Microbiologist

Salary/Compensation

In the Philippines, a microbiologist’s entry level salary ranges from P20,000 - P35,000 per month and may even go up to P50,000 per month for those highly-trained and experienced. Overseas, such as in the U.S. and Canada, the annual average salary for a microbiologist is $88,540 or $7,378 per month.

Basic Educational Requirement

To become a microbiologist, the minimum educational requirement is a master’s degree, and the pre-requisite course is a bachelor’s degree in B.S. Biology. Other undergraduate degrees that may lead to being a microbiologist are the following biological sciences: Botany, Chemistry, Physiology, Zoology, Marine Biology, and Biotechnology.

Cost of Education *

An undergraduate course in biological sciences-related field normally ranges from P35,000 to P50,000 per semester and post graduate course in biological sciences will approximately cost P40,000 per semester in private colleges and universities. However, the tuition fee costs less by around 10% to 40% in public colleges and universities which offer the same discipline.

Employment Opportunities

Opportunities for those with a bachelor's or master's degree in microbiology are expected to be better. The number of science-related jobs in sales, marketing, and research and development management for which non-Ph. D. holders usually qualify is expected to exceed the number of independent research positions. Non-Ph.D. holders also may fill positions as science or engineering technicians or as medical health technologists and technicians. Microbiologists mostly work independently in private industries, universities, or government laboratories, often exploring new areas of research or expanding on specialized research started in graduate school. Nonetheless, microbiologists may be employed in the following industries: Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry, Fishing, Public Adminstration and Defense, Compulsory Social Security, and Health and Social Work.

Prospects for Career Advancement

A Ph. D. degree usually is necessary for independent research, industrial research, and college teaching, as well as for advancement to administrative positions. A master's degree is sufficient for some jobs in basic research, applied research or product development, management, or inspection; it also may qualify one to be nominated or appointed as head of the various research and development agencies of the government.

Nature of Work

A Microbiologist investigates the growth, structure, development, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. He/She also studies the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on micro organisms.

Tasks

  • Conducts chemical analyses of substances such as acids, alcohols, and enzymes;
  • Examines physiological, morphological, and cultural characteristics, using microscope, to identify and classifies microorganisms in human, water, and food specimens;
  • Investigates the relationship between organisms and disease including the control of epidemics and the effects of antibiotics on micro organisms;
  • Isolates and makes cultures of bacteria or other microorganisms in prescribed media, controlling moisture, aeration, temperature, and nutrition;
  • Performs tests on water, food and the environment to detect harmful microorganisms and to obtain information about sources of pollution and contamination;
  • Prepares technical reports and recommendations based upon research outcomes;
  • Provides laboratory services for health departments, for community environmental health programs and for physicians needing information for diagnosis and treatment; and
  • Studies growth, structure, development, and general characteristics of bacteria and other micro organisms to understand their relationship to human, plant, and animal health.

Skills and Competencies

  • Ability to work independently or as part of a team;
  • Can communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing;
  • Knowledgeable in plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment; and
  • Possess a keen knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Physical Attributes and Characteristics

  • Must have physical stamina for those doing field research in remote areas;
  • Must be patient and self-disciplined to conduct long and detailed research projects; and
  • Good attention to detail.

* Based on tuition fee rates for school year 2010-2011.