Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 21,400 people employed as microbiologists in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $84,400.
Entry level employees earn approximately $45,690 per year and senior employees earn approximately $156,360
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Conduct chemical analyses of substances such as acids, alcohols, and enzymes.
- Prepare technical reports and recommendations, based upon research outcomes.
- Supervise biological technologists and technicians and other scientists.
- Monitor and perform tests on water, food, and the environment to detect harmful microorganisms or to obtain information about sources of pollution, contamination, or infection.
- Use a variety of specialized equipment, such as electron microscopes, gas and high-pressure liquid chromatographs, electrophoresis units, thermocyclers, fluorescence-activated cell sorters, and phosphorimagers.
- 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.
- Research use of bacteria and microorganisms to develop vitamins, antibiotics, amino acids, grain alcohol, sugars, and polymers.
- Develop new products and procedures for sterilization, food and pharmaceutical supply preservation, or microbial contamination detection.
- Isolate and maintain cultures of bacteria or other microorganisms in prescribed or developed media, controlling moisture, aeration, temperature, and nutrition.
- Study growth, structure, development, and general characteristics of bacteria and other microorganisms to understand their relationship to human, plant, and animal health.
- Examine physiological, morphological, and cultural characteristics, using microscope, to identify and classify microorganisms in human, water, and food specimens.
- Provide laboratory services for health departments, community environmental health programs, and physicians needing information for diagnosis and treatment.
- Investigate the relationship between organisms and disease, including the control of epidemics and the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.