Salary Median (2020)


Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)

+9% (as fast as the average)


What Microbiologists Do

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.

Other Job Titles Microbiologists May Have

Bacteriologist, Microbiological Analyst, Microbiologist, Quality Control Microbiologist (QC Microbiologist)

How Leaders Describe a Typical Day at Work

Microbiologist ,

Mayo Clinic Hospital

As a microbiologist, I work closely with infectious disease and study things that most people don’t like to talk about (wound cultures, sputum, urine, etc.). I receive specimens from the hospital and then I spend most of my day reading those cultures to help solve patients’ problems. I also spend time working with our instruments, including troubleshooting the machines when they start to fail.

Tasks & Responsibilities May Include

  • 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, community environmental health programs, and physicians needing information for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Investigate the relationship between organisms and disease, including the control of epidemics and the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.

This page includes information from theO*NET 26.1 Databaseby the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under theCC BY 4.0license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.