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Science and Research | Microbiologist

Microbiologist

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

A Microbiologist studies microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and parasites. Collects samples and grows cultures; isolates and classifies microorganisms and studies their structure, growth and development; monitors the effect of microorganisms on other organisms and the environment.

Job Outlook

There were 304 Microbiologist job postings in North Carolina in the past year and 5758 in the United States.

In combination with other careers in the Microbiologist industry, which includes the Microbiologist career, the following graph shows the number of people employed for each year since 2015:

Salary

Many new Microbiologist jobs have salaries estimated to be in the following ranges, based on the requirements and responsibilities listed in job postings from the past year.

National

The average estimated salary in the United States for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $77,176.

State

The average estimated salary in North Carolina for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $75,386.

Percentiles represent the percentage that is lower than the value. For example, 25% of estimated salaries for Microbiologist postings in the United States in the past year were lower than $65,605.

Education and Experience

Posted Microbiologist jobs typically require the following level of education. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.

Education LevelPercentage
Associate's Degree7.14%
Bachelor's Degree72.54%
Master's Degree19.92%
Doctoral Degree11.97%
Other4.79%

Posted Microbiologist jobs typically require the following number of years of experience. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Years of ExperiencePercentage
0 to 2 years57.17%
3 to 5 years33.17%
6 to 8 years7.27%
9+ years2.38%

Skills

Below are listings of the most common general and specialized skills Microbiologist positions expect applicants to have as well as the most common skills that distinguish individuals from their peers. The percentage of job postings that specifically mention each skill is also listed.

Baseline Skills

A skill that is required across a broad range of occupations, including this one.

  • Quality Control (37.53%)
  • Communication (28.24%)
  • Research (23.19%)
  • Management (22.2%)
  • Operations (20.91%)
  • Investigation (19.75%)
  • Detail Oriented (16.85%)
  • Troubleshooting (Problem Solving) (16.22%)
  • Writing (15.8%)
  • Problem Solving (14.74%)

Defining Skills

A core skill for this occupation, it occurs frequently in job postings.

  • Bioburden Testing (13.15%)
  • Microbiological Testing (19.44%)
  • Chemistry (21.63%)
  • Medical Microbiology (4.68%)
  • Biology (46.94%)
  • Good Manufacturing Practices (31.34%)
  • Environmental Monitoring (21.76%)
  • Microbiology (89.8%)

Necessary Skills

A skill that is requested frequently in this occupation but isn’t specific to it.

  • Good Documentation Practices (3.67%)
  • Laboratory Experience (18.33%)
  • Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) (14.39%)
  • Laboratory Safety (8.01%)
  • Bacteriology (5.88%)
  • Food Science (4.98%)
  • Analytical Testing (5.07%)
  • Virology (5.68%)
  • Laboratory Equipment (19.09%)
  • Laboratory Procedures (11.95%)
  • Auditing (11.18%)
  • Quality Management Systems (7.65%)
  • Asepsis (18.6%)
  • Biochemical Assays (16.16%)
  • Biochemistry (16.4%)
  • Food Safety And Sanitation (3.58%)
  • Change Control (4.1%)
  • Data Analysis (9.59%)
  • Aseptic Processing (6.63%)
  • Medical Laboratory (16.36%)
  • Corrective And Preventive Action (CAPA) (9.82%)
  • Antimicrobials (5.02%)
  • Immunology (8.6%)
  • Molecular Biology (12.4%)
  • Reagent (7.6%)
  • Housekeeping (4.43%)
  • Clinical Laboratory Science (11.09%)
  • Laboratory Information Management Systems (10.02%)
  • Infectious Diseases (5.34%)
  • Sterilization (7.8%)
  • Laboratory Techniques (10.09%)
  • ISO/IEC 17025 (3.42%)
  • Infection Control (2.04%)
  • Pathology (2.62%)
  • Standard Operating Procedure (15.38%)
  • Health Technology (7.94%)
  • Pharmaceuticals (15.39%)
  • Laboratory Testing (15.63%)
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (12.31%)
  • New Product Development (4.66%)
  • Risk Analysis (3.12%)

Distinguishing Skills

A skill that may distinguish a subset of the occupation.

  • Food Microbiology (1.99%)
  • Microbial Ecology (1.83%)
  • Gram Staining (4.41%)
  • Molecular Microbiology (1.09%)
  • Sterility (3.69%)
  • Endotoxin Testing (5.43%)

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills. The percentage of job postings that specifically mention each skill is listed.

  • Endotoxin Testing (8.88%)
  • Bioburden Testing (21.52%)
  • Food Microbiology (3.25%)
  • Microbiological Testing (31.81%)
  • Chemistry (35.39%)
  • Good Manufacturing Practices (51.28%)
  • Environmental Monitoring (35.59%)
  • Gram Staining (7.21%)
  • Microbial Ecology (2.99%)
  • Sterility (6.04%)

Alternative Job Titles

Sometimes employers post jobs with Microbiologist skills but a different job title. Some common alternative job titles include:

  • Quality Control Microbiologist
  • Clinical Laboratory Scientist
  • Research Microbiologist
  • Microbiology Supervisor
  • Medical Laboratory Scientist
  • Director of Microbiology
  • Microbiology Specialist
  • Lead Microbiologist
  • Clinical Microbiologist

Similar Occupations

If you are interested in exploring occupations with similar skills, you may want to research the following job titles. Note that we only list occupations that have at least one corresponding NC State Online and Distance Education program.

Common Employers

Here are the employers that have posted the most Microbiologist jobs in the past year along with how many they have posted.

United States

  • Actalent (353)
  • Eurofins (148)
  • The Judge Group (111)
  • Kelly Services (87)
  • University of California (57)
  • Abbott Laboratories (52)
  • Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (51)
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific (44)
  • Agricultural Research Service (43)
  • Zachary Piper Solutions (42)

North Carolina

  • Actalent (83)
  • Duke University (37)
  • Zachary Piper Solutions (16)
  • Eli Lilly (15)
  • Pfizer (10)
  • System One (8)
  • Azzur Group (7)
  • Eurofins (5)
  • K&A Recruiting (5)
  • Alcami Corporation (4)

NC State Programs Relevant to this Career

If you are interested in preparing for a career in this field, the following NC State Online and Distance Education programs offer a great place to start!