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Career as Microbiologist

Career as a Microbiologist

About Microbiologist

In the recent years, Microbiology has created a lot of buzz and gained popularity leading to a rush in the number of students who are looking forward to pursuing microbiology as a career. A person who specialises in the field of microbiology is called as a microbiologist. Microbiologists are regarded as scientists who play a vital role in studying organisms and infectious agents that cannot be seen with the unprotected eye. They also study the interactions of microorganisms with humans and other organisms that exist and affect our lives. Microbiologists also check the food whether it is safe or not, develop green technologies and track the role of microbes in the climate change.

Eligibility to become Microbiologist

In order to start a career in Microbiology, students must choose PCB (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) stream in Class 12. The students must score at least 50% marks in Class 12 to take up higher level education in the field of microbiology. Usually, there will be no entrance test for UG level courses in microbiology or biology.

Subjects Combination: Science stream with Biology as the major subject in Class 12 is mandatory to take up Microbiology course.

Eligibility: -

  • For taking up UG level courses, i.e., B.Sc in Microbiology, students need to pass Class 12 with a minimum of 50% marks.
  • For taking up M.Sc in Microbiology, B.Sc degree in Microbiology/ Biology/ Zoology/ Botany is mandatory.
  • For taking up Ph.D. or M.Phil courses in the field of microbiology and associated areas, Master’s course is mandatory in the relevant field.
  • Most universities conduct entrance test for Master’s, M.Phil and Ph.D. courses.

Types of Job Roles Microbiologist

Microbiologists are required for diverse jobs. The following are some of the job profiles that Microbiologists can take up after obtaining the necessary skills.

Research Assistant: These microbiologists engage in research activities associated with microorganisms, causes for the diseases, figuring out solutions or treatment for diseases etc. They assist higher-level researchers in varied activities in the field of science.

Biomedical Scientists: Biomedical Scientists carry out a wide range of scientific and laboratory tests to support the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

Food Technologist: The major responsibility of the food technologist is to ensure safe and efficient development, manufacture and modification of food products and processes.  

Pharmacologist: Usually, pharmacologists specialise in a specific field of research such as pharmacokinetics, toxicology etc. Microbiologists can choose pharmacology as one of the subjects at the Ph.D. level.

Clinical & Veterinary Microbiologists: Veterinary microbiologists are veterinarians who specialise in the study of microorganisms that cause infectious diseases to animals.

Industrial Microbiologist: These microbiologists apply engineering and scientific principles to the processing of materials by microorganisms, plant and animal cells to create useful products or processes.

Environmental Microbiologist: The major responsibility of the environmental microbiologist is to study the microorganisms that exist in artificial environments such as bioreactors.      

Employment Opportunities for Microbiologists

Microbiologists are required in diverse domains in the field of Science. A qualified microbiologist can get employment in the following sectors/ domains/ areas: -

  • Agriculture Department
  • Chemical Industries
  • Beverage Industry
  • Food Industry
  • Environmental Agencies
  • Research Organisations
  • Private Hospitals
  • Laboratories
  • Universities
  • Pharmaceutical Industries

Students can also look for employment opportunities in government sector. For this purpose, the students must clear the recruitment exams conducted by various bodies.

Top Recruiting Agencies for Microbiologists

Here are some of the top recruiting agencies for microbiologists in India: -

  • Pfizer
  • Lakshmi Life Sciences Ltd
  • The Indian Hotels Company Ltd
  • Krauter Healthcare Limited
  • Alpha Pharma Healthcare India Pvt Ltd
  • Siron Technology Pvt Ltd
  • Mascot International

Planning to choose Microbiologist as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Microbiologist

Microbiologists in diverse sectors earn a satisfactory salary. Most companies pay more for highly skilled and experienced Microbiologists and researchers. The average salary structure of Microbiologists is detailed below.

Job Profile

Starting Salary per annum (in INR)

Mid Level Salary per annum (in INR)

Senior Level Salary per annum (In INR)


Rs. 1,50,000

Rs. 2,90,000

Rs. 4,00,000 – Rs. 8,00,000

Biomedical Scientist

Rs. 2,00,000 – Rs. 3,00,000

Rs. 3,50,000

Rs. 5,00,000

Food Technologist

Rs. 3,00,000

Rs. 4,00,000

Rs. 5,00,000

Industrial Microbiologist

Rs. 1,50,000

Rs. 2,90,000

Rs. 5,00,000


Note: The above figures are an estimate and may vary from individual to individual and company to company.

Books & Study Material to Become Microbiologist

Students pursuing courses in Microbiology can refer the following books for enhancing the knowledge and for entrance exams.

  • Microbiology: An Introduction by Gerard J. Tortora, Berdell R. Funke and Christine L. Case
  • Brock Biology of Microorganisms by Michael T. Madigan, John M. Martinko, Kelly S. Bender, Daniel H. Buckley, David A. Stahl and Thomas Brock
  • Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple by Mark Gladwin, Bill Trattler and C. Scott Mahan
  • Prescott’s Microbiology by Joanne Willey, Linda Sherwood and Christopher J. Woolverton
  • Jawetz Melnick & Adelbergs Medical Microbiology by Geo. Brooks, Karen C. Carroll, Janet Butel and Stephen Morse
  • Bailey & Scott’s Diagnostic Microbiology by Patricia Tille

Pros of becoming a Microbiologist

  • Varied specialisations in the field of biology are a boon to people associated with it. There is a lot of scope for the development of a career.
  • Flexible working conditions

Cons of becoming a Microbiologist

  • The highly competitive job market
  • Possible exposure to hazardous materials

Paths for Being Microbiologist

FAQs about Microbiologist

Who is called the “Father of Bacteria”?

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek is regarded as the “Father of Bacteria”.

Which companies hire microbiologists?

Companies such as Mascot International, Krauter Healthcare Ltd, Pfizer, Siren Technology Pvt Ltd etc hire microbiologists in various job roles.

Is COVID-19 caused by a microbe or a virus?

COVID-19 is caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2 that belongs to the family of coronaviruses.

Is math necessary to study microbiology?

No, to become a microbiologist, the students need not necessarily have to study mathematics.

Do microbiologists often get exposed to hazardous infectious agents or microbes very often?

Yes, microbiologists do sometimes get exposed to hazardous microbes and infectious agents which lead to their death sometimes.

How much do microbiologists make on average on a yearly basis?

On average, microbiologists make in the range of INR 1.5 LPA and INR 8 LPA in India.

Which period is referred to as the “Golden Age of Microbiology”?

The period between 1850 and 1915 is regarded as the “Golden Age of Microbiology”.

Which is the best country to study microbiology from?

Countries like the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Australia etc are the best countries to study microbiology from.

How many years does it take to become a microbiologist?

It takes around 3 to 5 years to become a successful microbiologist.

What is the job of microbiologists?

Microbiologists are those who study infectious agents or organisms that are not visible to the naked eyes of human beings.

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