What can you do with a Microbiology Degree?
If you are thinking of taking a course in microbiology then the question, “What can you do with a microbiology degree?” will be important to you.
This post is specifically to provide exhaustive answer to the question so that you will be aware of the various jobs that you can get after graduating with a microbiology degree and so be able to make informed decision about the career path you want to take.
So, keep reading …
Learning about Microbiology
The effect of microorganisms in our environment often manifests in a large-scale infection that contrasts remarkably with the negligible size of the causative organisms.
Historic epidemics that wreaked havoc on the human and animal populace have been found to be caused by microscopic, which are innocuous-looking organisms.
These organisms, usually classified as either viruses, fungi or bacteria have an alarming rate of replication and diverse modes of transmission in spite of their relatively sparse cellular nature.
The unignorable nature and impact of these unseen organisms gave birth to the study of microbes in a biology niche referred to as Microbiology.
Microbiology has played a significant role in controlling the effect and spread of microorganisms, it has positively impacted human life by developing solutions to the prevention and treatment of diseases, ensuring safety of consumables and general improvement of the quality of human life.
The concepts of microbiology find widespread application in the healthcare, agricultural, and environmental fields.
Microbiologists, according to their areas of specialization strive to provide solutions to global issues such as disease outbreaks, global warming, and famine.
Microbiology majors study microbes to understand the role they play in effecting changes in human lives and environment.
They also seek to find remedy for infections, illnesses, and environmental pollution.
What Jobs can you get with a Microbiology Associate’s Degree?
Obtaining an Associate’s degree in Biology/Medical Laboratory Technology is a step in the right direction for one interested in pursuing a career in the field of biological sciences because it provides exposure to the tenets of laboratory tests using various equipment, adherence to laboratory safety and knowledge of basic biological concepts.
With an Associate’s degree in Biology, you can pursue a more specialized Bachelor’s study in Microbiology or go on to secure jobs as:
- Microbiology Technician: Their duties involve the preparation and testing of samples in an industrial/medical setting. They work with biologists to analyze a biological sample using laboratory equipment; they also interpret biological data and report their findings. The results of their findings are used in taking important public health and safety decisions/actions.
- Clinical Laboratory Technician: They work in health care department where they specialize in the analysis and diagnosis of a disease. They collect fluid samples (blood, urine, saliva) from patients and use lab technology to identify the microorganisms responsible for an illness. They usually work with medical doctors and nurses who proffer medical recommendations and prescriptions based on the results of the laboratory technician.
- Conservation Technician: They help to maintain/preserve natural habitats such as rivers, and forests. They conduct tests on water, air, and soil to ensure it is conducive enough to support animal/plant life. They usually work for federal/state government to assist with the conservation of the ecosystem.
Most entry-level jobs in the field of microbiology require a Bachelor’s degree.
What Jobs can you get with a Microbiology Bachelor’s Degree?
Having a Bachelor’s degree in microbiology presents a platform to graduates secure positions as:
- Microbiologist: With their knowledge of how microbes affect us, they can work in the healthcare, research and medicine or food industry where they conduct analysis to identify microorganisms in a sample, develop biological products, test the effect of microbes in food/drinks and how they can be controlled. They also develop new approach and technique to the monitoring and modification of unicellular organisms.
- Food Technologist: They specialize in the analysis of food products to determine how safe they are for consumption. They work in food manufacturing companies where they use laboratory means to determine the quality standard as well as the desired and undesired content of a food product. They supervise manufacturing processes and guide the quantity of additives introduced into a processed food product. They also develop new edible products, carry out consumer market research.
- Research Assistant: They assist a research scientist with the research and development of new bio-products. Their duties involve collection and analysis of biological samples, training of other research workers, carrying out field survey operations and presentation of reports.
- Technical Brewer: They are responsible for the entire process of beer brewing and packaging. They conduct tests on raw material ingredients as well as on product samples to ensure conformity to quality standards. They ensure cost effectiveness of production as well as the development of new recipe and recipe techniques.
- Water Quality Scientist: They specialize in maintaining and improving the quality/safety of water for public consumption. They employ laboratory techniques to analyze the chemical and microbiological content of a water source, they evaluate the possible effect that can arise from the use of contaminated water and then proffer recommendations/measures to curb water pollution.
What Jobs can you get with a Microbiology Master’s or Doctorate Degree?
Getting an advanced degree in microbiology is the way to go for increased earnings and competitiveness.
With a Master’s or Doctorate degree in microbiology, you can secure top positions as:
- Laboratory Manager: They oversee the laboratory operations of an organization bearing the responsibility of establishing and maintaining quality standards. They also perform administrative duties of hiring lab applicants, arranging of work schedules and general organizing of lab activities.
- Research Scientist: They carry out experiments to develop new products or processes. They carry out surveys, analyze data and utilize results obtained from research to develop new products and techniques.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the average salary of microbiologists to be $67,550 annually.
The job growth rate is projected to be 4%, implying few job openings from 2014-2024.
A microbiology degree provides lucrative and intellectually challenging career opportunities. From being a technician to research assistant, you can find several exciting jobs to do after graduating with a microbiology degree.
What job would you like to do with a microbiology degree? We would appreciate learning about your area of interest in microbiology. Please make your comment in the box below.