What is a microbiologist? A microbiologist is a scientist who studies microscopic life forms and processes.
This question is better asked, “who is a microbiologist?” Microbiology is the study of microscopic life and other related non-living microscopic particles.
These microscopic organisms include bacteria, fungi, algae, viruses, prions, and many other subjects. Though not visible to the naked eye, they have a massive impact on every other living being on the planet.
Introduction to What is a microbiologist?
As earlier stated, on this question of what is a microbiologist? a proper way to ask such a question should be who is a microbiologist?
A microbiologist is a person that studies microbiology. There are numerous routes that qualify one to answer a microbiologist.
The academic qualification as a clinical/Medical Microbiologist in a hospital or medical research center generally requires a Master’s in Microbiology along with Ph. D.
Microbiology Ph.D. students usually specialize in a sub-area such as bacteriology or immunology. Doctoral programs usually include classwork, laboratory research, and a thesis or dissertation. During a microbiologist’s postdoc position, they will work with experienced scientists to further develop their subject areas and develop a broader understanding of related research areas. Postdoctoral positions often offer the opportunity to publish research results.
For you to gain a permanent position as a certified microbiologist, you need to publish your research thesis.
Medical microbiologists often serve as consultants for physicians, providing identification of pathogens and suggesting treatment options.
What do microbiologists do?
All over the world, there are microbiologists who are changing our lives. They ensure that our meals are clinically safe, develop eco-friendly technologies, and monitor the role of microbes in climate change.
At present, the scientific, and analytical skills developed by microbiology graduates are high in demand by employers. There are various options available to one after obtaining a degree s a microbiologist.
They work in a lot of places like laboratories, industrial companies, research microbes in the field, research institutes, and so on. However, knowledge of microbiology is not only important for these professions.
Microbiologists also make use of their skills in areas like technical support, marketing, education (teaching, museums, and science centers), business (patent attorney or accountant), and communications (public relations, journalism, and publishing ).
Microbiologists spend a lot of time preparing their experiments and research findings every day, whether it is from humans, or through other means.
After their samples have been thoroughly checked, a microbiologist can perform various activities on each organism.
These activities can include growing and experimenting with the samples, analyzing their composition or behavior, or optimizing them for a specific task.
The best-known equipment of a microbiologist is the microscope, which he uses to see things not visible to the naked eyes, but he also uses many other technologies in his work. They use special equipment to grow their microbes, as well as specific ingredients to create the culture medium that enables their samples to grow and multiply in the laboratory.
Some of the devices and machines used for analyzing your samples include nuclear magnetic resonance, electrophoresis, centrifuges, spectrographs, to name but a few.
Typical jobs include identifying and tracking microorganisms in a variety of environments, analyzing samples, developing new drugs, vaccines, and other methods to prevent the spread of disease, and managing and monitoring laboratory work.
Other functions may also include collecting samples from different environments, manufacturing quality control, generating reports, and advising external agencies.
A common characteristic of the work of a microbiologist is the repetition of experiments to obtain data using a variety of analytical techniques, powerful electron microscopes, and specialized computer software.
It is important that prospective microbiologists have laboratory experience prior to entering the world of work. Most microbiology programs include laboratory work.
You are advised to take extra laboratory classes. Students can also gain valuable experience through internships with potential employers such as drug manufacturers.
As a rule, a doctorate is required in order to conduct independent research and work at colleges and universities.
What skills do microbiologists need?
Below are the top skills good microbiologists should have;
You need to develop good relationships with clinical teams, laboratory colleagues, infectious disease specialists, medical staff, managers, and the public.
You need a lot of patience in performing experiments or finalizing your research as infections do not always respond immediately to treatment and sometimes a second or third treatment is required.
Flexible and Adaptable
There are persistent threats from emerging pathogens. The development of new diagnostic tests and research, particularly about combating “superbugs”, antibiotic resistance, and serious infectious diseases, is becoming increasingly important.
How does a microbiologist’s working environment look like?
Most of the microbiologists’ time is spent inwards, intensive care units, and outpatient departments.
They also spend their time in laboratories; they care for patients and advise their clinic and laboratory colleagues on the examination and treatment of infections of all kinds.
Microbiologists work closely with many health professionals such as biomedical engineers, pharmacists, general practitioners, and nurses for infection control and often take part in multidisciplinary clinical team meetings.
They also work with non-clinical peers such as farm managers to ensure buildings are designed and maintained. to reduce the risk of infection. Many microbiologists are involved in research ranging from molecular biology studies to clinical studies and implementation sciences.
The spread of infections around the world means that microbiologists are working together internationally to identify the next global threat of infection.
How much do microbiologists earn?
The average salary for a microbiologist in the United States as of May 2020 is between $ 45,690 and $ 156,360.
The specific salary depends on factors such as experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.
What can you do with a Bachelor of Microbiology?
Microbiologists can work with many people, so this career can be found in all types of institutions. You can work in academic institutions, either academic or professional research laboratories.
Some lesser-known settings for a microbiologist include hospitals, pharmaceuticals, water management, and forensic laboratories.
These professionals can also work as teachers or professors in educational institutions at different levels.
Some of the careers opened to microbiologists include:
A bacteriologist studies the properties of bacteria and their growth and development. Studying microbiology ins school opens you to this career.
The bacteriologist studies the positive and negative effects of bacteria on flora and fauna and develops a scientific perspective on all aspects of this research of paramount importance.
Bacteria are constantly evolving, mainly due to human activity, i.e. the overuse of certain products in agriculture and medicine. Hence, a bacteriologist is always needed
A parasitologist is a scientist who works and studies under the umbrella of microbiology with an emphasis on parasites.
Parasitologists’ research covers the parasite’s life cycle, the parasite-host relationship, and the parasite’s ecology, especially how they adapt to different environments, and parasitologists also study the course of epidemics and study the controls of diseases such as malaria.
A virology microbiologist studies the structure, development, and properties of viruses and how they interact with other organisms.
Investigates how microorganisms interact with each other and with the environment. A practical example of the job description of an environmental microbiologist is the investigation of how microbes can be used to clean surfaces that are contaminated with heavy metals or to support plant growth.
Industrial microbiologists solve problems associated with industrial processes. Their duties involve studying microbes in the pipes of chemical factories, studying the effects of industrial waste on the ecosystem, and improving the quality of foods like cheese by studying microbial activity.
Mycologists specialize in studying the properties of fungi such as molds and yeasts, and they also study the various benefits and risks of fungi.
Microbiologists study the growth and other properties of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, algae, and fungi.
Although most microbiologists are involved in research and development, many also conduct basic research intending to expand scientific knowledge; Others do applied research, and use knowledge from basic research to develop new products or to solve special problems.
For example, microbiologists help with the development of genetically modified plants, biofuels, and environmental protection measures.
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