Microbiologists are scientists who study living things that cannot be seen with the naked eye, such as bacteria, fungi, protozoans, and viruses, as well as human and animal cells. They examine the effects these microorganisms and infectious agents have on people, animals, plants, and the environment. They are interested in learning about microorganisms that cause diseases, how microorganisms can be used to treat and prevent diseases, and ways microorganisms can be used in developing products. Microbiologists are a subspecialty of biological scientists. Approximately 19,880 microbiologists are employed in the United States.

Quick Facts
Duties Study ways that microorganisms affect human, plant, and animal life and our environment
Alternate Title(s) Agricultural Microbiologists, Biotechnologists, Clinical Microbiologists, Environmental Microbiologists, Food Microbiologists, Industrial Marine Limnologists, Microbiologists, Medical Microbiologists, Microbiologists, Veterinary Microbiologists
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Good
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Nationwide; most opportunities available in metropolitan areas
Education and Training
  • Bachelor's Degree
Related School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
Experience Internship or a part-time experience
  • Organizational
  • Research
  • Scientific
Personality Traits
  • Problem-Solving
  • Scientific
  • Technical
Licensure/Certification Recommended
Special Requirements None
Career Ladder
  • Laboratory Director, or Professor, or Independent Consultant
  • Microbiologist
  • Research Assistant

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