Microbiologists

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Bacteriologist
  • Clinical Laboratory Scientist
  • Clinical Microbiologist
  • Cytologist
  • Electron Microscopist
  • Medical Microbiologist
  • Microbiological Analyst
  • Microbiological Laboratory Technician
  • Microbiologist
  • Microbiology Analyst
View All

What They Do

  • 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, for community environmental health programs, and for 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.
  • Prepare technical reports and recommendations based upon research outcomes.
  • Supervise biological technologists and technicians and other scientists.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Study the structure and function of human, animal, and plant tissues, cells, pathogens and toxins.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Recognition, but also value Achievement and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • Speaking - 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.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Wages

In 2018, the average annual wage in Ohio was $68,970 with most people making between $35,490 and $116,700

Outlook

0.55%
avg. annual growth

During 2016, this occupation employed approximately 550 people in Ohio. It is projected that there will be 580 employed in 2026.

This occupation will have about 3 openings due to growth and about 47 replacement openings for approximately 50 total annual openings.