Microbiologists are biological scientists who study living organisms that are so tiny they can only be observed with a microscope. In addition to light and electron microscopes microbiologists also use equipment such as centrifuges glass tubes slides and computers. Among the microorganisms they study are bacteria algae yeasts fungi protozoa and viruses. They make cultures of the microorganisms to study their development reactions to various chemicals capacity to reproduce effect on the environment and their role in causing or preventing diseases. Most microbiologists specialize in a specific type of organism. For example microbiologists that study bacteria are called bacteriologists whereas those that study viruses are called virologists. Microbiologists may conduct research on techniques for treating and preventing disease and many of them are employed in the field of public health where they test drinking water or investigate problems such as outbreaks of food poisoning. Much of the work microbiologists do takes place in a laboratory either independently or as part of a team. However some also teach or have administrative responsibilities. According to the website httpcareers.stateuniversity.com individuals with bachelor’s degrees in microbiology usually work as technicians in laboratories or in industry. When they have a master’s degree however job opportunities are greatly improved and can lead to employment in industry applied research and teaching. For teaching research or administrative positions in higher education they need a doctoral degree. However academic jobs are highly competitive because there are more applicants than there are position openings. Some microbiologists have both Ph.D. and M.D. degrees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics microbiologists earn an average annual salary of approximately $64400.

Education Required: Bachelor's Degree
Avg Salary: $64400
High Salary: $74400
Low Salary: $54400
Tasks: Conducts research on microorganisms.
Studies how microorganisms develop and reproduce.
Researches the relationship between microorganisms and disease.
Uses many types of laboratory equipment to study microorganisms.
Also Called: Biological Scientist
Medical Microbiologist
Microbiological Researcher
Additional Resources: http://careers.stateuniversity.com/pages/409/Microbiologist.html