Microbiology Positions

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So you have a microbiology degree and you want a job? Many job seekers with microbiology degrees know only of a few types of careers such as industry and academia. However, the employment sphere for microbiologists is much larger and ever expanding. In recent years there has been an explosion in the types of job opportunities that are available to those with microbiology training since microbes and their actions pervade all aspects of our increasingly complex society. To help a prospective candidate sort through the options available we have compiled a list of employment types culled from analyzing web sites, job listing, and career forums. Clearly, some job opportunities will require certain types of academic degrees and training but the list below provides a place to start considering options.

The information provided in this section has been compiled by ASM's Career Development Committee.  Please contact JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING with any questions or suggestions!

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Microbiology is a core basic science in professional schools that usually maintains departments in this discipline. Microbiology is also a key discipline of biological studies in undergraduate colleges. There are numerous types of positions available for individuals with microbiology training in academic institutions that include research and teaching. Academic jobs are often advertised in scientific journals, newspapers, and institutional bulletin boards.
• Medical, Dental, and Veterinary Schools
• College and University
• Institutes and not-for-profit research centers

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The biologic revolution has resulted in innumerable discoveries in academic, government and industry settings that require industrial development and translation into products. Knowledge about microbial species, microbial products, and the application of microbes to industry is essential for the drafting of patents and technology transfer agreements. Such positions are found in legal firms specializing in patent law and technology transfer and in academic, institutional, and governmental technology transfer offices.
• Law firms
• Technology transfer
• Intellectual property

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There are numerous employment opportunities for microbiologists in government service. Microbiologist can be found working in many branches of governments. Concerns about bioterrorism have led to the hiring of microbiologist in law enforcement and military services. Government employment positions can be identified by visiting agency web sites.
• Local and State Government
• Public Health
• Grant management
• Law enforcement
• All branches of the Military
• Waste and wastewater management
• Food and Drug Administration
• US Department of Agriculture
• National Institute of Health
• Environmental Protection Agency

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Industry remains a staple market for employment opportunities. Positions in industry include management, quality control, research, and product development. Although many prospective applicants know of big pharma and biotechnology there are numerous other opportunities in cosmetics, breweries, and oil industries. Identifying an industry position may require searching job postings in individual companies.

• Industrial Microbiology (production of antibiotics, microbial products)
• Vaccines
• Cosmetics and toiletries
• Food and bevarage production
• Biotechnology
• Pharmaceutical
• Oil industry and mining
• Sales or technical representative
• Breweries
• Dairies

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A microbiology degree combined with instruction in education can lead to career teaching. Microbiology by its very nature is an interdisciplinary science that can provide excellent background for teaching science in all levels of education.
• Primary and Secondary Schools
• Technical and Specialty Schools

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Health Care
The health care industry provides numerous opportunities for microbiologists working in areas of management, diagnostics, and quality control.
• Medical Technology
• Diagnostic Laboratory

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The growth of science in recent decades has led to a many new journals where microbiologists can find employment opportunities in editorial staff activities. Similarly, general interest in science by the public opens up possibilities in journalism.
• Journal Editor
• Journalism

Other Sites of Interest:


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