They would also be much more interested if you demonstrate skill in one of the traditional engineering fields. Remember you are not only competing against other BME’s but are also competing with traditional engineers with several years of experience because they have in depth knowledge in a particular engineering field critical to the position. An internship or co-op experience is definitely a plus because it gives you insights and skills. They increase your attractiveness if you perform well, fit into the culture and there are current openings in the company you are interested in. Recent graduates from traditional engineering fields will also be sending resumes in an attempt to expand their possibility of being hired. See Mechanical and Electrical Engineers Graduating in 2007 vs. Job Projections
Look at it from the hiring managers point of view. What would you want to see if you were hiring an engineer to help develop a project that your future career depends on? Who would you have hired for that senior project if it had been for real? What, in addition to your biomedical background, would you have wanted an engineer to know? How much more could you have contributed if you had more mechanical engineering knowledge, more manufacturing knowledge, more electronics knowledge, more knowledge of programmable controllers, chemical engineering, more hands on, etc.? So how do you get this experience or knowledge?
Don’t let your expectations get in the way of considering entry level jobs that will help you work up to your goal. Keep those resumes going to the larger biomedical corporations but also take a close look a the smaller companies that produce the subsystems or competing low cost, high quality products. There are a number of them. Positions as field service engineers, and product specialists continue to be available in a number of medical product areas. Two or three years of work experience in the electronics, software, computer, wireless companies that sell medical products or product used in a medical facility by medical staff or in a medical facility working to maintain medical equipment would be a way of bolstering a resume and will give you a fall back position. Entrepeneurial startups that are created by professors or graduates students would be another way to go. I would not overlook manufacturing. Knowing manufacturing processes is a key ingredient in designing a product. Test engineering and quality control positions provide important insights into the product development process. Sales or sales support of medical equipment can also be a way of entering a medical device corporation if you are particularly talented or experienced in this area. Sales personnel are often the source of product ideas within a corporation. They pick up ideas from the medical professionals or are the first contact. Sales support engineers would typically have access to the product development personnel.
Read what professionals in the field have to say Biomedical Industry Feedback
Potential medical device related hiring and internship sites in several states are listed in posts found on the page linked below. I have also included advice and links showing how you can use the medical device site information. I have this information for every state. It is available at a nominal fee to support this blog. Contact Form
Here are a few potential medical device related companies that you can call to see if they are hiring or offer a internship. Don’t overlook general manufacturing experience such as assembly, testing, etc. in other industries. The key is to get your hands dirty and show what you can do.