How to become a microbiologist

How to become a microbiologist? you are about to get the perfect answer you won’t get elsewhere.

microbiology is the scientific study of microorganisms such as bacteria, virus amongst others. Microbiologists determine the cause of illness through the study of these microbes, see how these microbes interact with the environment, are able to make drugs for diseases, a variety of biopolymers are made with the help of microbes, and so much more.

Overview of how to become a microbiologist

The study of unseen microbiological life started in the 6th century and before then there have been hypotheses on the existence of the microorganism.

Antoni van Leeuwenhoek a cloth trader from Delft, is the founding father of microbiology, he used homemade microscopes to examine microorganisms in the 1670s.

Present-day, microbiology has become a career part for many people around the world, its application ranging in many aspects of life. To become a microbiologist, one must acquire a degree in microbiology which also involves prerequisites in relevant natural sciences.

Education involved on how to become a microbiologist

How to become a microbiologist? How would one really start a career in microbiology, first you must acquire your secondary school or high school certificate with prerequisite courses in Biology, Chemistry, physics, and mathematics among other subjects.

How to become a microbiologist

This will be required for your application to college or university to get your degree in microbiology. There are two types of microbiology pure microbiology and applied microbiology. There are different branches of pure microbiology that include but are not  limited to:

  • Bacteriology
  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Nematology
  • Parasitology
  • Microbial genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Mycology
  • Microbial psychology
  • Cellular microbiology


Bacteriology is a part of microbiology that encompasses the study of bacteria, viruses, and all other sorts of microorganisms. Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms that lack a nuclear membrane, are metabolically active, and divide by binary fission

An example of bacteriology is studying which organisms live in the human colon and are necessary for proper digestion.


Immunology is the study of the immune system and is a very important branch of the medical and biological sciences like microbiology.

The immune system protects us from infection through various lines of defense. If the immune system is not functioning as it should, it can result in diseases, such as autoimmunity, allergy, and cancer.


In this article on how to become a microbiologist,  it is important you know what virology means.

Virology is the study of viruses and virus-like agents, including, but not limited to, their taxonomy, and disease-producing properties.


Nematology is the scientific discipline concerned with the study of nematodes or roundworms.


Parasitology is the scientific discipline concerned with the study of the biology of parasites and parasitic diseases, including the distribution, biochemistry, physiology, molecular biology, ecology, evolution, and clinical aspects of parasites, including the host response to these agents.

Microbial genetics

Microbes provide a relatively simple system for studying genetic phenomena and are thus useful to other higher organisms.

Microbial genetics will be useful in studying the gene transfer from one organism to another.


Phylogeny, is the history of the evolution of a species or group, especially in reference to lines of descent and relationships among broad groups of organisms.


Mycology is the study of fungi, a group that includes mushrooms and yeasts. Mycology also has important applications in the dairy, wine, and baking industries and in the production of dyes and inks.

There is also applied microbiology which deals with the application and use of microbes in science and for human beneficial purposes, this applied microbiology includes medical microbiology, pharmaceutical microbiology, environmental microbiology, water microbiology, and veterinary microbiology amongst many others.

Becoming a microbiologist will take you about 4 to 6 years to complete an undergraduate degree this varies from country to country, a master’s degree will last for 2 years, some institutions in the United States it is not entirely compulsory to do a masters program before the Ph.D. program, which lasts for about 1 to 2 years.

Microbiology is a detailed program and will require students to pay attention to lots of details, basic knowledge of the natural sciences mentioned earlier will ease you throughout the program, so becoming a microbiologist will be hard or not depending on your attitude to academics.

Some will consider that microbiology is stressful, you should articulate your workload and work with what’s best for you to avoid you breaking down.

Choice of University matters too, picking one affords you to pick the best learning environment for the progress of your studies, also the choice of institution matters concerning learning tools adequate to handle the course seeing how voluminous it is, laboratories should be equipped and communities are also important.

Some of the varsities or colleges might be above budget, search for the various scholarships offered by the universities or online, there is a plethora of them. Some of the best schools to enroll to become a microbiologist include Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California, Oxford University, and so on.

If you are considering the best nations to study and career opportunities here are some of the best to consider United States of America, Finland, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

Career Opportunities and Requirements

The job prospects for microbiologists are positive, there are many microbiologist jobs and career opportunities. A microbiologist work will not just be strictly working in a laboratory, there are many opportunity roles where a microbiologist can work such as in schools as lecturers, beverage industries, hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry,

To become a microbiologist you have to acquire a degree in microbiology or related courses. Some of the job opportunities for microbiologists include-

  • Research Assistance
  • Environmental microbiologist
  • Food technologist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Industrial microbiologist
  • Clinical and veterinary microbiologist
  • Biomedical scientist
  • Academic researcher
  • Water quality scientist
  • Sales or technical representative
  • Cosmetics

Microbiology is a good career to pursue or has good job prospects depending on the degree you have acquired from your intuition.

In Nigeria for instance a microbiologist has the same options listed above you can work in the pharmaceutical, the education sector, a research institute like FIRO, and the petroleum industry to mention but a few.

A microbiologist can work in different ranges and some come with their job descriptions for example the environmental microbiologist studies the relationship between microorganisms and their environment, they play an important role in pollution control, wildlife, forest protection, and many other roles.

Medical microbiology is also an aspect of microbiology that specializes in medicine- prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of ills, this part of microbiology or biologists are doctors.

Other disciplines within the microbiology group will have to attain their Ph.D. status to be referred to as Doctors. Still, microbiologists can become doctors should they choose to attend medical school their degrees should prove quite useful in their pursuit seeing that medicine also requires the same prerequisite subjects.

Not only medical microbiology can work in a hospital, but others can function such as being clinical scientists or consultants. Consultant microbiologists perform laboratory research and advisory roles to their medical counterparts.

Microbiologist Salary

The salaries of microbiologists are dependent on different factors and regions.  In the UK for instance, under the NHS, salaries differ depending on specialization, training, and experience the average salary ranges from 32,000 to 108,000 euros.

In the United States, the average salary for a microbiologist is 69,768 dollars per annum, an average of 2,000 to 5,000 USD monthly.

In Nigeria, the average salary falls between 50,000 to 300,000 this depends on the sector you are working in, your experience, and your specialization.

In India, the salary ranges from R1,50,000 to R2,900,000 for microbiologists.


Microbes exist in everyday life – food, drinks, and nature itself. There is also space microbiology that focuses on microbes in space and interstellar planetary bodies.

Microbiologists explore ways these microbes are useful and harmful to man, and the contributions they can make to have as seen in medicine or drugs.

Microbiologists are about discovery and research and this can be fulfilling to most people and others not so much as a career part. Becoming a microbiologist will take a lot of commitment from you and choosing to be one is a journey you would love to take.

I am confident you can give anyone a perfect answer to this question on how to become a microbiologist.


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