Frequently Asked Questions



    What kind of jobs do professionals in Biological Engineering have, and how much do they earn?

    There is an excellent job market and it is growing fast. Employment of graduates is 100% and entry level salaries are higher than some other engineering professions. We often see our graduates advancing to middle level management positions and higher salaries quite quickly. 
    The most common job title you will see advertised in want ads is “Biological Engineer.” Specific job tiles may vary based on the responsibilities. Job titles could be “product engineer,” “ process engineer,” “operation engineer,” and “testing engineer.” 
    Average starting salary for a person with bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in Biological Engineering is $54,352 according to a July 2009 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
    Here are some employers who regularly hire biological engineers:

    • Federal and State Government Agencies

     Army Corp of Engineers 
    Environmental Protection Agency 
    USDA Agriculture Research Service 
    USDA Forest Service 
    USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

    • Private Corporations:

     Accenture
    Archer Daniel Midland 
    Brown and Caldwell
    Cargill 
    Greenhorne and O’Mara 
    Habitat Assessment and Restoration Inc. 
    LAI Engineering
    Louis Berger Group Inc.
    Malcolm Pirnie
    Schnabel

    What exactly do Biological Engineering professionals do?

    Biological Engineering involves many sciences, including physics, chemistry, biology, ecology and engineering. At NC A&T, we train students to protect living systems by making them more efficient and more sustainable. For instance, they learn how to turn biomass such as corn stalks or switchgrass into biofuel. They learn how to design technologies to conserve water and keep it clean and save our environment. Some of our graduates become research professionals and work both in a laboratory and collecting data outdoors. Others become design and testing engineers who work in industrial plants. Consulting engineers work with a wide array of clients in varied settings. For students who love to travel, there are abundant employment opportunities for biological engineers overseas, particularly in developing nations.


    What kind of person enjoys Biological Engineering?

    Like other engineering disciplines, Biological Engineering suits smart people who enjoy problem solving. People in this field often enjoy designing and tinkering with materials -- but they also have a strong love for the natural world. They enjoy learning how chemical, mechanical and biological systems work, and then improving the way they work for a cleaner, greener and more productive future. A Biological Engineering degree enables students to protect the environment and create new products.

    Our graduates are obtaining high paying jobs while helping to make the world a better and more prosperous place. They learn how to lower harmful emissions, produce biologically-based chemicals and sustainable biofuels, like ethanol, hydrogen fuel and biodiesel. They learn how to design sustainable energy systems, including solar and geothermal. They learn how to conserve water and soil, and reduce pollution. We notice that our Biological Engineering graduates take tremendous pride and satisfaction in helping to sustain life on earth, and to improve the quality of life for people.

    What do students learn when they major in Biological Engineering?

    Biological Engineering students take mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, agriculture, and engineering courses. The majority of Biological Engineering courses have a laboratory component, where students learn to use advanced scientific equipment and instrumentation to test the theories they learn in the classroom. We also prepare students for their future careers through many summer research and internships. These are very important, because they allow students to take their future career for a “test drive,” and see and feel how their education will apply to the real world. These experiences take place in private industry, in government agencies or in research organizations.

    The Biological Engineering Program has active student organizations and an engineering honor society, Alpha-Epsilon. The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers has a very active student chapter.  These organizations involve students in both professional activities and community service.

    Our program is set in a friendly, family environment where students are close to faculty, staff and to other students.  Upper classmen serve as mentors to freshmen and sophomores, and we hold a weekly “family meeting” to create bonding among students and faculty members.

    The program is jointly administered by the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and the College of Engineering. It is accredited by the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), and graduates are eligible to become licensed Professional Engineers. In fact we help and prepare our students to take their first licensure exam (Fundamentals of Engineering) during their senior year.

    For more detail about what you will learn, please check the Curriculum for Biological Engineering.

                   
    How do I apply to major in Biological Engineering? 

    Contact Dr. Shahbazi, director of the Biological Engineering Program, and tell him you are interested in applying. Contact information:
                    Dr. Ghasem Shahbazi
                    Director, Biological Engineering Program
                    Sockwell Hall
                    336-334-7787
                    ash@ncat.edu