Biomedical Engineer Vs Pharmacist

Biomedical engineering and pharmacy are great career fields out there. If you are unsure whether to become a biomedical engineer or become a pharmacist, this post is for you. Before choosing any field as your career, it is imperative to understand the job description. Having a clear idea about the job description would help you know whether the career field is right for you or not.

Here we have talked about duties, responsibilities, education requirements, qualifications, salary, and other important things about both these job positions.

Biomedical Engineer employee

Biomedical Engineer

The biomedical engineering career field is all about the combination of engineering principles with medical & biological sciences. As a biomedical engineer, your duty will revolve around designing and creating equipment, devices, computer systems, and software used in healthcare.

Biomedical engineers use their knowledge and skills to develop new procedures. Apart from this, their duty also includes installing, adjusting, maintaining, repairing, and providing technical support for biomedical equipment. Designing and developing the biomedical equipment is not enough; they are responsible for evaluating the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of the biomedical equipment as well.

Duties & responsibilities

Duties & responsibilities are an essential part of the job description. Understanding them correctly would help you know whether the job position is right for you or not. Here are the essential duties and responsibilities of biomedical engineers:

  • Design biomedical equipment and devices
  • Install, adjust, maintain, repair, and provide technical support for biomedical equipment
  • Evaluate safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of biomedical equipment
  • Liaising with medical, engineering, and scientific staff
  • Training staff to use equipment properly
  • Undertaking relevant research

Education requirements & qualifications

To become a biomedical engineer, it is essential that you fulfill all the education and qualification requirements. The first step in becoming a biomedical engineer is getting the degree. First of all, you need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, bioengineering, or a related engineering field. Apart from this, postgraduate qualifications can benefit you.

When choosing an educational program to become a biomedical engineer, make sure to choose one that’s accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET). Experience is also essential when becoming a biomedical engineer. Depending on your college or university, you may receive internships with hospitals and medical device manufacturers.

Required skills

Here are the essential skills required to become a biomedical engineer:

  • Critical thinking
  • Communication skills
  • Writing skills
  • Computer skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to empathize with patients
  • Teamworking skills


Like a pharmacist, biomedical engineering is also a well-compensated profession. The salary would vary depending on the factors like your experience, skills, education, etc. On average, biomedical engineers in the United States make $88,550 a year.


Pharmacists are healthcare professionals whose major responsibility is to dispense prescribed medications and review them. People often think that dispensing prescribed medications is the only job task pharmacists perform, but this isn’t true. Apart from dispensing prescriptions, their main responsibility is to ensure patients’ safety.

The duties and responsibilities of pharmacists vary depending on the type of pharmacy you work in. Different types of pharmacies include retail pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, ambulatory care pharmacy, compounding pharmacy, consulting pharmacy, etc. Depending on your skills and interests, you need to choose the pharmacy type.

Duties & responsibilities

As we have seen, the job task of pharmacists is not limited to dispensing medications. Here are the important duties and responsibilities of pharmacists:

  • Prepare medicines after reviewing and interpreting patients’ orders
  • Dispense prescriptions
  • Counsel patients
  • Communicate with prescribers
  • Ensure patients’ safety
  • Work with patients on general health
  • Manage staff
  • Perform administrative tasks

Education requirements & qualifications

To become a pharmacist, you are required to focus so much on your education and working hard. First of all, you need to obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from a pharmacy program accredited by the Accreditation Council for the Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Once you complete the pharmacy education, your next focus should be on getting the licensure. Depending on your state, pharmacist license requirements will vary. You must pass NAPLEX (North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination) by the North Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). Apart from this, most states also require candidates to pass MPJE (Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam).

Required skills

To work as a pharmacist, you need to have the following skills:

  • Focus on quality
  • Productivity
  • Analyzing information
  • Attention to detail
  • Administering medication
  • Communication skills
  • FDA regulations


Pharmacist’s salary vary based on the factors like experience, skills, pharmacy type, certification, etc. The average pharmacist salary in the United States is $128,090 a year.

Biomedical engineers design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software used in healthcare. Talking about pharmacists, they dispense prescribed medications and ensure patients’ safety.

Biomedical engineering and pharmacy both are well-compensated career fields. Before selecting between biomedical engineer and pharmacist professions, it is imperative to have a clear idea about the job description. Without that, you will have difficulty understanding the duties and responsibilities of the career option.

Biomedical Engineer OR Pharmacist

We didn’t want you to only take our word for it on this so we went out and gathered the opinions of professionals off of forums, websites, and sub reddits. This information was all curated so nothing has been changed except any spelling or grammar where needed.

Real Professional Opinions

1. Regulator1245 “You can do both” – You can do both! Go for your undergrad in biomedical engineering and then go to grad school to pursue pharmacy because half of those science classes that you will taking for biomedical engineering will get you into pharmacy school. Now, if you do make it into pharmacy school and you discover you don’t like it, there is always a possibility for you to get you graduate degree in biomedical engineering. As far as job security wise, you don’t ever have to worry about not being in a job because these jobs are in demand!

2. Ranger1847 “Chemicals or Equipment” – I think as far as future prospects go both would be in high demand. And as far as salary goes both of them will be very high so it is truely whether or not you want to work with chemicals or mechincal equipment.

3. Filips Moro “Biomedical Engineer” – I am a  biomedical engineer and she’s a 5th year medical student. You should have a different way of thinking to study medicine and to study biomedical engineering.

As a medical student first you need is to remember a lot of things, really a lot!…especially during first two years. Only if you’ll remember them you will be able to logically understand further material during 3–6 years, but guess what – you will need to remember a lot…anyway. Plus, you must have a skill to analyze all this information parallelly because almost every problem with people health is – complex…and very complex.

As a biomedical engineer (if we are speaking about someone who is responsible of medical devices etc.) you need to have such a way of thinking when you are able to understand some basics of any field and then using your brain and technical logics to create a solution – not to remember that, but to create it by your own. That is a very important skill, because using it you can solve problems even if you see any system, machine, analyzer, device or whatever for the first time. Of course, it’s good if you have some deep knowledge in some fields of science, not only basics! But as a modern engineer you need to be able to combine not only 1 or 2 specializations, but 4, 5, 6 and more, because only then you can solve complex problems that other people can’t.

But honestly – I worship a medical profession. These people (mostly) are very smart, they are always getting new knowledge and improve their brain. They help other people not to die, to be healthy and with a lot, a lot, a lot of other things – to do so you really need to be smart and…to remember a lot of things! I wouldn’t be able to do so…



Danielle Winner

Hello my name is Danielle Winner. Welcome to my site on Pharmacy School and tips and tricks to hopefully help you get in. It's not easy but hopefully you can learn to not make mistakes that students (myself included) make. Good luck on your journey. I graduated from Albany School of Pharmacy in May 2010 and have had a few different jobs across the east coast of the U.S.

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