14 Career Paths for Microbiologists

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Publish Date: September 1, 2016

Every microbiologist has a unique set of skills. Fortunately the career opportunities in the microbiology field are as diverse and the people who work in the industry. Depending on your experience and education, positions in a laboratory can range from Laboratory Assistant to Director of Research.

Whether you’re a college student who enjoys microbiology but isn’t sure what path to take, or a microbiology veteran looking for a new challenge, our list of microbiology careers has something for everyone.


BDI_2015_9_25-492_cropped1. Biotechnologists

Biotechnologists work in the agriculture, environment, food, and clinical industries. They manipulate the genes of a microorganism.  An environmental biotechnologist might develop microorganisms that clean polluted water.  A medical biotechnologist could produce medicines using techniques such as cell culture.


2. Clinical Laboratory Scientists

Clinical Laboratory Scientists (also called Medical Technologists) work in many areas including clinical, veterinary, and state and national health laboratories. They analyze blood, urine, tissue and other body specimens in order to determine the cause of an infection in a patient and what antibiotics are effective in treating the infection. This field is evolving as genetic and mass spectrophotometry techniques become common. Several employees at Microbiologics have backgrounds in clinical science.


3. Food Scientists and Technologists

2-13Food microbiologists test food and beverage products for pathogens such as Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes and for spoilage microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria.  Food microbiologists help their company meet standards for product safety and food quality.  Some Technical Support Specialists at Microbiologics have previously worked in the food industry including one of our blog writers, Jane Johnson.


4. Immunologists

Immunologists investigate how a body defends itself against disease. Research areas include biodefense, biofilms, genetics, HIV/AIDS, immunologic mechanisms, respiratory pathogens (including influenza) and vaccine development.


2-195. Mycologists

Mycologists study disease-causing fungus and fungus that produce antibiotics.  Mycologists often work in clinical, pharmaceutical, and research laboratories. Mycologists also work in environmental laboratories that analyze indoor air for mold spores.


6. Parasitologists

Parasitologists investigate how parasitic microorganisms infect living hosts, reproduce and cause disease.


2-277. Personal Care Product and Cosmetic Scientists and Technologists

Personal Care Product and Cosmetic Scientists and Technologists are responsible for ensuring the safety of products like shampoo, eye shadow, and baby wipes. They test products for disease-causing microorganisms such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa.


8. Pharmaceutical Scientists and Technologists

2-28Pharmaceutical scientists and technologists are responsible for ensuring the safety of pharmaceutical products. Technologists test raw materials and finished products for disease-causing microorganisms such as Staphylococcus aureus and Burkholderia cepacia.  Scientists research and develop new drugs and therapies.


9. Sales

Some microbiologists find sales to be a rewarding career.  Because of their strong background in science, they are able to help customers choose the best microbiology product for their situation.  Several of Microbiologics salespeople have a degree in microbiology or a related field including another one of our blog writers, Kelly Hedlund.  Many members of our sales team are fluent in more than one language. They also have the opportunity to travel throughout the world visiting customer and distributors.


10. Science Writers

hands-coffee-cup-appleReaders appreciate well-written articles on current developments in microbiology.  Recently, for example, there have been several excellent articles and broadcast reports about Zika virus including an update shared on our blog. Strong communication skills combined with a background in microbiology can be the foundation of a successful career as a science journalist or blogger.


11. Teachers and Professors

Teachers and professors share their passion for microbiology by educating high school, university, and post graduate students.  They are responsible Portrait Of Students Looking Through Microscopefor creating and executing lesson plans that teach students the characteristics of microorganisms and the latest developments in the field of microbiology.


12. Technical Support Specialists

Technical Support Specialists provide technical assistance to customers using a manufacturer’s  products. The Technical Support Department at Microbiologics helps BDI_2015_9_25-334_croppedcustomers choose microorganism strains, instructs customers on the use of products, and helps with hands-on customer and distributor trainings. Learn more about one of our Technical Support Specialists and blog writers, Kali Sorum, in this blog post.


13. Virologists

Virologists study viruses that affect humans, animals, insects, bacteria, fungi, and plants in community, clinical, agricultural, and natural environments. They develop vaccines for influenza and other diseases.


14. Water Quality Laboratory Technicians

Municipalities, water treatment plants, and state and local agencies need technicians to test drinking water, treated water, and recreational water.  Often the laboratories are testing for E. coli, an indicator of fecal contamination and a warning sign that water-borne pathogens such as Salmonella and Shigella may be present.

An excellent way to learn about microorganisms is to use them in the laboratory. Follow this link to view a list microorganisms used in universities then visit our website to find the right strain and format for your lab.

Searching for your dream job? Check out these microbiology job sites:

Written by Laurie Kundrat

Laurie Kundrat, MT (ASCP), is a former Microbiologics employee and regular contributing author to the Microbiologics Blog. She has over 30 years of experience as a microbiologist and a clinical technologist. During her career at Microbiologics, Laurie was an active member of the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and served as a member of the Microbiology Committee. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a degree in biology. She also earned a medical technology degree from Fairview General Hospital. Laurie has grown to love all types of bacteria. She has a passion for working with customers and helping them use Microbiologics products successfully.

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  1. NOBLE

    very educative write up..

  2. Aryan Dubey

    Nice work

  3. Sbahle

    This information is really helping me first my school assignment

    • Ayomide Daniel

      I will love to study microbiology

  4. Nonhlanhla Khambule

    This is really helping me on my assignment thanks a lot

  5. Vishwathi

    Thank you for the information.

  6. Sourav Pan

    Thanks for the information

  7. Faruq

    This was really helpful. Thanks a lot

  8. Mbutoh Amos Corntete

    This was very educative.
    I’m glad to have found this.

  9. Love

    Thanks alot this help me for choose microbiolozy as my course


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