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Microbiology Science & Immunology Major

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Microbiology Science & Immunology

617 Master's Degrees Annually
584 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#136 in Popularity (Master's)
$96,420 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Microbiology Science & Immunology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many microbiological sciences and immunology graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 617
Doctor’s Degree 584
Graduate Certificate 10

What Microbiology Science & Immunology Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to microbiology were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Microbiology Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills for Microbiology Majors

microbiology majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Abilities for Microbiology Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a microbiology student include the following:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Microbiology Science & Immunology Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with microbiology:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Biological Science Professors 15.1% $82,550
Clinical Research Coordinators 9.9% $123,860
Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists 13.4% $84,810
Microbiologists 8.2% $71,650
Molecular and Cellular Biologists 8.0% $79,590
Natural Sciences Managers 9.9% $123,860
Water Resource Specialists 9.9% $123,860

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Microbiology Science & Immunology?

617 Master's Degrees Annually
62% Percent Women
29% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
The major attracts more women than men. About 62% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of microbiology majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Microbiology Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 55
Black or African American 30
Hispanic or Latino 63
White 316
International Students 93
Other Races/Ethnicities 60

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Microbiology. About 15.1% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan

How Much Do Microbiology Science & Immunology Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a master’s degree in microbiology have a median salary of $41,650 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $38,075 (25th percentile) and $43,975 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to microbiology.

Salaries According to BLS

Microbiology majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $83,600 to $97,340 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Microbiology Science & Immunology Major  ( 83600 to 97340 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with microbiology require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for microbiology careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.5%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 1.2%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.3%
Bachelor’s Degree 32.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 3.7%
Master’s Degree 18.4%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.5%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.0%
Doctoral Degree 19.6%
Post-Doctoral Training 20.6%

Online Microbiology Science & Immunology Programs

In 2018-2019, 198 schools offered a microbiology program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 0 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 7 1
Bachelor’s Degree 7 2
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 158 5
Post-Master’s 4 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 162 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Microbiology Science & Immunology Worth It?

The median salary for a microbiology grad is $96,420 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 142% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,130,400 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to microbiology.

Major Number of Grads
General Biology 8,410
Ecology, Evolution & Systematics Biology 3,098
Physiology & Pathology Sciences 2,214
Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology 2,071
Biomathematics & Bioinformatics 1,894
Biological & Biomedical Sciences (Other) 1,888
Biotechnology 1,551
Cell Biology & Anatomical Sciences 1,488
Neurobiology & Neurosciences 1,120
Pharmacology & Toxicology 931
Genetics 637
Zoology 514
Botany/Plant Biology 407
Molecular Medicine 71

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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