What are the Different Microbiology Jobs?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Microbiologists find work in both the public and private sectors.
Microbiologists find work in both the public and private sectors.
Microbiologists find work in both the public and private sectors.

Microbiology is a branch of biology, the study of living organisms. Microbiology deals specifically with microorganisms—for example, algae, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses—and how they interact with other living organisms. People who have trained in microbiology are called microbiologists and work in a wide variety of microbiology jobs, some of which interact with other fields such as agriculture, environmental studies, food science, or medicine, in which they, for example, may be involved in virology, immunology, or bioinformatics.

Microbiologists may gather water samples to test for harmful microorganisms.
Microbiologists may gather water samples to test for harmful microorganisms.
Microbiologists may gather water samples to test for harmful microorganisms.

Like any other scientists, some microbiologists may become teachers in colleges and universities. They may also become science writers, using their expertise to share developments in their field with their peers or the general public. Alternatively, they may write textbooks to train future microbiologists.

Microbiology jobs in the area of food science can be classified into four main areas. In the area of food safety, there are microbiology jobs in which the focus is preventing foodborne pathogens—such as enteric viruses, Listeria monocytogenes, Escerichia coli, Salmonella—from spreading and helping prevent food spoilage. They also have a hand in identifying probiotic bacteria, bacteriocins, and bacteriophages that can be used to kill and inhibit foodborne pathogens.

A microbiologist may use Petri dishes to study bacteria.
A microbiologist may use Petri dishes to study bacteria.
A microbiologist may use Petri dishes to study bacteria.

On the positive side, there are microbiology jobs involved with food additives, which are used in the food industry as emulsifiers, thickeners, stabilizers, viscosifers, for example. Fermentation of bacteria and yeast—used to make bread, beer, cheese, kefir, kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, wine, and yogurt—is another area of food industry microbiology jobs. Microbiologists also work in food engineering, the field in which new foods and food-related products are developed.

Protozoologists study the microscopic organisms known as protozoa.
Protozoologists study the microscopic organisms known as protozoa.
Protozoologists study the microscopic organisms known as protozoa.

Microbiologists working as environmental scientists, study the effects of biological and chemical activity on the environment. This study can both help humans see the impacts of their choices and also prevent future problems by being aware of potential issues before they actually occur.

There are many microbiology jobs related to the field of medicine. Some of these are characterized by the type of organism under investigation. A bacteriologist, for example, specializes in the study of bacteria, while a mycologist specializes in fungi, a protozoologist specializes in algae and protozoa, and a virologist specializes in viruses.

There are many microbiology jobs related to the field of medicine.
There are many microbiology jobs related to the field of medicine.
There are many microbiology jobs related to the field of medicine.

Microbiology jobs related to medicine can also be characterized in other ways. For example, immunologists study the body’s defense system as it tries to overcome disease. Microbial epidemiologists study how microorganisms play various roles in both illness and health. Parasitologists focus on parasitic organisms, the survival of which depends on their relationship with other organisms.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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Discussion Comments

anon184776

Surely this is a very good field of science. I am much interested in it and i wish to join this study in the university course

milagros

Microbiologists usually work in laboratories. Even some bigger police departments have laboratories that employ a microbiologist.

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    • Microbiologists find work in both the public and private sectors.
      Microbiologists find work in both the public and private sectors.
    • Microbiologists may gather water samples to test for harmful microorganisms.
      Microbiologists may gather water samples to test for harmful microorganisms.
    • A microbiologist may use Petri dishes to study bacteria.
      A microbiologist may use Petri dishes to study bacteria.
    • Protozoologists study the microscopic organisms known as protozoa.
      Protozoologists study the microscopic organisms known as protozoa.
    • There are many microbiology jobs related to the field of medicine.
      There are many microbiology jobs related to the field of medicine.