What is a Microbiologist?
Microbiologist Job Description 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.
- Study the structure and function of human, animal, and plant tissues, cells, pathogens and toxins.
- 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.
- Prepare technical reports and recommendations based upon research outcomes.
- Isolate and maintain cultures of bacteria or other microorganisms in prescribed or developed media, controlling moisture, aeration, temperature, and nutrition.
- Observe action of microorganisms upon living tissues of plants, higher animals, and other microorganisms, and on dead organic matter.
- Conduct chemical analyses of substances such as acids, alcohols, and enzymes.
When polled, Microbiologists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
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
- Research Microbiologist
- Microbiology Director
- Microbiological Analyst
- Microbiology Supervisor
- Study Director
Microbiologist Job Outlook
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 23,200 jobs in the United States for Microbiologist. 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 2,200 job openings in this field each 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.
How much do Microbiologists make in each U.S. state?
|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
How do I Become a Microbiologist?
What education or degrees do I need to become a Microbiologist?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where do Microbiologists Work?
The table below shows the approximate number of Microbiologists employed by various industries.
Other Jobs You May be Interested In
Those thinking about becoming a Microbiologist might also be interested in the following careers:
Those who work as a Microbiologist sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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