Veterinary Microbiologist

Study organisms like bacteria and viruses that can make animals sick.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$50,000 – $145,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Veterinary Microbiologists do?

The tiniest forms of life can take down the biggest ones. For example, yeast, fungi, viruses, and bacteria can all attack animals, and those animals can get sick or even die without the proper treatment. Luckily for the big ones, a Veterinary Microbiologist is on the job. Veterinary Microbiologists study these teeny organisms to find out how they impact pets and livestock and how they can be stopped.

When you’re a Veterinary Microbiologist, samples of the blood and tissue of dogs and cats with mysterious symptoms are sent to your laboratory. You look over each animal’s medical history, and think hard about what small life forms could be causing those nasty symptoms. Then, you perform a battery of tests to try to find the problem. If you do find the cause of the symptoms, you recommend a course of treatment that makes the animal feel better.
Butchers often look to you for help in testing their animals. Small microbes in livestock can infect people who dine on that meat. The Butchers send you samples of meat, and you test those samples for every problem you can think of. If you spot a problem, you notify the Butcher and the local authorities so the meat can be destroyed before anyone eats it.

Research plays an important role in your work. If you can figure out how to kill some of these small life forms, you can save many animals from disease and make your own job a lot easier. Sometimes, you test medications on infected cells, while other times, you try novel treatments such as heat or radiation. Whatever the treatment, you document all of your research carefully, even if your experiments aren’t successful.

Should I be a Veterinary 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.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Veterinary Milk-Specialist

    How to Become a
    Veterinary Microbiologist

    Most Veterinary Microbiologists have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaa9&chl=|||||doctorate+%28100%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,100
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