Microbiologists study microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, and some types of parasites. They try to understand how these organisms live, grow, and interact with their environments.
Microbiologists work in laboratories and offices, where they conduct scientific experiments and analyze the results. Most microbiologists work full time and keep regular hours.
A bachelor's degree in microbiology or a closely related field is needed for entry-level microbiologist jobs. A Ph.D. is typically needed to carry out independent research and to work in colleges and universities.
The median annual wage for microbiologists was $67,550 in May 2015.
Employment of microbiologists is projected to grow 4 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. More microbiologists will be needed to contribute to basic research, solve problems encountered in industrial production processes, and monitor environmental conditions to ensure the public's health and safety. However, employment of microbiologists in the federal government is projected to decline.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for microbiologists.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of microbiologists with similar occupations.
Learn more about microbiologists by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.