Best Cities for Biomedical Engineers

Best Cities for Biomedical Engineers

Biomedical Engineering is one of the top up-and-coming fields in the US job market. recently ranked it as the 2nd Best Job for 2013 due in large part to its projected growth trend, as companies race to create healthcare improvements for the aging Baby Boomer population.

For a deeper look into the biomedical engineering field, ValuePenguin decided to rank the top U.S cities for biomedical engineers to consider for the best career prospects. We ranked U.S. cities based on three key questions:

1. How much money do biomedical engineers make in the city?

While a high annual salary is more important to some people than others, we think it's fair to consider average annual pay as a substantial factor in the decision making process for biomedical engineers looking for work. Of course, a high salary in an expensive city may not outweigh a lower salary in an affordable town. That's why we posed our second question...

For More Information: Biomedical Engineer Salary

2. How expensive is it to live there?

In conjunction with the average annual salary for a particular city, cost of living helps determine how far your dollar will go for items you'll be spending your hard-earned dollars on. For this particular variable, cities with the lowest cost of living ranked highly in our study.

3. Are there a plethora of job opportunities in the immediate area?

A town with a high average salary and low cost of living may seem perfect. But if there are a very limited number of job opportunities than we think the city as a whole is a less valuable destination for biomedical engineers. Our study takes this into account and gives a high employment weighting to cities with lots of jobs.

Top Cities for Biomedical Engineers

1. Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis tops our 'Top Cities for Biomedical Engineers' list because it scores well in every single category we looked at.  For starters, its average annual salary is $96,830, which is $3,000 more per year than the average city in our study. Secondly, Minneapolis has a relatively reasonable cost of living, especially in comparison to larger metro areas like Boston, New York, and San Francisco. And finally, Minneapolis boasts over 800 jobs in the burgeoning biomedical engineering space. This number is 60% higher than the 14 competing cities in ValuePenguin's analysis. For engineers looking to get into the Minneapolis biomedical engineering scene, we suggest looking at Medtronic and Boston Scientific, both large employers in the area.

Related: More information about Minnesota Insurance Rates

2. Boston, MA

As fast as the demand is growing for biomedical engineers nationwide (62% by 2020), demand in the city of Boston is expected to grow by almost 75%. Combine that growth rate with an above average annual salary and the highest number of biomedical engineering jobs of any city in the country, and it's good enough to land Beantown in our number two slot. Those looking for a biomedical engineering position in Boston may want to look at Draper Laboratory, Boston Scientific, or Philips.

3. Philadelphia, PA

Even though Philadelphia has a slightly below average salary number, they have the third highest biomedical engineering employment number in the country. In comparison to the other cities on this list, Phillly also benefits from a below average cost of living which makes up for the annual salary being just shy of $86,000. All in all, this is enough to vault the City of Brotherly Love to #3 on our list. If you're interested in working and living in Philadelphia, take a look at top biomedical engineering employers such as Merck, Synthes, and Global Medical.

More: A detailed look at insurance quotes in Philadelphia, PA

4. San Jose, CA

San Jose - Sunnyvale comes in 4th on our 'Top Cities for Biomedical Engineers' list and benefits from both its high annual salary and above average number of jobs. Biomedical engineering jobs in San Jose pay more than in any other city in the United States, $115,440 per year. That is almost 30% higher than the national average for jobs in the field. The city also has close to 600 biomedical engineering job which is well above average. The one drawback with living in San Jose is the cost of living. It ranked high enough to be the 3rd most expensive city on our list.  Regarding employment opportunities, Abbott Laboratories is one of the largest biomedical engineering employers in San Jose.

5. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco rounds out the Top 5 on our biomedical engineering jobs study. SF boasts 600 biomedical engineering jobs in the city, good for fourth most on our list.  The Bay Area also pays its biomed engineers $105k per year on average. This annual salary works out to be $11,000 higher than the national average. The only factor holding San Francisco back from ranking higher on our list is the city's notoriously high cost of living, which is almost double the national average for all US cities. Looking to relocate and work as a biomedical engineer in San Francisco? Make sure and check out Genentech and Medtronics for opportunities.

See complete chart, including cities #6-15 below


CityAverage Annual SalaryCost of LivingEmploymentFinal Score
1Minneapolis, MN$96,83010581080.0
2Boston, MA$97,3801491,01068.9
3Philadelphia, PA$85,61010163064.5
4San Jose, CA$115,44016859064.4
5San Francisco, CA$105,02019960062.2
6Houston, TX$90,3608942057.8
7Anaheim, CA$94,60014055057.6
8Oakland, CA$97,38013536055.6
9Phoenix, Az$88, 9108835053.3
10Washington, DC$98,4308834053.3
11San Diego, CA$96,15014348051.0
12Salt Lake City, UT$76,28010642042.2
13Los Angeles, CA$87,78014450040.0
14New York, NY$83,84012729028.9
15Bethesda, MD$93,29020632022.2

Study Methodology

  1. Average Salary: cities with the highest average annual salary

  2. Cost of Living: cities with the lowest cost of living. Data sourced from Sperling's Best Places COL Calculator.

  3. Employment: cities with the highest number of biomedical engineering jobs

Brian is a ValuePenguin Co-Founder. He previously worked in the financial services industry as an Associate at NASDAQ OMX and a Risk Analyst at Avenue Capital Group.