Microbiologists study microorganisms that are found in various environments. They examine bacteria, fungi, viruses and other parasites to see how they grow and interact with the environment in which they are located. Their duties require they isolate and make cultures of bacteria and other microorganisms to look at their growth.

What Responsibilities Will I Have?

  • Isolate bacteria to look at the growth of samples
  • Conduct tests on food and water samples to detect harmful microorganisms
  • Provide laboratory services to determine illness and treatment options
  • Research trends in disease outbreaks to find methods to control spread
  • Collect, analyze and interpret data
  • Prepare reports and presentations based on findings
  • Keep records of work completed
  • Observe microorganisms’ reactions to chemicals and other stimuli
  • Monitor and identify microorganisms
  • Ensure the laboratory space is clean and maintained
  • Develop new technologies and processes
  • Review scientific information and the findings of other researchers and attend conferences
  • Assist in planning to prevent the spread of disease
  • Design and execute experiments
  • Provide scientific advice and consultation
  • Research new technologies related to microbiology
  • Review the molecular processes of microbial products

Recommended High School Courses:

  • agricultural education
  • mathematics
  • statistics
  • focus on sciences such as animal science, plant science, chemistry, biology and physics

Education/Training Required:

A bachelor’s degree in microbiology or a related biological field is typically required. However, a master’s or doctorate degree will be required for more research-based roles. Some laboratory positions are obtainable with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology.