The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) predicts that employment for microbiologists will grow more slowly than the average for all careers through 2022. Despite this prediction, microbiologists will continue to be needed to take recent research and knowledge, such as the isolation and identification of genes and biological drugs that are produced with the aid of microorganisms, to the next level. The focus on cleaning up and preserving the environment will add to job growth for biological scientists. The DOL reports that "greater demand for clean energy should increase the need for microbiologists who research and develop alternative energy sources such as biofuels and biomass." Concern over bioterrorism may also create employment opportunities for microbiologists. Microbiologists will also be in demand by the agricultural sector to help develop genetically engineered crops that provide larger yields and require less fertilizer and pesticides. Positions will also be available in nonscientific, biology-related areas such as sales, marketing, and research managements, as well as in science and engineering technology. Microbiologists with advanced degrees may find more opportunities in private industry.

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