Microbiologists use a wide range of analytical and scientific techniques to monitor and study microbes such as algae, bacteria, fungi and viruses.
Your work is relevant in a variety of settings, including:
- the environment.
Types of microbiologist
Microbiology is a vast subject which overlaps with other areas of life sciences, such as molecular biology, immunology and biochemistry.
Specialist areas include:
- agriculture and food safety
- environment and climate change.
Employers of microbiologists
- Water and waste management companies
- Public and private sector organisations
- Government agencies
- Research institutions
- Public health and private laboratories
- Pharmaceutical, biochemical and biotechnology companies
- Food and drink manufacturers
- planning and carrying out trials
- tracking environmental microorganism development
- growing microbe cultures
- developing new pharmaceutical products, vaccines, medicines and compounds such as antiseptics
- collecting samples from a variety of locations
- recording, analyzing and interpreting data
- writing research papers, reports and reviews
- keeping up to date with scientific and research developments
- ensuring that data is recorded accurately in accordance to guidelines
- observing high health and safety standards
- inspecting food and drink manufacturing processes to check for possible contamination
- managing laboratories
You’ll need a good degree in a relevant subject to become a microbiologist. Relevant degrees include:
- microbial sciences
- biomedical sciences
- molecular biology
- applied biology
- biological sciences
- biology (specialising in microbiology).
- the ability to design and plan research investigations and experiments
- interpersonal skills, as you may have contact with patients in some roles
- communication skills, to liaise with colleagues and the wider community
- the capacity to manage a laboratory project and liaise with a wide variety of technical colleagues
- the ability to work well in a team and to manage your own workload
- problem-solving skills
- accuracy and a methodical approach to work
- leadership qualities
- a good level of numeracy and IT skills.