How to become a Microbiologist

Microbiologists study microscopic forms of life such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, algae and fungi to increase scientific knowledge and develop medical, veterinary, industrial, environmental and other practical applications.

Personal requirements for a Microbiologist

  • Enjoy and have aptitude for science and research
  • Able to think logically and analytically
  • Able to carry out detailed and accurate work
  • Able to think creatively and solve problems

Education & Training for a Microbiologist

To become a microbiologist you usually have to complete a degree in science, biomedical science, medical science or health science at university with a major in microbiology. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics are normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.


Duties & Tasks of a Microbiologist

Microbiologists:

  • Develop products, such as antibiotics, detergents or cosmetics
  • Test samples from patients, isolating and identifying the microbes that cause illness
  • Prevent and control the spread of harmful microbes in hospitals, the food industry and the general population
  • Advise the government about public health policies
  • Examine natural products
  • Investigate the potential of microbes to improve human and animal health through nutrition
  • Develop and improve fermented drinks and foods
  • Research the microbiology of plants
  • Study DNA and the use of bacteria to introduce specially engineered genes into an organism
  • Use their knowledge of microbiology to minimise environmental impact
  • Investigate the ways in which microorganisms can be used to improve and enhance products

Tasks

  • Examines micro-organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, yeast and their enzymes, and uses the knowledge gained to create and develop new, and improve existing, products, materials and processes..
  • Investigates the chemical structure and function of living cells and their isolated components, organs and tissues in humans, animals, plants, and micro-organisms..

Employment Opportunities for a Microbiologist

Microbiologists are employed in federal, state, territory and local government organisations, including research organisations and hospitals. They are also employed in the private sector in a wide range of industries, such as agriculture, food production, private pathology and pharmaceuticals.


Specializations

Microbiologist

Microbiologists study microscopic forms of life such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, algae and fungi to increase scientific knowledge and develop medical, veterinary, industrial, environmental and other practical applications.

  • Average age
    Average age
    38 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    71% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    41 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,794
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Average unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    78% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    730 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 2.3%
    NSW: 27.6%
    NT: 1.4%
    QLD: 19.8%
    SA: 5.1%
    TAS: 2.4%
    VIC: 35.6%
    WA: 5.7%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0%
    20-24: 4.4%
    25-34: 32.1%
    35-44: 31.3%
    45-54: 17.7%
    55-59: 7.1%
    60-64: 5.2%
    65 and Over: 2.1%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 3.8%
    Bachelor degree: 57.1%
    Certificate III/IV: 0.4%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 36.4%
    Year 10 and below: 0%
    Year 11: 0%
    Year 12: 2.3%
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