Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics > Science and Mathematics

Projected Growth: Average

Projected Job Openings

Extensive Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to 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.

Common job titles of Microbiologists include:

Experience and Education

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

  • 47.83% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.

  • 17.39% said they needed a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate.


    Examine physiological, morphological, and cultural characteristics, using microscope, to identify and classify microorganisms in human, water, and food specimens.

    Study growth, structure, development, and general characteristics of bacteria and other microorganisms to understand their relationship to human, plant, and animal health.

    Use a variety of specialized equipment such as electron microscopes, gas chromatographs and high pressure liquid chromatographs, electrophoresis units, thermocyclers, fluorescence activated cell sorters and phosphorimagers.

    Supervise biological technologists and technicians and other scientists.

    Isolate and maintain cultures of bacteria or other microorganisms in prescribed or developed media, controlling moisture, aeration, temperature, and nutrition.

    Investigate the relationship between organisms and disease, including the control of epidemics and the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.

    Observe action of microorganisms upon living tissues of plants, higher animals, and other microorganisms, and on dead organic matter.

    Provide laboratory services for health departments, for community environmental health programs, and for physicians needing information for diagnosis and treatment.

    Study the structure and function of human, animal, and plant tissues, cells, pathogens and toxins.

    Research use of bacteria and microorganisms to develop vitamins, antibiotics, amino acids, grain alcohol, sugars, and polymers.

    Monitor and perform tests on water, food, and the environment to detect harmful microorganisms or to obtain information about sources of pollution, contamination, or infection.

    Prepare technical reports and recommendations based upon research outcomes.

    Develop new products and procedures for sterilization, food and pharmaceutical supply preservation, or microbial contamination detection.

    Conduct chemical analyses of substances such as acids, alcohols, and enzymes.


X ray diffractometers

Water sample collection containers

Water purification systems

Vortex mixers

Visible/UV light scanning spectrophotometers

Visible spectrometers

Ultraviolet UV lamps

All Tools


Ultra cold biological freezers

Transmission electron microscopes TEM


Tissue homogenizers


Test tube racks


Staining dishes


Shaking incubators

Serology rotators

Semidry blotting apparatus

Sectioned petri plates

Scanning electron microscopes SEM

Safety shoes

Safety glasses

Rotator mixers


Refrigerated recirculating water baths

Refrigerated benchtop centrifuges

Recording thermometers

Rechargeable electronic pipette fillers

Raman spectrometers

Protective laboratory coats

Protective gloves

Prepared agar plates

Precision pan balances

Pipette pumps


Phase contrast microscopes

pH meters

Petri dishes

Personal computers

Peristaltic pumps


Orbital shaking water baths

Orbital shaking incubators

Oil-immersion microscope lenses

Notebook computers

Multiwell trays

Multistage agar impactors

Multiplate readers

Mid-infrared spectrometers

Microscope slides





Micro balances

Membrane filtration systems

Mass spectrometers

Magnetic laboratory stirrers

Liquid nitrogen storage equipment

Liquid impingers

Liquid chromatograph devices

Laser printers

Laminar flow cabinets

Laboratory vacuum pumps

Laboratory test tubes

Laboratory refrigerators

Laboratory membrane filtering devices

Laboratory heat exchange condensing devices

Laboratory glassware washers

Laboratory gas burners

Laboratory funnels

Laboratory beakers

Inverted microscopes

Inoculating loops

Infrared IR spectrometers

Infrared gas analyzers

Impedance meters

Hybridization ovens

High-speed centrifuges

High pressure liquid chromatographs HPLC

HEPA filtered biosafety cabinets

Helium-neon lasers

Heating stirplates

Heat blocks

Hardy Diagnostics HUGO

Graduated glass laboratory cylinders

Gel transfer apparatus

Gel support frames

Gel electrophoresis boxes

Gel documentation systems

Gas-powered generators

Gas chromatographs GC

French presses

Freeze dryers

Fourier transform infrared FTIR spectrometers

Fluorescent microscopes

Fluorescence activated cell sorters

Flow cytometers

Floor shakers

Fire extinguishers

Fecal coliform water baths

Eyewash fountains

Erlenmeyer flasks

Erlenmeyer flask clamps

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ELISA plate readers


Electronic toploading balances

Electronic sterilizers

Drying ovens

Dry bath incubators

Dropping pipettes

Dissolved oxygen meters

Dissecting microscopes

Direct heat dry wall carbon dioxide CO2 incubators

Dichotomous particulate matter samplers

Desktop computers

Desktop centrifuges

Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA sequencers

Deionized DI water systems

Darkroom developing tanks

Culture tubes

Culture bottles

Coplin jars

Conductivity meters

Compound binocular light microscopes

Colony counters

Chemical safety showers

Charge coupled device CCD color digital cameras

Bubble counters

Bright field light microscopes


Biological safety hoods

Bioaerosol impactors


Bacteriological incubators

Automatic pipetters

Automatic coverslipper

Automatic cell sorters

Automated microbial identification systems

Automated gram stainers


Argon lasers

Analytical balances

Anaerobic growth chambers

Alcohol lamps

8-channel electronic pipettes


Assistant Software for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Interpretation ASASI

Basic Local Alignment Search Tool BLAST

BD Biosciences CellQuest

BD Biosciences CloneCyt

Bruker Optics OPUS

BtB Software Mycobacteriology Lab

Codon Usage Database

All Technologies


Computer Service & Support CLS-2000 Laboratory System

Computing Solutions LabSoft LIMS Micro

Database management software

DM2 Bills of Lading



Gene Finder

Gene recognition software

Genie Interactive

Image capture and analysis software

Laboratory information management system LIMS

NetLims AutoLims

Orchard Software Orchard Harvest LIS

Pathogen Modeling Program PMP





Protein databases

Protein Explorer




Verity Software House ModFit LT




Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Teaching others how to do something.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Management of Personnel Resources

Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Using mathematics to solve problems.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Service Orientation

Actively looking for ways to help people.

Operations Analysis

Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.


Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Information Ordering

Generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Category Flexibility

Come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Fluency of Ideas

Identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.

Cognitive Abilities › Perceptual Abilities › Flexibility of Closure

See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision

Come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Originality

Choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Mathematical Reasoning

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