CAREERS IN MICROBIOLOGY
Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms, those being unicellular (single cell), multicellular,(cell colony), or a cellular (lacking cells). Microbiology encompasses numerous sub-disciplines including virology, mycology, Parasitology, bacteriology.
Eukaryotic, micro-organisms possess membrane-bound cell organelles and include fungi, and protists, whereas prokaryotic organisms- all of which are microorganisms, conventionally classified as lacking membrane- bounce organelles, and include,eubacteria and archebacteria. Microbiologists traditionally relied on culture, staining, and microscopy. However, less than 1% of the microorganisms present in common environment, can be cultured in isolation using current means.
Viruses have been variably classified as organisms, as they have been considered, either as very simple microorganisms, or very complex molecules. Prions, never considered microorganisms, have been investigated by virologists, however, as the clinical effects traced to them were originally presumed due to chronic viral infections, and virologists took search—discovering “infectious proteins”.
As an application of microbiology, medical microbiology, often introduced with medical principles of immunology as microbiology, and immunology. Otherwise, microbiology, virology, and immunology as basic sciences have great exceeded the medical variants, applied sciences.
What does a microbiologist do?
Microbiologists study the word of organisms, that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Some of these microorganisms are infected agents to humans, animals, or plants. Many of these microorganisms, however, carry out important functions, in their niches that are essential for all life on earth. Microbiologists study the interaction of microorganisms,with people and how they affect our lives, as well as the roles these organisms, play in the environment. Microbiologists work in hospitals, universities, medical schools, government laboratories, and almost every industry, specializing in a variety of areas, from agriculture to the space industry.
DUTIES OF MICROBIOLOGISTS
Microbiologists typically do the following:
- Plan and conduct complex research projects, such as improving sterilization procedures or developing, new drugs to combat infectious diseases
- Perform laboratory services, that are used in the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses
- Supervise the work of biological technicians, and other workers and evaluate the accuracy of their results
- Isolate and maintain cultures of bacteria, or other microorganisms for study
- Identity and classify microorganisms found in specimens,collected from humans, plants, animals, or the environment
- Monitor the effect of microorganisms on the plants, animals, other microorganisms, or the environment
- Keep up with current knowledge by reviewing, the findings of other researches, and by attending conferences
- Prepare technical reports, publish research papers, and make recommendations based on their research findings
- Present research findings to scientists, nonscientist executives, engineers, other colleagues and the public
Microbiologists use computers and a wide variety of sophisticated, laboratory instruments to do their experiments. Electron microscopes are used to study bacteria, and advanced computer software is used to analyze, the growth of the microorganisms found in samples. It is increasingly common for microbiologists to work on teams, with technicians and scientists in other fields, because many scientific research projects involve multiple disciplines. Microbiologists may work with, medical scientists or biochemists while researching new drugs, or they may work in medical diagnostic laboratories alongside physicians and nurses to help prevent, treat, and cure diseases. For more information, see the profiles on biochemists and biophysicists, physicians and surgeons, and registered nurses.
The following are examples of types of microbiologists:
Bacteriologists study the growth, development, and other properties of bacteria, including the positive and negative effects that bacteria have on plants, animals, and humans.
Clinical microbiologists perform a wide range of clinical laboratory tests on specimens collected form plants, humans, to aid in detection of disease. Clinical and medical microbiologists whose work involved directly researching human health may b classified as medical scientists.
Environmental microbiologists study the ways in which microorganisms interact with the environment. They may study the use of microbes to clean up areas contaminated by heavy metals or study how microbes could aid crop growth.
Industrial microbiologists study and solve problems related to industrial production processes. They may examine microbial growth found in the pipes of the chemical factory, monitor the impact industrial waste has on the local ecosystem, or oversee the microbial activities used in cheese production to ensure quality.
Mycologists study the properties of fungi such as yeast and mold, as well as the way fungi can be used (for example, in food or the environment) to benefit society.
Parasitologists study the life cycle of parasites-host relationship, and how parasites adapt to different environments. They may investigate the outbreak and control of parasitic diseases such as malaria.
Public health microbiologists examine specimens in order to track, control, and prevent communicable diseases and other health hazards. They typically provide laboratory services for local health departments and community health programs.
Virologists study the structure, development, and other properties of viruses and any effects viruses have on infected organisms.
HOW TO BECOME A MICROBIOLOGIST
A bachelor’s degree in microbiology or a closely related field is needed for entry-level microbiologist jobs. A PhD is needed to carry out independent research, and to work in universities.
Microbiologists need at least a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, or closely related field such as biochemistry or cell biology. Many colleges and universities,offer degree programs in biological sciences, including microbiology.
Most microbiology majors take core courses in microbial genetics, and microbial physiology, and elective classes such as environmental microbiology,and virology. Students also must take classes in other sciences, such as biochemistry, chemistry and physics, because it is important for microbiologists to have a board understanding of the sciences. Courses in statistics, mathematics, and computer science are important for microbiologists, because they must be able to do complex data analysis.
Microbiologists typically need a PhD to carry out independent research,and work in colleges and universities. Graduate students studying microbiology commonly specialize in a subfield such as bacteriology, and immunology. PhD programs usually include class work, laboratory research, and completing a thesis or dissertation.
Many microbiology PhD holders begin their careers in temporary, postdoctoral research positions. During their postdoctoral appointment, they work with experienced scientists, as they continue to learn about their specialties, and develop a broader understanding of related areas of research.
Postdoctoral positions typically offer the opportunity to publish research findings. A solid record of published research is essential to getting a permanent college or university faculty position.
The median annual wage for microbiologist was $67,550 in May 2015. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned, more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $38,810, and the highest 10 percent earned more than$125,200.
In May 2015, the median annual wages for microbiologists in the top industries in which they works were as follows:
|Federal government, excluding postal service||$99,280|
|Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences||$74,170|
|Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing||$64,640|
|State government, excluding education and hospitals||$53,450|
|Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state||$48,810|
MICROBIOLOGISTS JOB PROSPECTS
Microbiology is a thriving field that should provide good prospects for qualified workers. Most of the applied research projects that, microbiologists are involved in requires the expertise of scientists in multiple fields such as biophysics, chemistry, and medicine. Microbiologists with some familiarity of other disciplines should have the best opportunities.