Microbiologists

General Information

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.

Business Breakdown

People in this career work in these sectors.

  1. Private, for profit40.60%
  2. State and local government25.79%
  3. Federal government16.28%
  4. Private, not for profit13.57%
  5. Self-employed3.72%

Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure

Industry areas

  • Scientific Research and Development Services
  • Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools

Job Outlook

Employment of microbiologists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. More microbiologists will be needed to contribute to basic research and solve problems of industrial production. Microbiologists will be needed to research and develop new medicines and treatments, such as vaccines and antibiotics. In addition, microbiologists will be needed to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies develop drugs that are produced with the aid of microorganisms. Aside from improving health, other areas of research and development are expected to provide employment growth for microbiologists. Many companies, from food producers to chemical companies, will need microbiologists to ensure product quality and production efficiency. Efforts to find more clean sources of energy will involve microbiologists, such as mycologists and industrial microbiologists, who research and develop alternative energy sources such as biofuels and biomass. In agriculture, microbiologists will be needed to help develop genetically engineered crops that provide greater yields or require less pesticide and fertilizer. Finally, efforts to discover new and improved ways to preserve the environment and safeguard public health also will make use of microbiologists.

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Salary

Average Salary

Salary

$70,810

State-by-state Salary

Gray states indicate no data available

$95,730
$37,670
No Information for this section

Education

Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • Bachelor's degree 47%
  • Post baccalaureate 17%
  • Master's degree 13%
  • Post-doctoral training 8%
  • Doctoral degree 4%
  • Associate's degree 4%
  • Post-master's certificate 4%
  • High school 0%
  • Some college 0%
  • Less than high school 0%
  • First professional degree 0%
  • Post-secondary certificate 0%

Knowledge

  • Biology
  • Education and Training
  • Chemistry
  • English Language
  • Mathematics

Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership
No Information for this section