7 Careers After Microbiology Course (With Salary)

Updated 29 November 2022

Microbiology is the study of all living microscopic organisms, or microbes, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and algae. Microbiologists research and study the physiological, ecological and clinical aspects of these microbes. Microbiology is a vast field that offers various diverse career opportunities. In this article, we discuss the seven types of careers after a microbiology course, share the eligibility criteria to pursue the appropriate education and explore the skills required to become a microbiologist.

7 types of careers after microbiology course

Review this information if you want to learn more about careers after a microbiology course:

1. Research associate

National average salary: ₹31,938 per month

Primary duties: A research associate provides essential technical support in research teams to ensure that projects are successfully completed. They might even independently conduct experiments that have been devised by their superiors. Some research associates may also go to the field to collect samples of microscopic organisms to study.

2. Biomedical scientist

National average salary: ₹26,445 per month

Primary duties: These scientists are devoted to gaining an in-depth understanding of the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases in humans. They also work towards finding new cures and treatments for these diseases. They spend most of their time working in laboratories, conducting experiments and testing samples.

3. Microbiologist

National average salary: ₹17,704 per month

Primary duties: A microbiologist studies infectious microorganisms in a laboratory and records their observations. They aim to understand the characteristics of these organisms to help detect, prevent and treat infectious diseases. They develop new medicines and vaccines to protect humans from infectious diseases and may often repeat experiments to make sure the data is accurate.

4. Pharmacologist

National average salary: ₹11,17,927 per year

Primary duties: Pharmacologists develop and test drugs for safety and efficacy. They may specialise in a specific type of medication, such as veterinary medication. To become a pharmacologist, you are required to complete a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D ) or a Ph.D. in pharmacology. They may work in labs or clinical trials where they study voluntary patients for the potency and side effects of drugs.

5. Ecologist

National average salary: ₹49,323 per month

Primary duties: An ecologist studies the interaction of plants and animals in their environment. They may observe and report the impact of construction and other human activities on plant and animal life. Based on the collected data and analysis, they prepare reports and also give recommendations on policies to protect endangered species. Ecologists may even visit construction sites to oversee the work, check if the recommendations are being followed and study the impacts on animal and plant life.

6. Science writer

National average salary: ₹9,00,000 per year

Primary duties: A science writer, also known as a scientific writer, indulges in investigative journalism and writing news and reports related to the field of science. Their work may involve interviewing professionals in the field, such as doctors and scientists. They may even attend certain conferences and events where they can gain more information about the latest trends and breakthroughs in science.

7. Food technologist

National average salary: ₹22,126 per month

Primary duties: A food technologist scrutinises the food manufacturing process and ensures that the food quality is up to the mark and safe to consume. They may also carry out some research related to food and ensure the labelling is accurate or provides the correct nutritional values. Their research may relate to different food items and discovering best packaging and preservation methods.

Related: How To Become A Food Technologist (Including Necessary Education)

Things to know about microbiology courses

If you are considering a career in microbiology, get familiar with the most common route to becoming a microbiologist. This can help you understand the steps you could plan for yourself depending on your areas of interest and competencies within the field of microbiology. Here are some of the things you may consider about microbiology courses to help you measure your eligibility:

Eligibility criteria for a bachelor's degree in microbiology

To gain admission into a bachelor's degree in microbiology, you are required to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Complete 10+2 with physics, chemistry and biology as your subjects.

  • A minimum score of 50% may get you admission to some colleges. However, the higher your score the wider your options could be and the better your chances of getting admission into a good college.

  • Some institutions may expect candidates to pass an entrance exam.

Eligibility criteria for a master's degree in microbiology

For a post-graduate or a master's degree in microbiology, here are the eligibility criteria:

  • Complete a bachelor's degree in any stream of science such as botany, zoology, chemistry, physiology and microbiology with at least 55% of marks (50% for SC/ST candidates) from a recognised university.

  • Clear an entrance exam to secure admission. These could be common entrance exams or they could be university-specific (organised by the relevant universities).

Entrance exams

Some of the popular entrance exams include the following:

  • NEET (National Eligibility Entrance Test): This exam tests candidates for the MBBS and BDS programmes. It is conducted in May each year and can be taken in other Indian languages apart from English and Hindi.

  • AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences): All India Institute of Medical Sciences, one of the most sought-after medical colleges in India, conducts the MSc entrance examination every year. This national-level postgraduate entrance exam contains 90 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) to be completed in 90 minutes.

  • JIPMER (Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research): The selection and admission of MSc students at JIPMER Puducherry is based on the online entrance exam containing a total of 200 MCQs. The students compete to win one of the 200 seats that are available to the best performers.

Bachelor's courses in microbiology

These are the most popular bachelor level courses related to the field of microbiology:

  • Bachelor of Science in microbiology: A BSc in microbiology involves the study of microorganisms, typically bacteria, fungi and protozoan parasites. This is a course with possibly the broadest scope in terms of job opportunities.

  • Bachelor of Science in applied microbiology: This involves the application of the basic knowledge of microorganisms to industry, agriculture, health and the environment. Finding ways to eliminate harmful microbes and employing the ones that are useful to us, is all part of this branch of study.

  • Bachelor of Science in industrial microbiology: This multidisciplinary course helps the students explore microbiology with relation to other sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics and technology.

  • Bachelor of Science in clinical microbiology: This course covers the effects of pathogens in humans and animals and the nature of such organisms. Medical microbiology, pathology, clinical biochemistry and immunology are some of the subjects included in this course.

Related: 12 Careers After A BSc Course (With Duties And Salary)

Master's courses in microbiology

  • Master of Science in microbiology: This would be the most natural progression from a BSc in microbiology.

  • Master of Science in applied microbiology: The most likely choice of a student who has completed a BSc in applied microbiology.

  • Master of Science in medical microbiology: This is an advanced study that includes subjects relevant to the field of health and medicine such as bacteriology, immunology, virology and biochemistry.

  • Master of Science in microbial genetics and bioinformatics: Microbial genetics combines the areas of microbiology and genetic engineering, while bioinformatics involves the use of computation tools to analyse and interpret biological data.

Skills needed to become a microbiologist

As a microbiologist, you are likely to be dealing with intricate knowledge and information that can have many consequences on the human anatomy and environment. Hence, it is essential to pay attention to detail and accuracy. Often, you may encounter challenging new situations while working, when previous knowledge could be challenged to arrive at solutions. This will require excellent problem-solving skills apart from the ability to think clearly and logically. As a microbiologist, you are required to do extensive research.

Good writing and communication skills can help in adequately supporting your arguments and logging your findings in a manner that others can easily assimilate. Also, you may often work with a team of scientists and microbiologists. Therefore, it is important to have leadership skills to ensure projects follow a set schedule and meet their objectives. Finally, having analytical skills is crucial to being a microbiologist, as they have to analyse the data or findings of their research and experiments to draw meaningful conclusions. Microbiologists identify problems during their research and come up with scientific solutions.

Related: Leadership Skills: Definitions And Examples

Salary figures show data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing the article. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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