Clinical Microbiologist

Find the link between microorganisms and diseases.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$39,000 – $116,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Clinical Microbiologists do?

The title “Clinical Microbiologist” falls under the broad category of " Microbiologist. " Like any other position in this field, this one is concerned with the study of microorganisms to figure out how they function and affect the people and animals around them. The difference between this and other positions is you focus on infectious diseases and the organisms that cause them. You spend your days studying parasites, viruses, and bacteria, and trying to understand and find cures for diseases ranging from the common cold to HIV.

So if you want to be the perfect Clinical Microbiologist, you should be able to combine being a researcher with being a Doctor. You shouldn’t mind spending hours looking through a microscope, and you should be able to communicate your findings to the patient and their Doctor.

You can find employment in a lot of different places. Hospitals, research facilities, public health departments, and private labs all have Clinical Microbiologists on staff. In a hospital, you can work with Doctors to help diagnose a particularly confusing disease, educate hospital staff on new diseases, and keep infections from spreading to new areas or wards. You might also explain test results, or consult with Doctors to make sure the right tests are ordered.

In a private lab or research facility, you can perform research on new strains of illnesses, or create drugs and medicines to defeat existing diseases. Public health departments, on the other hand, rely on you to educate the public using reports, news stories, and general information on new disease strains or outbreaks. No matter where you work, though, the one duty that’s constant is you always keep close records and reports of the work you do.

Should I be a Clinical Microbiologist?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • Also known as: Microbiological Laboratory Technician

    How to become a Clinical Microbiologist

    Clinical Microbiologists often have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aag9g9&chl=||associate%27s+%285%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2845%25%29|master%27s+%285%25%29|doctorate+%2845%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,45
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