If you want to start a career in biomedical engineering, California is the perfect state to live and study in. California offers one of the best selections of biomedical engineering schools in the country. There are 17 total schools that have biomedical programs in California, ranging from as far north as Davis to as far south as San Diego. All 17 schools award Bachelor's degree in this field, and 16 of those schools also award Master's degrees in the field. With so many schools, it's clear that tuition rates are going to differ significantly. However, the average cost of tuition is $23,200 per year.
In order to become a successful part of the biomedical engineering community, you need to start with a great education. You'll need at least a Bachelor's degree, which takes most students between four and five years of full-time study. By the time you graduate, you must complete at least 120 credits.
There are many different goals of your school's engineering curriculum. They want you to be completely educated in the development of treatment, diagnosis, and monitoring therapies for various medical conditions. To this end, you'll take courses like Biotechnology, Biomaterials, Medical Imaging, and Biomedical Design.
Hands-on experience will take up roughly 50% of your learning time every semester. Your school's engineering lab has the materials you need to learn about how materials work together and how they work in different types of medical equipment. In general, plan on 10 hours of lab time per week; some semester may require more.
If you want to work as an engineering researcher after you graduate, use your undergraduate degree as an opportunity to do research. At the University of California, Berkeley, they have research groups in five different areas: bioinstrumentatio, biomaterials & nanotechnology, cell & tissue engineering, computational biology, and systems & synthetic biology.
With so many biomedical engineering programs in California, there are also many different tuition rates. Consider the schools in your area and choose a school that best fits your budget. One of the most inexpensive schools in the state is the University of California Riverside, where tuition is $3,740 for residents and non-residents alike. The University of Southern California is one of the most expensive schools in the state, with a tuition cost of $45,602 per year.
Since California is such a large state, there are many engineering scholarships you can apply for. The American Council of Engineering Companies California awards scholarships of $1,000 to $7,500 per year. You can also apply for the County Engineers Association of California Memorial Fund Scholarship.
The final step to take before working as an engineer in California is getting your license from the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists. You can take the Professional Engineer exam after paying a $125 application and examination fee. Earning a passing score on the PE exam allows you to become a licensed Professional Engineer.
Keeping up on your professional development is key in this field. You can do this by joining the California Society of Professional Engineers. You can maintain your education by attending classes and seminars that are only open to members. You may also wish to network at yearly meetings and banquets, as this can help you make connections that will further your career goals.