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10. Biomedical Engineer
Biomedical Engineer
Sherman picked up biology on the job.
Top 100 rank: 10
Sector: Scientific Research

What they do: Design and develop medical devices, treatments, and procedures, from artificial hearts to drug-delivery systems. Breathtaking technological advances are intersecting with the medical needs of an aging population, creating what the U.S. government projects will become "the fastest-growing occupation in the economy."

What's to like: The mix of disciplines, says Steve Sherman, 54, a biomedical engineer for Maine Manufacturing in Sanford, Maine, which produces lab supplies and components for medical equipment. "Some days I'll work only in biology, other days in engineering, and sometimes combine the two."

What's not to like: Though it's growing fast, the field remains small, with only 20,000 jobs. Turning a technological advance into a marketable product can be difficult.

Requirements: An undergraduate mechanical, electrical, or chemical engineering degree, coupled with some bio background, is often enough. (Or you can pick up the biology on the job, as Sherman did.) But as more schools award biomedical engineering degrees -- the number of college programs has doubled in the past decade -- that credential will become a must.

Do Biomedical Engineers have great jobs, or what?
Biomedical Engineer stats
Pay
Median pay
(experienced)
$76,000
Top pay $111,000
Opportunity
10-year job growth
(2008-2018)
72%
Total jobs
(current)
20,000
Quality of life ratings
Personal satisfaction A
Job security B
Future growth A
Benefit to society B
Low stress B
Flexibility A
From the November 2010 issue
Notes: All pay data from PayScale.com. Median pay is for an experienced worker (at least two to seven years in the field). Top pay represents the 90th percentile. Job growth is estimated for 2008-18. Total current employment level is estimated number of people working in each specific job

Sources: PayScale.com, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and MONEY research
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MONEY and compensation experts PayScale.com used Bureau of Labor Statistics growth forecasts for 7,000 jobs, and identified industries with the biggest increases in jobs requiring bachelorís degrees. Ranked them by 2008-18 growth and pay. More

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