Microbiologists: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

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.

  • 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, for community environmental health programs, and for physicians needing information for diagnosis and treatment.
Read more about what does a Microbiologist really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$81150 per year

Average hourly wage
$39 per hour

Microbiologists with little to no experience tend to make between $41820 and $51740 while the more experienced ones can earn over $105890 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
MD $51 $107,070
CA $49 $102,340
DC $45 $94,630
GA $45 $94,050
VA $44 $91,940

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Microbiologist is to move to a higher paying state like MD. Right now, the highest paying states for Microbiologists are MD, CA, DC, GA and VA.

However, a higher pay at MD doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at MD might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Microbiologist is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s degree

We asked other Microbiologists what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Soil Microbiology
Structural Biology
Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Other
Microbiology, General
Microbiology and Immunology
Read more about how to become a Microbiologist and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Microbiologist.

Suitable for people who likes to solve problems mentally
Suitable for people who wants recognition and wants career advancement and a prestigious career
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Very high salary (top 25% highest paid careers)
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
It is very hard to get into this career. Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience is required for this career.
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

64% of Microbiologists said they were satisfied with their job and 69% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Thinkers and The Builders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

Learn more about Microbiologists

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Microbiologists job description, Microbiologists salary, Microbiologists information, what is the job of a Microbiologist like, pros and cons about Microbiologists, colleges and universities for Microbiologists, is Microbiologists the right career for me, careers in Social Science and Humanities

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Bacteriologist, Chemist, Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Clinical Microbiologist, Cytologist, Electron Microscopist, Medical Laboratory Technician, Medical Microbiologist, Medical Technologist, Microbiological Analyst

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