Microbiologist Careers

microbiologist-500Microbiologists play an important role in understanding the smallest organisms in the world, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The work done by these scientists helps people better understand how these things interact with each other, with their environment, and with human beings.

If you enjoy science and have an interest in helping people by studying the unseen organisms that can greatly affect their lives, then microbiology may be the perfect career choice for you to consider.

Microbiologists typically work in laboratories since they spend much of their day conducting the experiments that help them understand microorganisms. Some microbiologists work exclusively with physicians and health departments, providing lab services necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of patients. These scientists tend to keep standard hours with little overtime required.

Microbiologist Career Snapshot

Further details on a career as a microbiologist are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average annual salary for microbiologists.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Bachelor’s degree while 35% have Post-Doctoral training.

Microbiologist Education

The education requirements for securing a career as a microbiologist include obtaining a bachelor’s degree in microbiology or another closely related science. Microbiologists who wish to one day advance in their careers and either lead their own research team or teach the subject will need to eventually earn their doctorate degrees.

Microbiologist Job Duties

Microbiologists conduct scientific research and experiments to better understand the nature of specific organisms, as well as how those life forms react to certain stimuli and different environments. Besides conducting experiments, these scientists are responsible for recording their findings, preparing technical reports, and supervising the technicians with whom they work. They use a variety of scientific equipment and computer software on a daily basis.

Microbiologist Salaries

The median pay for microbiologists was $67,500 as of 2015 according to BLS.gov reports. Those in the lower 10% of the pay scale, typically people first starting out in the field, currently earn around $38,810, while the highest 10% of earners bring in an average of $125,200.

Microbiologist Job Outlook

With new discoveries being made all the time, there is always a need for new microbiologists to enter the field. While the expected job growth in the field is slightly below average at 4% over the next seven to eight years, there is still a great deal of opportunity for dedicated young scientists who wish to make microbiology their careers.

Microbiologist Skills & Traits

Microbiologist Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Microbiologists:Typical Work Activities:
• Science
• Critical Thinking
• Writing
• Active Listening
• Reading Comprehension
• Inductive Reasoning
• Written Comprehension
• Category Flexibility
• Deductive Reasoning
• Information Ordering
• Air samplers or collectors
• Infrared spectrometers
• Laboratory staining dishes
• Microbiology analyzers
• Steam autoclaves
• Documenting Information
• Updating Relevant Knowledge
• Analyzing Data
• Getting Information
• Decision Making

Related Careers

What Do Related Careers Pay?