Microbiologists

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.

Median Annual Wage: $67,790

Education: Bachelor's degree (36%); Post-doctoral training (36%); Post-baccalaureate certificate (9%)

Projected Growth: Slower than average (3% to 7%)

Related Job Titles: Clinical Laboratory Scientist; Microbiologist; Microbiological Analyst; Bacteriologist; Study Director; Microbiological Laboratory Technician; Microbiology Laboratory Manager; Professor of Microbiology; Quality Control Microbiologist (QC Microbiologist); Clinical Microbiologist

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Microbiologists.

More Life, Physical, and Social Science Careers

  • Prepare technical reports and recommendations based upon research outcomes.
  • Supervise biological technologists and technicians and other scientists.
  • Provide laboratory services for health departments, for community environmental health programs and for physicians needing information for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Examine physiological, morphological, and cultural characteristics, using microscope, to identify and classify microorganisms in human, water, and food specimens.
  • 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 phosphoimagers.
  • Study growth, structure, development, and general characteristics of bacteria and other microorganisms to understand their relationship to human, plant, and animal health.
  • 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.
  • Study the structure and function of human, animal and plant tissues, cells, pathogens and toxins.
  • Conduct chemical analyses of substances such as acids, alcohols, and enzymes.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Microbiologists.

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to 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.
  • 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.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Microbiologists.

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