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All About Microbiologists

Microbiologist Definition 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?

  • Study the structure and function of human, animal, and plant tissues, cells, pathogens and toxins.
  • Supervise biological technologists and technicians and other scientists.
  • Conduct chemical analyses of substances such as acids, alcohols, and enzymes.
  • Study growth, structure, development, and general characteristics of bacteria and other microorganisms to understand their relationship to human, plant, and animal health.
  • Investigate the relationship between organisms and disease, including the control of epidemics and the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
  • Isolate and maintain cultures of bacteria or other microorganisms in prescribed or developed media, controlling moisture, aeration, temperature, and nutrition.

Microbiologist Required Skills

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

  • Microbiological Laboratory Technician
  • Microbiologist
  • Study Director
  • Quality Control Microbiologist (QC Microbiologist)
  • Microbiological Analyst

Microbiologist Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 23,200 jobs for Microbiologist in 2016. 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. The BLS estimates 2,200 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Microbiologists in U.S.

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.

What is the Average Salary of a Microbiologist

The salary for Microbiologists ranges between about $41,820 and $133,550 a year.

Salary Ranges for Microbiologists

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
Alabama $59,660
Arizona $75,970
Arkansas $70,210
California $102,340
Colorado $71,860
Connecticut $75,410
Delaware $62,470
District of Columbia $94,630
Florida $67,650
Georgia $94,050
Hawaii $73,870
Idaho $64,880
Illinois $62,830
Indiana $55,370
Iowa $82,410
Kansas $53,100
Kentucky $55,940
Louisiana $70,000
Maine $69,890
Maryland $107,070
Massachusetts $82,500
Michigan $61,360
Minnesota $66,990
Mississippi $71,720
Missouri $77,300
Montana $85,900
Nebraska $64,380
Nevada $83,060
New Hampshire $74,080
New Jersey $81,720
New Mexico $50,580
New York $80,500
North Carolina $67,050
Ohio $68,970
Oklahoma $53,530
Oregon $66,370
Pennsylvania $74,780
South Carolina $59,750
Tennessee $76,730
Texas $54,530
Utah $62,750
Vermont $58,830
Virginia $91,940
Washington $74,660
West Virginia $51,330
Wisconsin $62,440

What Tools & Technology 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
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Statistical software
  • Laboratory information management system LIMS
  • Database management software
  • Basic Local Alignment Search Tool BLAST
  • PHYLIP
  • STARLIMS
  • 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?

Microbiologist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Microbiologist?

Microbiologist Work Experience

Where Microbiologists Are Employed

Microbiologist Sectors

Microbiologists work in the following industries:

Microbiologist Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming a Microbiologist might also be interested in the following careers:

Career changers with experience as a Microbiologist sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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