All About Microbiologists
Job Description & Duties Investigate the growth, structure, development, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
What Do Microbiologists Do On a Daily Basis?
- Isolate and maintain cultures of bacteria or other microorganisms in prescribed or developed media, controlling moisture, aeration, temperature, and nutrition.
- Research use of bacteria and microorganisms to develop vitamins, antibiotics, amino acids, grain alcohol, sugars, and polymers.
- Develop new products and procedures for sterilization, food and pharmaceutical supply preservation, or microbial contamination detection.
- Observe action of microorganisms upon living tissues of plants, higher animals, and other microorganisms, and on dead organic matter.
- Investigate the relationship between organisms and disease, including the control of epidemics and the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
- Use a variety of specialized equipment such as electron microscopes, gas chromatographs and high pressure liquid chromatographs, electrophoresis units, thermocyclers, fluorescence activated cell sorters and phosphorimagers.
Microbiologist Needed Skills
These are the skills Microbiologists say are the most useful in their careers:
Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Other Microbiologist Job Titles
- Microbiology Analyst
- Microbiological Analyst
- Quality Control Microbiologist (QC Microbiologist)
- Research Microbiologist
- Clinical Microbiologist
Is There Job Demand for Microbiologists?
There were about 23,200 jobs for Microbiologist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.2% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,900 new jobs for Microbiologist by 2026. There will be an estimated 2,200 positions for Microbiologist per year.
The states with the most job growth for Microbiologist are Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Oklahoma, or North Dakota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Microbiologist Average Salary
The salary for Microbiologists ranges between about $41,820 and $133,550 a year.
Microbiologists who work in California, Maryland, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Microbiologists in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$94,630|
What Tools do Microbiologists Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Microbiologists may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Email software
- Word processing software
- Microsoft Windows
- Statistical software
- Laboratory information management system LIMS
- Database management software
- Basic Local Alignment Search Tool BLAST
- Orchard Software Orchard Harvest LIS
- Protein Explorer
- BD Biosciences CellQuest
- DM2 Bills of Lading
Becoming a Microbiologist
What education is needed to be a Microbiologist?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where Microbiologists Are Employed
Microbiologists work in the following industries:
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Those who work as a Microbiologist sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:
More about our data sources and methodologies.