As the US population ages and continues to focus on cutting health care costs through automation, medical engineering employment is forecast to grow by a whopping 72% and is listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as one of the fastest growing occupations through 2018.
Starting salary range
Starting medical engineer salaries range from $40,337 (Louisiana) to $60,249 (California)*.
A medical engineer's median salary is $80,402 and maximum medical engineer salaries top out at over $99,000**. Mid-sized firms tend to pay more than smaller companies, according to Payscale's Median Salary by Company Size Charts
Opportunities for advancement
Medical engineers can advance through experience and education. They can advance to project leaders, project managers, and production management roles and may accelerate advancement by earning an advanced degree in engineering or business. Medical engineers with Ph.D.s may advance to teaching and research roles at universities.
Benefits and perks
Paid time off, health care, pension, education reimbursement, sick days, insurance, bonus, and taxes increase the total compensation package by an average 30.2%**, bringing the median total medical engineer compensation to $122,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Salary negotiation tips
Negotiating salary can be tricky. Large institutions (hospitals, government health agencies, or private companies), typically set up a salary range (or salary band), so the organization will have a little room to move on salaries (about 5-10%). Smaller organizations are less likely to have as much wiggle room on salary. Either way, don't expect an employer to give you a higher salary just because you ask. Instead, prepare a well documented justification and stay within the organization's salary range for the specific position so you'll have a good chance at getting the salary increase you're targeting.
Your greatest ability to negotiate salary is when you have options. Interview with a number of private companies, hospitals, federal/state/local government health agencies, and universities. In addition, do your homework – get salary information online with AOL Jobs Salary Center or from staffing and recruiting firms in your industry. Sometimes just having research on average salaries for your local market may provide rationale for a higher salary.
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* According to www.payscale.com.
** According to www.salary.com